The Fillmore brings retro style to North Loop concert scene

The newest addition to the Fillmore franchise, the Fillmore Minneapolis, opened its doors Feb. 12.

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The Fillmore Minneapolis. Courtesy of Live Nation.

Alex Strangman

The lights dim. Iconic crystal chandeliers glow above the pit as a band on stage prepares for sound check. The new Fillmore Minneapolis is ready to rock and roll.

The Live Nation-run Fillmore franchise is expanding its operations in the Midwest, opening a new 36,000-square-foot venue in Minneapolis’ North Loop.

Conveniently located next to the Target Field light rail station, The Fillmore Minneapolis officially opened Feb. 12, starting with an already sold out three-day show series featuring singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Inspired by the historic Fillmore concert venue in San Francisco, The Fillmore Minneapolis looks to mix local music culture with the Fillmore brand of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Complete with a larger-than-life Prince mural and posters of some of Minneapolis’ most prolific artists including Lizzo, Atmosphere, Bob Dylan and The Replacements, the venue is certainly geared toward a Minnesotan crowd.

Felix Mussenden, executive vice president at House of Blues Entertainment, hopes the main room will provide a truly unique concert experience for patrons.

“This is going to be a really cool venue from the standpoint of how intimate it’s going to be. Even though it’s 1,800 capacity, it’s going to be a really cool venue. Intimacy is going to be really important,” he said. “There’s not a bad viewing area, and the sound and lighting is going to be spectacular.”

The main room also contains two fully operational bars that pay homage to the original Fillmore of the ‘60s and ‘70s complete with psychedelic artwork lining the walls behind them.

The second level of the two-story venue is reserved for VIPs with a 500-capacity balcony for those looking for a more low-key concert experience.

The upstairs level also has a VIP lounge called BG’s Lounge, a tribute to legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, who worked with the San Francisco Fillmore at the height of its fame during the 1960s.

The lounge has a great view of the Minneapolis skyline and is adorned with pictures of rock and roll legends like Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana and Janis Joplin.

Mussenden said BG’s Lounge will also act as a smaller venue for developing local talent complete with a small stage and a capacity to hold around 200 people.

Likening the venue to a “single-A farm team” in baseball, Mussenden says he hopes the lounge can act as a stepping stone for local artists who then go on to do shows in the main room and from there move on to even bigger venues like The Armory or Target Center.

In addition to the concert venue itself, The Fillmore Minneapolis also features a new burgers and bar restaurant called Trax, which opened to the public Feb. 3. It is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and late-night dining.

The Fillmore Minneapolis has already booked shows into June, featuring a diverse lineup of artists including Three 6 Mafia (March 7), Thundercat (March 14) and Louis Tomlinson (June 9).