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Darkness Day 2023 Music Lineup

This year’s Darkness Day music lineup is LOADED. The metal you crave, the punk you need, the noise you love, plus some stuff that you kind of have to hear to believe. All for free. Let’s rage:


Orange County punk rock royalty The Vandals make their first Twin Cities appearance in way too damn long. Formed in 1980, they’re equal parts sarcastic and ferocious, and we’re thrilled to host them on our favorite day of the year.

(Note: Vandals drummer Josh Freese is on tour with the Foo Fighters. No Doubt drummer Adrian Young will be taking his place.)


  • Cult NYC heavy rock outfit The Giraffes bring punk, metal, surf, and more to the table. Their most recent album, Flowers of the Cosmos, started out as a collection of love songs “but soon went dark.” You can see why we’d want them here.
  • Codefendants were created by Fat Mike of NOFX with hip-hop artist Ceschi Ramos and Get Dead vocalist Sam King, featuring guests like N.W.A. collaborator The D.O.C. What kind of music do they play? A cross between hip hop, new wave, flamenco, and the Beatles, which they’ve dubbed “Crime Wave.” Sold. Ramos and King will be performing at Darkness Day for the band’s Minnesota debut.


  • Minneapolis’ Fret Rattles welds ’60s Detroit/’70s punk/’90s underground into vital, straightforward rock ‘n roll.
  • Pierre are a Minneapolis grunge/noise/punk trio that have torn a path through the upper Midwest for over a decade.


2023 Darkness artist Justin Boehne also creates music. His cinematic, instrumental metal band Cymothea performs during the afternoon.


  • God Came From Space has played pretty much every Darkness Day and features Surly’s Slayrah Lawson. As per tradition, they will open the proceedings.
  • Local horror-rock legends Impaler, whose background vocalist Dr. Corpse looks an awful lot like Surly’s Zach Lindsay, also return to provide some glorious, blood-spattered mayhem.

The music begins at noon in our Beer Garden and goes until 10pm, rain or shine. As noted above, this show is free to attend. See you in the pit.

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