Cities 97 Basilica Block Party is an annual event that takes place in the musical city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The event began in 1995 as a fundraiser to help restore The Basilica of St. Mary. 22 years later and the event continues and proceeds from the event still benefit The Basilica Landmark, which preserves, restores and advances the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. It's proceeds also go to The Basilica's St. Vincent De Paul Outreach program which provides services to those in need.
For it's 22nd consecutive year, The Basilica Block Party hosted two nights of back-to-back music from 20 talented music artists. There wasn't a stage on the Basilica grounds where people weren't crowded around.
Night One // July 7th:
As soon as 5:00 pm hit, the streets began to flood with people anxiously waiting to get some food, meet up with friends, and of course the music to start.
Nick Jordan, a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter started off the music on the Star Tribune stage.
The Roosevelts, a New Americana Rock band, opened up on the Great Clips Main Stage.
Cobi, a singer-songwriter from Grand Marais, Minnesota set the tone for the Preferred One stage.
John Paul White took the stage next on the Great Clips Main Stage.
Jaedyn James & the Hunger -
Jaedyn James & the Hunger followed Nick Jordan's performance on the Star Tribune stage and let me tell you; they brought it.
Back over on The Preferred One stage, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness drew in even more of a crowd.
Night Moves was the final artist to perform on the Star Tribune stage for the evening.
The music continues back on the Great Clips Main Stage with American Rock-and-Roll band, NEEDTOBREATHE.
The Shins was the band that many were waiting anxiously for all night long. By the time they stepped onto the Preferred One stage the area in front of the stage and Basilica was jammed pack. It even continued down the street.
Brandi Carlile headlined the Great Clips Main Stage for night one, and she was incredible.
Brandi is an American Americana and Folk Rock singer-songwriter. She drew in quite the crowd and blew us all away with her hit songs, "The Story" and "Wherever Is Your Heart" as well as her covers of Johnny Cash, John Newton, and Led Zeppelin.
Night Two // July 8th:
Many may have thought that nothing could top night one of Basilica Block Party 2017, but that was only because they hadn't experienced night two yet. Boy, were they in for a night!
American Housewife started off night two on the Star Tribune stage.
This Minneapolis-based songwriting duo is composed of Stephanie Paquin & Maureen Rudd, formerly of Space Heater and they had the crowd dancing around!
What better artist to have open the Great Clips main stage on night two than Minneapolis' own singer/songwriter Julia Brennan?!
Julia brought smiles to so many faces as she played her beautiful music, especially her hit, "Inner Demons."
Kicking it off on the Preferred One stage was Enemy Planes!
Enemy Planes is another Minneapolis-based band to absolutely kill it at Basilica Block Party! From the moment they took the stage the crowd was drawn in, unable to take their eyes off the stage.
Back on the Great Clips Main Stage, Ben Rector took over the crowd with his incredible voice and piano skills.
Following American Housewife on the Star Tribune stage was Jackson & The Roosters.
One may say that this multi-talented, five-piece musical phenomena from Burlington, Ontario was the most creative and unique band in the whole festival. The sound that they create using these uncommon instruments is beautiful, and their performance is so fun and exciting that you just cannot look away.
Nooky Jones closed up the festival on the Star Tribune stage.
Back on the Great Clips Main Stage, another Nashville, TN singer, songwriter took the stage.
Not only were people screaming the lyrics along to this rock/pop singer, songwriters big hit, "I Don't Want To Be," (Shout out to all of the One Tree Hill fans!) but they were singing along to just about every song. You could tell from the moment that he stepped on stage that he was a crowd favorite.
AWOLNATION closed up the Preferred One stage for the weekend with quite a crowd!
This alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California was a festival favorite. You most likely know their hit song, "Sail." If not, you must live under a rock. They brought so much energy to the stage, and it radiated off of them throughout their entire performance.
The band that just about everyone on the Basilica grounds waited all day for closed up Basilica Block Party 2017 in the most energetic, fun, and unforgettable way possible!theme song, "Circle of Life" with white paint designs all over their bodies. Highlights of their set were their slowed down version of, "Aquaman" where lead singer Nicholas Petricca said, "I wanna do a slow dance with you guys. Grab somebody your crushin' on and let's do this." Another highlight was their performance of "Tightrope" because not only was there crazy dancing on stage, but there was some in the crowd as well. You also can't forget about Nicholas' touching speech before the band performed, "I Can Lift A Car," where he said, "Whatever your holding onto that no longer serves you, let go of it. Whether it be a judgment or grudge against someone else, let it go. It's cleansing. I'm going to send a ripple out there to get rid of that toxic shit. There were so many great moments throughout the night, but you can't forget about their performance of their hit, "Shut Up And Dance With Me!"
Overall, the 22nd annual Basilica Block Party was one for the books. So many incredible people showed me, so many beautiful music was played and heard, and most importantly, so many memories were made.