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Best bets: Nelly, 'Toxic Avenger' and free shows in parks

Tyler Farr and Nelly perform today at Bayfront Festival Park. Photo courtesy of Jade Presents

A little bit country, a little bit hip hop

Is it getting hot in herre, or is that just Nelly. The hip-hop artist behind the Grammy Award-winning song "Hot in Herre" plays on a bill with Tyler Farr today at Bayfront Festival Park. It's been 18 years this summer since Nelly released "Country Grammar," the album that first snagged mainstream fans — and it's his top-selling album. Other top tunes include: "Dilemma," along with Kelly Rowland and "Just a Dream." Billboard calls him one of the top artists from the early 2000s. Tyler Farr, a country artist, came onto the scene in 2013 — around the time Nelly released his last album, "M.O." Farr is best known for "A Guy Walks into a Bar," "Redneck Crazy" and "Whiskey in my Water." Drew Baldridge and The Whiskey Trail Band are also on the bill.

Tyler Farr and Nelly play at 5:15 p.m. Aug. 2 at Bayfront Festival Park. Tickets: $30; available at the gate, Electric Fetus, Beaner's Central and at

"The Toxic Avenger" cast rehearses at The Underground. Tyle Schank /

Go green

A not-so popular fellow comes in contact with toxic waste and emerges as a greenish, mangled creature with super-human strength — and an utter disdain for the bad guys.

"The Toxic Avenger" is a campy musical take on the 1984 cult movie filled with disembodied heads and limbs, extreme fitness fashions, so many montages. (Fight scenes! Love scenes!)

This version re-sets the scene and becomes a showdown between the newly empowered former nerd (played by Evan Kelly) versus the eco-damaging mayor (played by Becky Farmer).

"The Toxic Avenger" plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday Aug. 2-18 at The Underground, 506 W. Michigan St. Tickets: $20 adults, $18 students at

Woodblind (News Tribune file)

Bee folky

The Oldenburg House is celebrating the honey makers with its upcoming fest: Honey Bee Folk Festival. The two-day event includes a full lineup of musicians, including LASKA, The Lowland Lakers, Black River Revue, Fish Heads, Four Mile Portage, Woodblind and Feeding Leroy — in addition to honey bee story hour, a bees and blooms hike, vendors and a presentations from master gardeners.

Honey Bee Folk Festival is Aug. 3-4 at the Oldenburg House, 604 Chestnut Ave., Carlton. Tickets: $20 a day, $30 for two-day pass at

Nerd out

Nerd Nite, an event that gives aficionados a platform to talk extensively about a hyper-specific, sometimes not-so mainstream interest, is back.

This month's topics include: "Classic Game Randomizers: How Zelda Got Her Groove Back" by Jake La Jeunesse; "Where Entomology and Science Fiction Collide," by James Kopko; "So a Psychologist, Engineer and a Computer Scientist Walk into a Bar" by Andrine Lemieux.

Nerd Nite is at 7:30 p.m Aug. 6 at Teatro Zuccone. Tickets: $5 at the door.

Casting Crowns (submitted photo)

Casting Crowns headlines City on the Hill Fest

Some of the biggest names in the Christian music scene play the two-day City on the Hill Fest at Bayfront Festival Park. It's been almost a year since the headliners — Casting Crowns and for King and Country were announced. Other acts in the lineup include: Derek Charles Johnson, Holy Hootenanners, Jordan Feliz, Eclipsing Grey, Hawk Nelson, Burchfield Family, Adelaide, Ryan Clair, The Color, People of Hope, We are Messengers, Lara Landon, Natalie Grant and F'Rael.

City on the Hill Music Festival is Aug. 3-4 at Bayfront Festival Park. Tickets: Available at

The Pop Up Classical concert. Photo courtesy of MPR

Super Superior

Lake Superior, it turns out, is superior. Our local lake won the Most Loved Lake contest and Water Main, MPR News and Classical MPR is presenting a traveling show that will hit three points on the greatest of the Great.

The Pop Up Classical concert includes The Concert Truck and spoken word, poetry, photography and more art-minded ways of celebrating Lake Superior.

The Pop-Up Classical concert is at 11 a.m. at Tettegouche State Park, 2 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot in Two Harbors and 7 p.m. at Lake Place Park in Duluth on Aug. 4. Free.

Free. Downtown. Parks.

Folk foursome Superior Siren kicks off Music in the Hart, a series of weekly shows at Lake Place Park. The band fronted by Laura Sellner plays moody original tunes inspired by the deep, dark sea. Superior Siren plays at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 2.

Speaking of free things in parks: "Wonder" is this week's pick for Movies in the Park. It plays at 8:45 p.m. Aug. 3 at Leif Erikson Park. BYOPopcorn, blanket, glowing accessories.