This week in music: One Direction, Beyonce among artists rolling into Twin Cities


Following Bob Dylan, Kenny Chesney and the Basilica Block Party, it'll be another busy music week in the Twin Cities, including two superstar acts in the same night.

British Boy Band One Direction plays the Target Center in Minneapolis Thursday night, while Beyonce will take stage at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Taking a suggestion from a One Direction super-fan's email to write a review from a fan's perspective, Access Atlanta music critic Melissa Ruggieri brought the girl, 14, with to the group's stop in Atlanta last month.

Calling One Direction "perfectly enjoyable fluff" in a June 2012 review, Ruggieri says the latest concert from the group "presented even more of the whimsical side of the quintet – all looking tanned and thin in ensembles of skinny jeans and designer shirts." She also noted that "their personalities really are their greatest appeal."

One Direction also impressed music critic Nick Krewen of the Toronto Star, who says the group "defied the stereotype and gamely proved their mettle as something other than your typical Tiger Beat pin-up poster boys at numerous points of a two-hour, 22-song set" at Air Canada Centre last week.

Beyonce, meanwhile, is in the midst of her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour," which is in reference to her marriage to music mogul to Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.

Of course, the singer made a name for herself with Beyonce Knowles as part of Destiny's Child and as a solo artist after that, and is continuing to do so on her new tour, which kicked off June 28 with some shows at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"Queen Bey -- or Mrs. Jay-Z, as she seemingly likes to be thought of these days -- tore through her Los Angeles set with the ferocity of a grown woman who has something to prove," wrote music critic Shirley Halperin of The Hollywood Reporter of Beyonce's concert at the Staples Center July 1.

Noting how other acts rely on different types of visuals to enhance their shows, Halperin wrote that "Beyonce didn't need to rely on gimmicky props to entertain a crowd of 18,000."

She continued to impress with her "two-hour exhaust-a-thon" during her stop in Atlanta Friday, according to Access Atlanta music critic Melissa Ruggieri.

Ruggieri says Beyonce " took us to the gym ('Get Me Bodied'), to Las Vegas ('Party') to a rock club ('I Care') and to the bedroom ('1+1') ... and through it all, she managed to look sexy and sound ferocious."

Also playing in Minnesota this week ...

Alice Cooper, plays the second of two gigs at the State Theatre in Minneapolis Monday, while Willie Nelson and Family take stage at the Weesner Family Amphitheatre for the Minnesota Zoo's "Music in the Zoo" concert series Tuesday. Merle Haggard plays the State Theatre Friday.

In addition, "The Package Tour," featuring classic boy bands New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boys II Men, plays Target Center Saturday.

Rocker Peter Frampton also brings his Guitar Circus with special guest Kenny Wayne Shepherd to the State Theatre on Sunday.

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