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The Setlist: Where to hear live music April 20-21, 2024

"The Setlist" and "Grand Rapids, Walker, Bemidji, Aitkin" over a crumpled paper background.
Maria Hileman
Live music happening April 20-21, in Minnesota.

KAXE's weekly live music spotlight features The 48 Hour Band Contest, Kelley Smith, Monroe Crossing and Mennesota Fest.

From a contest meant to encourage participation in the local music scene to a festival featuring some of Minnesota's finest songwriters, there is a little bit of everything on The Setlist this week.

Kelley Smith is a Brainerd based musician who recently released her debut EP, Moon Child.

In Walker, Portage Brewing is celebrating its seven-year anniversary with a variety of events, including music from folk musician Kelley Smith. She is playing Saturday at 2 p.m.

Performances for the 48 Hour Band Contest will begin at Klockow Brewing in Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. Saturday evening. The event encourages participation in bands and the local music scene. Participants will be randomly assigned bandmates on Thursday and they will have 48 hours to write 10 minutes of original music. For those interested in taking part, meet at Klockow on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Saturday performances are open to the public.

Headwaters Music & Arts is hosting a fundraising bluegrass show at The Historic Chief Theatre in Bemidji on Saturday at 7 p.m. Longtime Minnesota favorites Monroe Crossing will perform with The Swivets opening. Proceeds will go toward musical scholarships for Bemidji-area youth.

Then on Sunday, Mennesota Fest comes to the Ripple Center in Aitkin. The event, which begins at noon, will feature workshops, a Q&A and performances with musicians like Erik Koskinen, LAAMAR, Corey Medina and more.

Two side by side images. The left is the state of Minnesota with "Mennesota singer songwriter showcase 24" inside it. The right is seven photos of different musicians performing.
Mennesota Fest
Mennesota Fest is Sunday, April 21 in Aitkin.

Saturday, April 20

  • Kelley Smith - 2 p.m., Portage Brewing, Walker, free
Folk artist Kelley Smith looks away while holding a guitar
Grassroots Concerts
Kelley Smith is a Brainerd-based folk musician.

  • 48 Hour Band Contest - 6 p.m., Klockow Brewing, Grand Rapids, free
  • Monroe Crossing, The Swivets - 7 p.m., The Historic Chief Theatre, Bemidji, $30

Sunday, April 21

  • Mennesota Fest - 12 p.m., The Ripple Center, Aitkin, $35
Geoffrey Lamar Wilson (LAAMAR) appeared on "Centerstage Minnesota" on June 9, 2023, to talk about his EP "Flowers."

The weekly live music spotlight is made possible by the citizens of Minnesota through the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Malachy started his radio career at a college radio station, where he played weird music in the middle of the night to possibly no one. On a good night maybe his parents were listening. Nonetheless, he was hooked on public radio and is still doing it today. He joined Northern Community Radio in 2022, where he gets to share his passion for local music as Producer of Centerstage Minnesota, an all Minnesota music show airing Fridays at 2pm.