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North Dakota Concerts & Events

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Another state in the northern range of the Midwest and covered by the Great Plains, North Dakota may seem innocuous. However, this state is not skating by on status quo. With pushes to extend beyond dull cover bands, eager rock and metal audiences, and a slew of new talent, North Dakota has something to offer in the way of live music. Read below to learn more.

North Dakota is evolving beyond its cover band past.

All over the United States, bars are filled with bands that specialize in covers. Playing familiar songs that inspire a bar-wide sing-a-long, cover bands can offer a fun, familiar time. However, music thrives when artists have the opportunity to create new things. Words, chords, and arrangements blend together to create something unique that that band. Well, within the last few years in North Dakota, some of the bar scenes have expanded beyond cover band material. For example, local musician Tyler Pilot found himself wanting to explore more emotional, genuine performances by sharing his own creations. As a result, he formed The Gentlemen Callers. Their sound is punk rock with a melodic drive, something unique to them. Although the transition away from cover bands brings in smaller crowds, local artists find the fans to be more engaged and enthusiastic about the music. This is what creates community. Concert attendees will be pleased to see this development in North Dakota, a real sign that artistry is growing.

North Dakota has some of the “most rocking” cities in the United States.

In 2015, the music service Slacker conducted a study on the nation’s listening behaviors to determine which bands rock the hardest. Although it is unclear how, exactly, that is quantified, it has something to do with which bands people listen to, what genres they belong to, and what numbers accumulate.

Surprisingly, North Dakota topped the list, followed by Maine, Iowa, West Virginia, and Nebraska. Although larger states may have more rock listeners, it seems that a higher percentage of North Dakotans love rock. Another surprise, California ranked in the bottom five states, even though they host 5+ major rock radio stations. Despite some questions about methodology, the results indicate that North Dakota has a stunning number of rock and metal fans. In North Dakota, the most-listened-to rock band is Five Finger Death Punch. For people who want to see a concert, North Dakota is a great spot for any rock, metal, and punk needs. Clearly, you won’t be the only fan in the audience.

North Dakota’s heart for rock extends to the stage.

Clearly, North Dakotans love streaming rock music, and they also like to see it played live. The Allels is one of these bands. Based in Grand Forks, Alex Simmers, Charlie Siggurdson, and Ryan Keehr make darkened shoegaze rock, complete with cacophonous accents and wailing vocals. From Fargo, Crab Legs aka Remember Me is another ground with edge. A mosh-mayhem group backed by angsty punk, listeners who need intensity will resonate with their work.

For listeners who are in North Dakota’s minority, there are a handful of local groups that get local praise. Bismark-based group Harbor Hills makes a hybrid folk-rock sound, sustained by boy band harmonies. The North Dakota Hip Hop Collective is also doing something a little different; this community of rappers and producers includes Hollywood Sunrise, Jantzonia, and Cold Sweat, all with their own distinct sound. Another Bismarck-based group, Last Echo supplies listeners with acoustic and electric indie-pop, punctuated with percussive presence. Tom Brosseau of Grand Forks is another North Dakota local. Although he has toured national and internationally and has been featured on NPR, he maintains the thoughtful, calming storytelling he developed at home.