The Current Rewind

The Current Rewind

The Current Rewind is the podcast putting music's unsung stories on the map. In season two, we're tracing the 50-year history of Minneapolis club First Avenue, using 10 pivotal dates to explore how a city, a scene, and popular music have evolved since the dawn of the '70s. The Current's Cecilia Johnson and Mark Wheat — along with special guest hosts — will meet you at the barricades for opening night, drop in on life-changing shows, and take an inside look at the present-day #SaveOurStages campaign.

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The Current Rewind is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Culture Heritage Fund.

The Current Rewind goes to First Avenue


The Current Rewind

Your favorite Minnesota music history podcast is back! In The Current Rewind's second season, we're exploring 10 pivotal days in the history of First Avenue, the Minneapolis club that has hosted life-changing shows for the past 50 years. Episodes air on Tuesdays starting Sept. 22.

The Current Rewind: April 3, 1970


The Current Rewind: 4/3/70

The Current Rewind's First Avenue season kicks off with the story of opening night. Grab a carnation and travel back to the dawn of the '70s, when Joe Cocker and his "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" packed the former bus depot that would later become First Avenue.

The Current Rewind: Nov. 28-29, 1979


The Current Rewind: 11/28/79-11/29/79

Disco was the ticket at Uncle Sam's in the late '70s. But the club's destiny changed course in November 1979, when the Ramones and Pat Benatar rocked the Mainroom on back-to-back nights. In this episode of 'The Current Rewind', former GM Steve McClellan and his fellow First Ave vets explain how First Avenue became a rock 'n' roll sanctuary.

The Current Rewind: Sept. 27, 1982


The Current Rewind: 9/27/82

Almost 40 years ago, D.C. rockers Bad Brains played First Avenue with two Minnesotan openers: Sweet Taste of Afrika and Husker Du. In this episode of 'The Current Rewind,' we tease out the complicated relationship between the three bands on the bill, their genres, and their identities.

The Current Rewind: Aug. 3, 1983


The Current Rewind: 8/3/83

Most casual Prince fans know 'Purple Rain' was partially filmed at First Avenue. But did you know the title song is a live recording, taped at First Ave a few months before filming started? In this episode, we meet Prince and the Revolution at a benefit show for Minnesota Dance Theatre, where they debuted "Purple Rain" in support of dance and community.

The Current Rewind: October 22, 1990


The Current Rewind: 10/22/90

Alternative rock stayed underground throughout the '80s, but in the early '90s, that distorted, furious sound burst into the mainstream. In this episode of The Current Rewind, members of Cows and Babes in Toyland talk about sharing a bill with Sonic Youth at First Avenue.

The Current Rewind: March 4, 1991


The Current Rewind: 3/4/91

One day after the LAPD beat up Rodney King, an Ice Cube concert went down in history as one of the most violent shows ever held at First Avenue. Hosted by Jay Smooth, this episode of The Current Rewind seeks answers about gangsta rap, security, and the uneasy relationship between the Minnesota music industry and Black hip-hop artists.

The Current Rewind: April 21, 2016


The Current Rewind: 4/21/16

The day Prince passed away, thousands of fans congregated outside First Avenue. Although the street party might've seemed like magic, of course real people made it happen - and we talked to a few of them for this episode. It's the last full installment of our season, and it celebrates Prince, parties, and Minnesota music.

The Current Rewind: Aug. 12, 2015


The Current Rewind: 8/12/15

A piece of First Avenue's ceiling fell to the ground during a concert in August 2015. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt. But throughout the music industry, concert safety has been a huge issue during the last decade. How can we keep each other safe?