First Avenue Minneapolis - The Iconic Club in Photographs

I am going to make an obvious statement to start off this blog. First Avenue in Minneapolis is an iconic venue. I am not old enough to know if it was iconic before Prince, but I do know it was a very well known club back then. In the first decade of the club it attracted acts such as Tina Turner, Frank Zappa, Chubby Checker, B.B. King, The Allman Brothers, The Kinks, Rod Steward, Pat Benatar, The Ramones, and U2. Of course, the '80s are tied to Prince. I was not old enough to have enjoyed any of his shows back then, but I did get to see him perform there on July 7th, 2007, and it's a show and date that I will never forget (besides playing at First Avenue, Prince also played a gig at Target Center, which was preceded by a show at the downtown Macy's.   

I've been taking photos of the city of Minneapolis since 2006, and up until 2019 I had never taken a photo of First Avenue. I'm not sure why I had avoided it, but I am glad that I corrected that mistake and it appears a lot of you have enjoyed it as well because some of these photos have remained some of my most popular all year long. 

The first photo I took of the club was from straight in front of the entry. I was across the intersection standing by Target Center, the arena that hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, and many other concerts and events. It was a busy weekend evening and people were lining up to get into First Avenue for that evenings show. In case you were wondering, it was a best of New Local Bands night. I then turned that first photo into two different photos. The first one zero'd in on the essence of the club. 

First Avenue 2 - Minneapolis City Photos | William Drew Photography

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The other one I created is one that I turned into a Black & White photo of First Avenue. I'm an artist that focuses on bright, vibrant colors in my prints. Turning a print into Black and White is a big step for me, but in this case, it is a strikingly beautiful photo once all the color is stripped out. 

First Avenue 4 - Minneapolis Cityscape Art | William Drew Photography

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After I got that first photo out of the way, I went to the next most important photo. I had to get one photo of the Prince star that is on the First Avenue wall along with many of the other acts that have played there. No one knows who, but after Prince passed, someone painted Prince's star gold, which makes it stand out even more amongst the wall of silver stars. 

Prince First Avenue - Mpls Images | William Drew Photography

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I then went back across the street and took another photo of the front of the club, but from a different angle. I also turned this one into a Black and White image as I just love the way it looks in this format.  

First Avenue 5 - First Avenue Pictures | William Drew Photography

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And finally, I went back over by the corner with Target Center but went back down the street a bit. This gave me a look straight down 7th Street. I could now get a photo with First Avenue, the Minneapolis Skyline, and the Mayo Center all in one photo. 

First Avenue Minneapolis - Minneapolis Wall Art | William Drew Photography

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That was a fun night getting these photos. I have some plans on going back as I have a concept that I want to try, and they have also added a star for The Revolution, so I will have to capture that star as well.


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