When: Thu., Aug. 22, 6 p.m. 2013
A recent 6,000-word oral history from Spin examined how the underground glory days of Minneapolis band Soul Asylum in the mid-late '80s set the stage for their early-'90s chart-topping success with "Runaway Train"—a transition that ended up costing them all their street cred. "People are so divided about our band these days, I just cannot figure it out," Dan Murphy told me in a 1995 interview, sounding earnestly surprised and sad about the turn of events. Part of it was fallout from the dismissal of original drummer Grant Young; a decade later, they suffered through the cancer death of bassist Karl Mueller. Murphy finally departed last year, leaving singer Dave Pirner as the last soul in the asylum.
Pirner and his fresh cast will play the 1992 album Grave Dancers Union (which included "Runaway Train") as part of this four-band "LP Tour," in which each act performs a standout album from start to finish. Matthew Sweet offers his 1991 high-water mark, Girlfriend, probably the strongest of the four records in this lineup. Headliner Big Head Todd & the Monsters serve up 1993's Sister Sweetly, which harbored the likes of "Bittersweet" and "Broken Hearted Savior." The one act that seems out of place alongside these early-'90s rock-radio staples is Bob Marley's former backing band The Wailers, who will play Legend; it came out nearly a decade earlier, in 1984, and was a collection of Marley's greatest hits. —Peter Blackstock