Margo Price Shines In return to First Avenue

Margo Price
Photo: Sara Messinger

Sunday night saw singer-songwriter Margo Price return to the Twin Cities for the first time in five years. As was the case in 2018, Price played as a headliner in the First Avenue Mainroom. With so long between Minnesota appearances, and with an acclaimed new album in tow, expectations for Margo’s set were high.

To the delight of the packed house, Margo met, and exceeded those expectations, showcasing the skills and songs that have become her trademarks in a show that won’t be soon forgotten.

Though Margo has roots as a country artist, she has expanded her palette tastefully on each record, incorporating elements of pop, rock, and folk into her sound at various points. Opener Lola Kirke shared that spirit, playing songs that sometimes felt rooted in country and americana, but subtly (and not so subtly) incorporated other influences, making for an interesting and engaging opening set. Kirke mentioned she’ll be back in the twin cities later this year, and judging by this set, she’s more than capable of holding her own as a headliner.

Margo herself has been a headliner for awhile now at this point, and it showed in her performance. Her stage presence was exceptional, and it was clear from the outset that she knew exactly how to command the audience.

Whether she was playing country, rock, pop, or (often) some combination of three, and whether she was singing, playing acoustic, electric, or drums, there was never a dull moment in the show. The audience was engaged and responsive throughout, and the show hit all the notes one could have asked for.

Musically, the stylistic evolution of Margo’s sound provided an excellent foundation for the set. The diversity of her musical output allowed her to draw from many musical reference points within and between songs, which helped every song feel fresh. The top shelf band she brought helped as well, adding lots to her formidable catalog of songs.

While their sonic output was diverse, there was a decidedly rock and roll energy and spirit that ran through the show (As it does through Margo’s excellent new album Strays). That energy brought out the best of everybody in the room, and at many points turned the Sunday night crowd up to a proverbial “11.”

Margo’s performance on this night proved to be more than worth the wait. She’s a tremendous talent, one who will hopefully be back soon.

Written by Aaron Williams


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