First Avenue in Minneapolis is one of the nation's 20 best large clubs and theaters, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The Twin Cities club earned the number three spot on the list compiled from a poll of 26 music industry insiders.
The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. and The Fillmore in San Francisco grabbed the top two spots.
Reporter Steve Knopper wrote the following about the venue:
This downtown Minneapolis club opened in 1937 as a Greyhound depot, but the history of First Avenue as we know it begins with Prince. Throughout the Eighties, he and the Revolution were sort of the house band here – you can see it in all the famous concert scenes in Purple Rain. The club was also a key staging ground for the city's punk-and-hardcore scene, starring the Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum. Today's fans still love the no-frills vibe and killer acoustics, even if waiting in line during a Minnesota winter can be a bummer. "Plus," says hip-hop star Talib Kweli, a regular headliner, "I saw [famous rapper's name redacted] deck an undercover cop and hop in a cab and get away at the club."
Here's just a taste of some of the memorable performances at the venue: