Last updated on July 22nd, 2023 at 12:53 pm
TC Summer Fest made its debut at Target Field on Friday and Saturday. After losing two major festivals in Rock the Garden and the Basilica Block Party, the excitement for a summer show of this scale was high. The lineup for night one included local act Yam Haus, Cannons, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips, and legendary group The Killers.
With doors opening at 2:00, the festival’s attendance was off to a slow start. However, the crowd filled out more as the night continued. Many publications have reported it being a less than stellar turnout, however I felt it was still a respectable crowd given the circumstances.
Target Field can hold up to 38K fans for concerts. In fact, the Hella Mega Tour in 2021 was noteworthy for being a nearly sold out show at the baseball stadium. TC Summer Fest, however, hit the mid 20K range, which is nothing to shake a stick at.
Not being promoted by AEG or LiveNation, the marketing for the event had a shorter amount of time to raise buzz. Kare 11 did a great piece on the uphill battle the festival organizers had for promoting the show. Regardless, every single fan at the show had a fantastic time.
Night one’s lineup was absolutely stacked. The vibes were perfectly curated for a wonderful summer night.
Death Cab For Cutie, which I like to describe as emo music for English majors, enchanted the crowd. Ben Gibbard’s soothing voice connected to each audience member. The band’s blend of classic mid-2000s tracks and their new material was enjoyed by all.
Death Cab For Cutie is one of those bands that perfected their sound early on in their career and have continued to build upon it over the years. New songs like “Here to Forever” fit perfectly next to fan favorites like “Soul Meets Body”.
Next, The Flaming Lips unleashed pink killer robots onto Target Field. Celebrating 20 years of their landmark album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, fans who were in the know embraced the band’s weirdness while newcomers watched on with confusion.
With lyrics being projected on the screen, anyone could sing along. However, fans were probably more focused on playing catch with the giant inflatables that the band tossed out into the audience.
As a big fan of the group, I enjoyed every minute. I was first introduced to the group when I shot photos of them at Rock the Garden in 2016. Now with years of enjoying their albums under my belt, it felt great to sing along.
The highlight of their set was during “Do You Realize” as everyone stood up and swayed back and forth with their loved ones.
Finally, The Killers were poised to hit the stage. They were coming off an intimate popup show at First Avenue, where they just got their star on the iconic venue.
Surprising everyone, Brandon Flowers and company started their set with “Mr. Brightside.” The energy of the night somehow continued to rise after that.
Drawing a discography of over nearly 20 years, the setlist pleased fans old and new. From setlist mainstays like “Smile Like You Mean It” to new hits like “Boy,” there was never a dull moment.
The setlist was notably different from their First Avenue show from the night before. Additionally, it differed from their setlist from their show at the Xcel Energy Center in September of 2022. I appreciated the variety they offered and was especially excited to hear “Run For Cover” live.
The standout moment of the night was a young fan named Eddie being invited on stage to play drums for his birthday. The kid totally rocked it and the entire ballpark was chanting his name. I hope that kid never wakes up from this dream. It’s Eddie’s world and we are just living in it.
The set closed out with “All These Things I’ve Done.” There is nothing quite like an outdoor show, and Target Field is the perfect venue for that.
The audio quality has greatly improved over the years at the stadium and I sincerely hope we get more shows there in the future. Although it wasn’t a sold out event, I would describe TC Summer Fest as a brilliant success. Here is hoping we get more nights like this one at Target Field.