San Francisco has the Fillmore Auditorium. New York has the Knitting Factory. Minneapolis has First Avenue and the 7th St Entry. Anyone who knows about music in this town will tell you that, for the last four decades, First Avenue has been integral to the Twin Cities' vibrant music scene.
From the avant garde to the mainstream, First Avenue is a music club committed to fostering the arts, music and entertainment excellence. There are a lot of people who care deeply about this club and have made it their lives. First Avenue is, quite simply, what a music club should be.
Many musicians have started their careers playing the 7th St Entry. By presenting local acts almost every night of the week, First Avenue was the launching pad for bands like Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Soul Asylum, Semisonic and Atmosphere. In addition to innumerable local performers, First Avenue has been a stepping stone for national musicians including Joe Cocker, U2, Eminem, Tina Turner, Black Flag, The Ramones, Depeche Mode, Bo Diddly, Lucinda Williams, Metallica and, of course, Prince. By working with bands likes these, First Avenue tries to encourage the best of music anywhere.
Writers and artists take their place in the history of First Avenue as well. With the original First Avenue In House magazine, many writers received their first chance at publication, with the fortunate task of writing about what they loved the best. They were able to meet and interview their favorite acts and gave the reader the first-hand take. Along with articles, artists contributed design, layout and original art. In addition to their drawings and photography, they made some of incredibly memorable and inspired posters.
With the help of artists and musicians, First Avenue has been able to host countless benefit shows for local and national non-profit groups, including Pastor Paul's Food Shelf, The Red Cross, Minnesota No-Kill Cat Shelters and many, many more. And, First Avenue has worked with area schools to hold workshops and lectures for students interested in music and related fields.
First Avenue has also been the place for local and national political events. Vice President Walter Mondale and Governor Jesse Ventura used First Avenue as their soapbox in their runs for office. Many youth vote rallies have been held at the club, educating young voters on the importance of their vote and educating them on issues of local and national significance. First Avenue brings the fun back into politics and civic responsibility. Where else in the world could you see a city's mayor take a stage dive?