Tag: St. Louis (page 1 of 5)

The Arkells Get Their Thrill At Blueberry Hill – 11/04/2017

 

To be honest here I really don’t know a lot about the Arkells and it’s too early and I’m too lazy to google stuff to add here. What I do know is this, they played Lollapalooza last year, they are getting some radio air time, and they were playing a 300 person capacity room. When you can find a band who is playing major festivals, getting air time, and playing a small venue do yourself a favor and GO! As I told someone else mid-set last night enjoy these shows, because more than likely it is the last time you will see the band this cheap and this close.

The day of the show I still hadn’t made up my mind to go. I checked around and found some reasonably priced tickets on the secondary market and bought them. There was a low ticket alert for the show so I didn’t want to chance it at the door with such a small venue.

I hadn’t sleep much the night before so I wisely took a brief power nap, woke up and had a late dinner before heading to the show. We got there at 9:50 just in time for the Arkells to take the stage. Then my lady needed to use the restroom and before making our way down to the basement for the show I stopped and waited for her. Lining the walls to the restrooms is 1000’s, yes, 1000’s of photo’s of the owner of Blueberry Hill with every single music act you could ever think of. From Red Hot Chili Peppers to Marylin Manson to a very young Kanye West and everyone in between. If you visit St. Louis it is worth a stop at Blueberry Hill and you must check out these photos of some of your favorite artist.

We got our wrist bands just as the Arkells we’re taking the stage. They opened with ” Making Due ” off of the album “Morning Report” that was released last August. You could hear/feel the bass through the floor as we came down the stairs and made our way into the crowd.

It was a fun time from the start as the Arkells frontman Max engaged both the crowd and his band mates between each song. One of my favorite moments mid-set was when they talked some shit on Jerry Lee Lewis and said their keyboardist was better than The Killer and launched into a cover of “Great Balls Of Fire”.

Another fun surprise was the story about the Uber driver who talked music with them on the way to the show and that they put on the guest list for the night. It was not on the set list, but they including a 6 minute jam of ” Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder before bringing back the opening act Irontom for a cover of Tom Petty’s “Running Down A Dream” before leaving the stage.

They came back out to the fired up crowd for a two song encore playing the song “My Hearts Always Yours” while remembering a time when they came to St. Louis and nobody showed up. They ended the hour and forty minute set with “Knocking At The Door” before sending us all headed for the door.

 

Overall this was an incredible evening of music. Wish I had shown up a bit sooner to catch some of Irontom‘s set, but I was starving/tired. Catch you guys next time. I really enjoyed the whole set of the Arkells, but the last minute Stevie cover sealed the deal on a very solid performance and evening out at a show. 10/10, do yourself a favor and go see these guys before they start playing much larger venues.

 

Hard Working Americans at Old Rock House in St. Louis 8/25/2015

Sometime during the year 2013 folk singer-songwriter Todd Snider was talking with one of his good buddies Dave Schools, who also happens to play bass in a band called Widespread Panic, about his love for jam music and wanting to do something like that one day. Snider says he never expected it to come to fruition, but Schools said he was interested. Snider contacted keyboardist Chad Staehly from Great American Taxi and told him that Dave Schools was on board. By the end of 2013 they had Chris Robinson Brotherhood and former Ryan Adams and the Cardinals guitarist-extraordinaire Neal Casal lined up. Schools grabbed his friend Duane Trucks, who just so happened to be playing drums with Widespread Panic at the time conveniently enough. In no time they had assembled themselves a southern rock jam super group and decided to call themselves the Hard Working Americans. Within a year they released an album and began touring. Their self-titled debut album consists of all cover songs chosen mostly by Snide. Newest member Jesse Aycock now tours with the band as second guitarist and pedal-steel player and is set to appear on the next album.

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It took them awhile to get here, but the Hard Working Americans finally made it to Saint Louis with a stop at the Old Rock House on Tuesday evening as part of what is being dubbed the High Up On It Tour.  For the last week or so leading up to the show there were warnings being sent out on social media that this was going to be a sold out show.  Chicago’s The Steepwater Band opened the show on this particular evening, though there are a variety of openers offered throughout the tour. As we arrived we found a very long line of folks waiting to get in and no parking in the nearby lots. So we did what we know best… went a block up the street to 4 Hands Brewing to let the line die down, park the car, and enjoy a few delicious local beers before watching some of the finest Hard Working Americans out there. I did hear many people talking about The Steepwater Band kicking some serious ass and that made me sad for missing them.

 

As we arrived just after 9PM the door man was informing the woman in front of me that there were only seven more tickets available and the band wasn’t supposed to start for another 30 minutes.  We walked in and found that a majority of the near capacity crowd had made their way outside to enjoy one of the most beautiful patios that Downtown St. Louis has to offer, with a great view of the Gateway Arch and plenty of seating… plus you can still hear kind of even see the bands playing inside.

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Hard Working Americans took the stage around 9:30 and opened the show with a song they were tackling for the first time live, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around.” The crowd that had stepped outside to smoke between bands scurried their way back inside to pack the dance floor and balcony.  The band received a smattering of applause after they finished the song and immediately went into “Mission Accomplished”, a song that Todd Snider wrote for his 2008 solo album Peace Queer. The set included many of the cover songs recorded for their 2014 self-titled debut album including a great version of “Run a Mile” that allowed Neal Casal to really let loose and shine for the first time of the night. This will be an ongoing theme throughout the evening. This was followed up by “I Don’t Have a Gun”, during which Snider addressed the crowd for the first time by saying “Thank you for giving us a chance to make music. We are hard working Americans just like yourselves. And we came a long way to tell you very, very, little.” They finished out the song after a spacey little jam and a crowd singalong of the course, repeating “I don’t wanna hurt nobody.”

 

One of the Hard Working Americans few original tunes, “Dope is Dope” received a great reaction from the capacity (I assume they sold seven more tickets by now…) crowd. This will also be a constant theme throughout the evening. This song features humorous lyrics about a guy getting in trouble by his mama because she finds his “har-on” but he tries to tell her that its only marijuana… she isn’t buying it though because “Dope is dope and you’re high up on it.” Magically during this song the entire room began to smell like a Peter Tosh concert.

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“Welfare Music”, a song recorded for their debut album that was originally performed by Crystal City’s own The Bottle Rockets, was done very well. Todd Snider is a well-known advocate for all things Bottle Rockets, and always seems to sneak a song or mention in during his St. Louis stops. The band was really firing on all cylinders at this point and the crowd was very in tune with every note and word. Snider introduced the band after “Someday Past the Sunset”, a Chris Robinson Brotherhood song that they just began playing last week. He then again thanked the crowd for letting them play music for us. “Straight to Hell”, another cover song that appears on their album became a crowd singalong during each course and seemed to get louder each time.

 

All I can say now is that shit got crazy. The next like thirty minutes or so turned into a non-stop jam… songs segueing in and out of one another before going to an entirely different song and finishing with teases of what was already played… It started with “Throwing Goats”, went in and out of “Blackland Farmer” like three different times, segued into “Born to be Wild” for a few minutes, had a spacey jam that freaked the fuck out of the random guy in front of me that turned to me and said “NEAL FUCKING CASAL MAN!”, before ending with a Todd Snider fan favorite “Is This Thing Working” wrapped up inside a Will Kimbrough song “Another Train.” It was the jam band that Snider dreamed about starting… and it was working perfectly! Not surprising that this little ditty ended the set.

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As per usual at the Old Rock House, the encore break was short as there really isn’t a backstage or green room easily accessible from the stage. The first song of the encore was another original, “Purple Mountain Jamboree.” Randy Newman’s “Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)” followed and let Jesse Aycock showcase his pedal-steel skill. The night ended with a raucous cover of Hayes Carll’s anthem-like “Stomp and Holler”, leaving the jam packed crowd wanting more.

If you left this show disappointed, then I don’t think you were actually at this show. This was one of the best shows I have watched in some time.

SETLIST
Around and Around
Mission Accomplished
Run a Mile
I Don’t Have a Gun
Dope Is Dope
Mountain Song
Welfare Music
Someday Past the Sunset
Down to the Well
Straight to Hell
Throwing Goats>
Blackland Farmer>
Born to Be Wild>
Blackland Farmer>
Jam>
Blackland Farmer>
Guaranteed>
Another Train>
Is This Thing Working>
Another Train
E: Purple Mountain Jamboree>
E: Mr. President>
E: Stomp and Holler

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Hard Working Americans STL 8

 

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REVIEW / PHOTOS: 6/1/2015 Tame Impala at The Pageant – St. Louis

Tame Impala Psyches Out The Pageant 

Words and Photos by Bradley Darby

 

Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala stopped by The Pageant on Monday night and somehow found a way to convey your Uncle Mark’s acid flashbacks from the 60’s and 70’s through a live music experience. When it comes to recorded music, Tame Impala is Kevin Parker.  Parker writes all of the songs and creates the textured and dynamic music himself while playing every instrument and using techniques such as reverb and fuzzing to melt your mind.  However, the Tame Impala live experience is a five piece powerhouse featuring drummer Julien Barbagallo, bassist Cam Avery, and multi instrumentalists Dominic Simper and Jay Watson who provide additional layers to their unique sound by way of additional guitar, bass, and synths, respectively.  Parker himself sticks primarily to the guitar and vocal duty for live performances, relying heavily on down tuning and effects pedals to recreate the sound heard on recordings.

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Opening act Kuroma started things off at 8PM and did a perfectly fine job as an opening act for a band as hyped as Tame Impala. They ripped through their 45 minute support slot full of indie garage rock with ferocity.  Kuroma is fronted by Hank Sullivant, former front man of The Whigs. Sullivant also spent some time as a touring guitarist with MGMT, I kind of wished more of that sound had rubbed off on him, but regardless, it was a very good set.  Kuroma isn’t new to the scene, they have been around on and off since 2008 and they have a few albums available. They are worth checking out for sure.  There was a noticeable difference at this point between the under 21 section and the over 21 section.  The all ages floor and right quarter of the venue were both packed full of kids that had lined up early in hopes of riding the rail or obtaining that sweet spot in the pit. Then there were those disappointed to end up in the raised seating just off to the side of the floor.  However, even after Kuroma’s set ended, there were optimal spots available for those who were old enough to consume alcoholic beverages.  Much of the crowd started to fill in after Kuroma ended their set.  Sucks to be them…

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During the set change from Kuroma to Tame Impala, all signs pointed towards this being an interesting show.  The stagehands and techs in charge of setting up and sound checking the equipment were all dressed in white lab coats.  The set up was quite simple, a large screen behind the band and a handful of lights set up all over the stage.  The stacks of speakers set up at the side of the stage told everyone in the room that it was about to get loud.

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Tame Impala did a great job covering their entire catalog, including a few new tracks from their soon-to-be released album, Currents, out July 19.  The set also featured songs from 2010’sInnerspeaker, but focused heavily on 2012’s critically acclaimed, and commercially successful,Lonerism.  Once Parker led the rest of the boys on stage, the crowd immediately erupted and welcomed the Aussie’s to St. Louis.

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The set began with a little tuning free jam before segueing into the new and almost Daft Punk-ish sounding “Let It Happen”, from the yet to be released Currents.  The screen behind the band was transformed into a giant spinning eyeball.  The screen didn’t get any less weird throughout the next 90 minutes while we were taken on what seemed like a chemically enhanced spiritual journey into Kevin Parker’s mind.

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The rest of the set featured minimal banter and excessive amounts of awesomeness.  The crowd seemed to respond the most to the tracks from Lonerism, including “Elephant”, which many people recognize as the song from a Blackberry commercial.  Remember when Blackberry was a thing briefly?

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Highlights of the set were “Endors Toi”, “Be Above It”, which featured one of the only real opportunities for the band to stray from the course and do a little free jamming, and set closer “Apocalypse Dreams”, which is always a fan favorite.  The encore featured another crowd favorite “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”  before ending with “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control”, most likely Tame Impala’s longest song title.

Tame Impala

When the lights came on and the lab coat sporting stage hands returned to start tearing down the spectacle that was, it appeared that most of the crowd was incredibly satisfied with what we had just experienced.  Tame Impala are at the top of their game right now and not to be missed if you are given the opportunity to check them out.  They are quickly shooting up the bills on festival lineups across the globe, and even though this show was shy of being a sellout, I would be shocked to see them playing rooms the size of The Pageant much longer.

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SETLIST (courtesy of Setlist.fm)

  1. Jam/intro
  2. Let It Happen
  3. Endors Toi
  4. It Is Not Meant to Be
  5. Why Won’t They Talk to Me?
  6. Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?
  7. Eventually
  8. Elephant
  9. Be Above It (extended jam)
  10. Mind Mischief
  11. Oscilly
  12. Cause I’m a Man
  13. Alter Ego
  14. Apocalypse Dreams
  15. E: Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
  16. E: Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control

 

 

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Sixth Annual LouFest Music Festival Lineup Released / Sept 12 – 13 / St. Louis, MO

 

For the sixth year in a row, beautiful Forest Park in St. Louis, MO will be turned into a small town of its own when more than 35,000 people descend on the Central Fields for the LouFest Music Festival.  This year the festival is set to take place on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.

Previous LouFest lineups have brought the best of both major headlining acts like The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, Outkast and The Killers to smaller up and coming acts such as Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dawes, Little Barrie and Cherub.  The lineup always features an eclectic mix of everything from indie rock to R&B to bluegrass.

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In previous years the folks at LouFest have used social media to provide clues about some of the bands on the lineup, but after last year’s lineup was leaked a few days prior to the scheduled release… only a few names have come out from folks endlessly scouring the internet.  What we do know is that Hozier will be gracing the LouFest stage and taking you to his proverbial church.  Also, Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes has announced his late Summer / Fall solo tour dates with a stop at LouFest on the agenda.

Check out our previous LouFest coverage right here and a few of our favorite photos from LouFest’s past just below the lineup.

I set my alarm to get up for this drop at 6AM… so excuse any typos that may follow.

Here is the full lineup for the 2015 LouFest Music Festival!

The Avett Brothers • Hozier • Ludacris • Young the Giant • Brandon Flowers • Billy Idol • Nate Ruess • Umphrey’s McGee • Lord Huron • JJ Grey & Mofro • Pokey LaFarge • Blue October • Misterwives • Albert Hammond Jr. • Nico & Vinz • Robert Delong • Milo Greene • Knox Hamilton • Delta Rae • Strand of Oaks • Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas • Colony House • The Suffers • Walking Shapes • All Them Witches • Brave Baby • The Black Cadillacs • The Bros. Landreth • Hembree • Coin • Clockwork • American Wrestlers • KOA • Earl Burrows

A full schedule will be released at a later time.

You can purchase a two day pass for $95 right now at www.loufest.com.

 

EDIT:

One has to wonder what caused LouFest organizers to take such a huge step back from previous years with this lineup.  The rumors circulating around the interwebz for the past few weeks were pipedreams compared to what was actually booked.  After following what promoters called the most successful LouFest to date in 2014 with a stacked lineup including OutKast, Arctic Monkeys, and Cake and even the 2013 lineup that included Wilco, Jim James, The Killers, Edward Sharpe, The National and Alabama Shakes… this seems like a far reach to exceed expectations or make this event a sell out.  People are revolting over on the LouFest Facebook page and hoping there is an additional headliner they are holding back. Seeing a show Hozier was just in St. Louis earlier this year and played to a room of about 2500 people, its tough to see him as a festival headliner.  

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All Photos By: DarbySTL

Spose, MC Lars and mc chris bring The Ghost Hunter tour to The Firebird, St. Louis, MO 10/19/2014

The Ghost Hunters Tour 2014
The Firebird 10/19/2014 St. Louis, MO
Words/Photos 2014 Boombox Photo

Right now mc chris is on tour of our fine country and is bringing along a few other rappers I have a massive respect for. Spose, MC Lars and mc chris are midway through a cross country trek hitting almost every city with a zipcode in the continental United States. This tour is packed with talent from start to finish. So get there early, dress up in costume and be ready to nerd out! This past Sunday the tour stopped in St. Louis for a show at The Firebird.

One of my favorite artist of the past few years is my man, Spizzy Spose from Wells, ME. I first heard him on college radio around 2010 in the middle of night driving across state back from another show. The next day I looked him up on youtube and found a lot of tracks that I really liked. Spose has incredible style, down to earth rhymes that tell stories and make you think. He opened his set with ” Gee Willikers ” and went right to his best known song ” I’m Awesome ” which was the song I heard so many years ago on that fateful night in 2010.

I went and saw his headlining tour in 2011 and got to meet the rest of the very talent people that make up Pdank. Pdank is Spose’s record label and features a strong roster of up and coming artist. One of my favorite producer/rappers on Pdank LLC, Jay Caron backed Spose up on hype man and DJ duty. Jay is ultra talented, on the mic, the turntables and his production is killer. Much respect to the whole PDank crew, I wore my Pdank hoodie and a Bullmoose shirt to show some Maine love out here in the midwest.

jay

Spose had about a 30-40 minute set and made the most out of his time. Easily one of the more energetic opening sets I have seen in a long time. Before starting the song ” I’m Starving ” he made everyone get down low telling them ” If you don’t its just gonna be weird for you if you are the only person left standing “.

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Before he left the stage he played one of my favorite songs ever ” 03 Altima ” off the Peter Sparker mixtape which you can find in the links below. It is a song about awesome shitty cars that are over a decade old and the daily grind of working dead end jobs. It features a insanely contagious beat and rhymes that easily relate to almost everyone who has drove a beater in their lifetime.

Next act of the evening was MC Lars, the Oakland rapper who is the most positive person on the planet. I first met and saw MC Lars in 2011 while roaming around Warped Tour, I knew nothing about him. I liked his set, bought a CD and poster and been a fan since. He makes addictive, funny, feel good music that is well produced and written. He opened his set with ” Space Game ” and ” True Playa For Real ” which are both fan favorites.

Lars

MC Lars is a very creative person I really dig everything about his music and art. His merch is super cool, his CDs sound good and he makes it really hard not to like him. It was very clear a lot of the 300+ people in attendance came out to see Lars. A lot of his shirts, hats and merch were in the crowd. I even wore my Oakland A’s hat to show appreciation for Lars and my love of Bay Area rap.

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Midway through his set MC Lars showed off his freestyle skill as he asked the crowd to hold up any random object and proceeded to spit some spontaneous rhymes about the things that were held in front of him. The best part of this was he chose to use the beat for Iggy Azelea’s ” Fancy ” as the beat.

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Before ending his set mc chris came out for one of MC Lars last songs. Together they told a few jokes and played ” Roomate From Hell ” from the album ” 21 Concepts But A Hit Aint One “. After Lars set was over I went outside to cool off and catch some air with my lady. We heard a intro for what we thought was mc chris over the PA and headed back inside. The set change time was magically short. Well it was magic because I walked in to see Ethan The Great on stage in mc chris place. He killed it onstage, he did 12 minutes of comedy/magic that had the crowd shouting YOU ARE A WIZARD at him. Ethan is from Columbia, MO and said on social media later that this was one of his first real performances, he could of fooled me. He had a very special stage presence that captured and commanded attention.

e(Photo from mc chris Facebook)

Shortly after lights went low again ” The Ghostbusters ” theme song blared through the speakers as mc chris took the stage. He opened the set with ” mc chris is dead ” from the album by the same name. He followed that by telling the crowd about the newly released album ” mc chris Forevrrr” which features 5 songs about The Ghostbusters. From that album he played ” Where The Ghost At? ” which is about Peter Venkman the Bill Murray character from Ghostbusters.

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The song ” Luigi ” which is also from the new album went over awesome, I loved it. ” Luigi ” is all about the video game Luigi’s Mansion. Midshow for some reason about 3 girls chose to go side stage to talk very loudly amongst themselves. mc chris was not feeling it and, that would be a tremendous understatement to say the least. He threatened to have them kicked out and ordered them to the back of the room before he would continue the show. The crowd loved it, mc doesn’t not play that shit at all with his crowd.

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mc commanded the stage with nerdcore hit after hit. Before the end of the show it was time for the costume contest. Their were many entries and it was a fierce competition. Characters from movies, comics and video games were all very well represented with both mainstream and obscure characters alike. My favorite from the start was Lady Ash from the Evil Dead series. My lady chose Mr. Sailor Moon for her choice and it was down to the wire between the two.

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In the end Lady Ash emerged victorious out of about 15 contestants. Just down the street from this show was Weezer playing a very small club for a charity event. mc chris voiced his opinion on Weezer which was pretty funny and said that he dislikes the new music but still loves their album ” Pinkerton “. After that he lead the crowd on a ” FUCK WEEZER ” chant and told us all he was happy we came out to see him instead. I had the chance and wanted to go see Weezer but, I wanted to go see this show way more. I am glad I did, front to back this was a great show, great bands and a really fun night out for my girl and I. Thanks to everyone that made this night happen.

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Update: Spose was robbed the next day in St. Louis, you can find out more and help here:

Check The Rest of the tour dates below:

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Find these acts online here:


Spose
http://www.pdank.com
http://www.sposemusic.net

http://www.myspace.com/spizzyspose
http://www.youtube.com/spizzyspose

MC Lars
http://mclars.com

MC Chris
http://mcchris.com

Boombox Photo
www.facebook.com/boomboxphoto
www.twitter.com/boomboxphoto
www.instagram.com/boomboxphoto

Thanks for reading
Til’ next time……..

Weezer – Plush St. Louis, MO – 10-19-2014

Weezer Full

What can you say about a personal concert for 750 people in a small venue downtown St. Louis. Weezer who seemed to just fly in right before the show, put on an amazing concert. The acoustics where fabulous in fact Rivers said it didn’t sound like 750 people it sounded like 20,000 and he was right, what a night for a Weezer fans that attended.

This wasn’t a scheduled tour date by know means, it was a charity event, put on by Rungevity – The Quinn Family Foundation and all the proceeds from the ticket sales went to several charities, so overall it was a sold out successful charity event.

Sleeper Agent was the opening act for Weezer and they took the stage at 7pm, they are a band from Kentucky and this was my first time hearing them, they were pretty good, fast pace punk music, but overall put on a good forty minute performance.

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Weezer took the stage around 8:30 or so, as they must have just flown in for the show. Rivers literally had to tweek his entire set up, from making sure the mics were correct, to placing song lyrics and sheets on the trunk directly in front of him, he made sure everything was meticulously in place, before they took the stage.

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Weezer opened with “Ain’t got nobody” off of their recently released CD “Everything will be alright in the end” which was released October 7th, of this year. They quickly transitioned to “Hash Pipe” and “Perfect Situation”, with the crowd singing along word for word.

Rivers

Weezer decided to do a few songs of off the new CD, and Rivers announced they were going to do two “I’ve had it up to here” and “The British are coming” which I gladly video tapped.

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Then they went into “Island’s in the Sun”, “Beverly Hills” and “Dope Nose” which Scott Shriner sang, and Rivers made his way over to me, so I could grab this amazing yet stunning so close it could be a selfie shot.

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 They continued on with “Say it ain’t so” and “Back to the Shack” which I managed to catch on video:

After their first single off of the new album, “Back to the Shack” they sang the old favorite “Undone – The Sweater Song”, “If You’re Wondering if I want you to, I want you to”, “Eulogy for a Rock Band”, which by the way Rivers said that was the first time they had performed that live, I should have video taped it, but wasn’t able too. But for the first time performing it live, they did an amazing job.

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Next was “Pork and Beans”, “The Waste Land” and then a musical set of two songs off of the new album. Rivers said to just listen to their musical playings of those two songs, as I don’t think they had really played them that much live yet. Of course an encore that consisted of “Buddy Holly” and that was videotaped.

 

Overall and AMAZING performance by Weezer, I’m so glad I was able to get a ticket, the only downside was they had a section right in front of the stage roped off for “VIP” people, which in all honestly looked like high school kids, but being right at the edge of that red rope which was where I parked was well worth it, regardless of the extra money. Everything went to charity, so it was for a good cause.

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Plush is a venue located just off of the St. Louis University Campus, and is in a pretty good neighborhood, it’s a two story building that has a stage and huge balcony, in fact Rivers half way through the show just realized their were people up in the balcony. Seriously he’s like “I just realized their is more people up there” so, that showed they just flew in, and got there right before the show started. It’s a great venue and I will go back to it in the future for sure, awesome acoustics all around.

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Weezer you are amazing, glad I had the opportunity, the chance and the time to make this special performance, no I didn’t get a selfie with Rivers, but one day, can’t wait until next time.

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REVIEW: Dave Rawlings Machine at The Sheldon Concert Hall – St. Louis 6/25/14

Dave Rawlings Machine at The Sheldon Concert Hall – St. Louis 6/25/14

The five piece Americana string quintet put together by folk singer/songwriter David Rawlings is something really special. Rawlings has assembled an all-star cast of musicians that includes his partner in crime for the last 20 years Gillian Welch, former Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson, and Punch Brothers bassist Paul Kowert. He also found this guy they call John Paul Jones that used to play bass in a little band called Led Zeppelin, and he just so happens to be really good with a mandolin and friends with Rawlings.

Dave Rawlings Machine

Independently, you have five incredibly well respected musicians in their genre that each bring their own unique aspect to the Dave Rawlings Machine. Together, you have a five piece bluegrass/Americana powerhouse that put on what can only be described as one of the best live music experiences of my entire life in front of a jam packed crowd at the Sheldon Concert Hall last Wednesday, June 25.

The show started just after 8:00PM as the band came out and the crowd erupted… half the crowd rose to their feet and began wildly applauding before the first note was played. Without introduction Rawlings picked up his 1935 Epiphone Olympic arch top guitar and began playing the John Hartford tune “Turn Your Radio On.” It has become somewhat of tradition for bands to honor Hartford around St. Louis, and it always gets the crowds attention right from the start! After the song Rawlings greeted the crowd and informed us that this was the first time he had played that one, but it seemed appropriate.

The always incredible and Grammy nominated guitarist Gillian Welch assisted throughout the night adding beautiful harmonies and even taking lead vocal duties on a few songs. Welch was also the comic relief on the mic, telling the crowd that “we broke out our best denim for tonight… it works, you know, with all the wood” referring to the fact that each band member was wearing at least one piece of denim clothing. David chimed in that the room was “very 70’s looking.” As Rawlings prepared his banjo and third guitarist Willie Watson switched to fiddle, Welch introduced the next song by telling us “if theres one thing people say about St. Louis, its that y’all love the banjo.” They went into a rousing rendition of “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)” popularized by Ryan Adams, but co-penned by Rawlings. This one really woke the crowd up.

Willie Watson switched to the banjo for the next tune… a trend that would continue through the night as he shared time between the guitar, banjo, and fiddle. Watson led us in the bluegrass traditional “Dry Bones” while attacking the banjo claw hammer style. Rawlings introduced him to the crowd and asked him to “lead us in another one… how about a dirty song.” Watson sang the first of three songs from his newly released solo album, Folk Singer Vol. 1, a fun track called “Keep It Clean.”Dave Rawlings Machine 2

The highlight of the first set was a mashup of Bob Dylan’s “Dear Landlord” and the Grateful Dead’s “Candyman.” Rawlings flawlessly executed the transition about four minutes into “Dear Landlord” without skipping a beat… the transition really allowed John Paul Jones to shine for the first time all night on the mandolin. After playing pretty much all of “Candyman” they finsihed BACK into “Dear Landlord.” The crowd exploded in applause as Welch said “Only his brain would be able to come up with that mashup”

After a 30 minute set break Rawlings told us that he wanted to wait until the beer line was gone to start again, but realized that would never happen. Someone in the crowd took the opportunity to throw out a perfectly timed “If theres two things St. Louis is known for….” as the entire crowd and the band started laughing. The first song of the second set was the beautifully written “Ruby”, a song that appeared on the Dave Rawlings Machine album, A Friend of a Friend. Willie Watson then sang “Stewball”, another track from his new solo album, this one featured lyrics about a race car. Gillian Welch led a gorgeous rendition of her song “Wayside/Back in Time.” Rawlings then told us of his misfortune during the prior show where his banjo strap broke and he quickly replaced it with a shoe string he found in his case… problem was, he didn’t think to change it prior to this show so he informed us that “if the banjo hits the floor, its not part of the show” to which the capacity crowd laughed again.

After a Paul Kowert led number, the band left only Gillian and David on stage. Together they played “Sweet Tooth” before Willie came back out to join on banjo for the traditional “I Hear Them All” into “This Land Is Your Land.” The rest of the band came back out to join them for a song that Rawlings had co-wrote with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame, “Method Acting.” Rawlings actually recorded that song for the A Friend of A Friend album where he mixed it with Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer”, well that’s the incredible version we received at The Sheldon. The second set ended with another Bob Dylan song, “Queen Jane Approximately.” Another John Paul Jones intro led to yet another smattering of applause and a standing ovation as the band walked off the stage.

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About a minute later they re-claimed their spots on the tiny stage for their take on the Led Zeppelin classic, “Going to California.” Rawlings introduced the entire band one last time prior to another traditional “I’ll Fly Away” with him and Welch sharing vocal duties. The encore closed with “The Weight”, originally by The Band, where verses were handled by Welch, Watson, and Kowert with the rest of the band joining in on the chorus. Again the crowd rose to their feet as the band joined hands and bowed before walking off the stage. A few people started to head for the exits while others remained in the spots, but on their feet going crazy. After about 2 minutes the band came out AGAIN for a second encore! Rawlings again thanked the crowd, and after a quick huddle the next song, “Midnight Special” was led by Willie Watson. The night ended with the five of them gathered around a single mic (above) for an acappella version of “Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby” before one last bow and exit as the house lights came on.

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NOTE: This is only a brief clip of “Going to California” played at The Sheldon. Had to sneak this clip of JPJ playing mandolin before i was asked to stop by security. Please note that my recording in no way bothered other concert-goers as the screen was shielded.

SWOLLEN MEMBERS, MADCHILD SWINGS THE BATTLE AXE MOVEMENT THROUGH POP’S ST. LOUIS 05/18/2014

Swollen Members, Madchild, Sozay
Pop’s Concert Venue, St. Louis, MO
05.18.2014
Words/Photo/Video @beeznutzstl

I remember around 2002, I ran with a bunch of skateboarders who also did graffiti. All of us were all big into the underground rap and hip hop music that inspired our lifestyles. We would ride around St. Louis and get into all types of shit listening to music. It was good times and, that style of music marks a era of my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There were far too many great, unbelievable times that I will remember forever. Just like the first time I heard Swollen Members.

Years past and I slowly got to see all the groups we had listened to back then, with one exception: Swollen Members. They toured a lot but, either I missed it or my city would get skipped. Then Madchild went and got banned from the US for a few years and that was that. So you could say I was pretty excited when Pops announced they were hosting a show for Swollen Members. Now I could finally see the group I had eagerly awaited to see live for well over a decade. They would not let me down.

I enlisted the help of 2 friends, we met up and piled in one car for the trip across state lines to the beautiful city of Sauget, IL home of Pops Nightclub. After we got inside, and secured some tasty refreshments from the bar, my friends and I went to check out the merch. I chatted with the Swollen Members merch guy Johnny, while they bought up a bunch of stuff. He was a super cool guy and, was the son of the touring support Sozay.

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My friends and I stepped outside into the chilly night to the Pop’s patio for a moment. While we caught up on bull shit and, they caught some nicotine refreshment from the from the air inside. They stayed outside while I went in to catch Sozay, he was fun to watch. He had some really great tracks, a lot of them featuring some really fun word play. My first impression was man this guy is intense. He had this killer, crazy look in his eye. The same look that is in a really driven, pumped up, fighter right before a match. That look. He rapped with that same intensity and together with his hypeman got the crowd ready to party.

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I enjoyed Sozay. About 2/3 the way through the show, he invited his son to join him for a song. It was a very catchy track and turned out to be one of my favorites from the set. It was great to see father and son rap together and, to me was a highlight of the show.

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Between Sozay and Swollen the intermission was very short because I remember running to the patio to pull in my chain smoking counterparts inside just as DJ Rob The Viking bought out Prevail, and the notorious, Madchild to the frenzied St. Louis stage.

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BAM. BOOM, They walked onto Pop’s stage from then on, it was as if bomb exploded and the place went nuts. This shit was crazy, all these people wearing BattleAxe Gear flooded the stage. Madchild is something you need to see live, he had this look about him. Big sunglasses, and tattoos covering his face and smiling this crazy ” I just robbed a bank and got away ” smile while rapping these venomous lyrics that prior to this I had only heard on a CD.

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One of my first thoughts watching them was, they should write a damn book so these broke ass, broke down rappers can read it. Title it ” How To Do A Live Rap Performance “, because these guys were schooling the game. Working both sides of the stage, slapping more hands than that of WWF stars of the 80s on the way down to the ring. It was a good feeling seeing the show I had waited so long for. Prevail, was doper than I could of every imagined, his rhyme game is so sharp. He was spitting razor flows effortlessly all night while working the stage with blinding speed.

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This show was pedal to the metal, in your face, for the entire show. For a few songs Prevail took a breather, while Madchild treated St. Louis to some solo material. The crowd ate it up, almost as much as the Swollen stuff if not more so. During the song ” Dickhead ” everyone in the audience sang every word. It was pretty incredible to see the love STL has for Madchild and Swollen.

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This crowd was not the largest one of the tour but, Swollen Members as a group blew the place apart like it was a capacity show. Madchild remarked how happy he was with the crowd and, to be on tour in St. Louis. He seemed to be in very good spirits and projected this good energy on the crowd. Its a great feeling to watch people do what they love, Madchild puts passion into his raps and performance.

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They finished the blazing set with a solo Madchild song ” Monster ” and all I can think about is how this performance is burned in my memory forever now. Madchild killed this performance from start to finish, in every way. Its just a raw, very captivating performance and let the show end on a very high note. I was completely impressed with this show.

Swollen Members have new album ” Brand New Day, out next month, featuring the single ” Power ” check it out online. If you are anyway on the fence about going to see Madchild, Swollen Members, or Sozay go! Spend some money on this show because this guys will tear the stage down and put on a memorable show. I am already counting the days until they come even close to my city. I can’t wait to see this again. Thanks to Pop’s, Thanks Swollen Members for putting St. Louis on your tour, thanks to Sozay for coming out and rocking. Respect to everyone who came and spent some money on some real underground hip hop on a Sunday night in St. Louis.

Till Next Time.

BzNtzSTL

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SWOLLEN MEMBERS

http://www.swollenmembers.com
http://www.youtube.com/swollenmembers

http://www.battleaxewarriors.net
http://www.ilike.com/artist/Swollen+Members

SOZAY
www.sozaymusic.com
www.twitter.com/sozayone
www.facebook.com/sozayone

POPS

Events


BEEZNUTZSTL

twitter.com/beeznutzstl
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@BEEZNUTZSTL

Leverage Models Invade Vintage Vinyl, 03/18/14

Leverage Models
Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis, MO
03/18/14
By BzNtzSTL

I just can’t stay away from Vintage Vinyl and, its for good reason too. The special events/instores they frequently host are just too good to pass up. On a nice, chilly Tuesday night in St. Louis, the Leverage Models from New York stopped by the give everyone reason to funk it up. Earlier in the week I won a Twitter contest put on by Vintage Vinyl for ZZ Ward concert tickets. I had first heard of ZZ at a Vintage Vinyl performance a few years prior. So I decided to check out Leverage Models on our way down to the ZZ Ward show.

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After a nice dinner my lady and I arrived on the historic Delmar Ave. right at Sunset. It is a beautiful diverse street filled with concert venues, food, and a amazing array of shops to suit just about everyone. We got in Vintage about 10 minutes late and I made a bee line to the beer table. Once again my friends and, unofficial sponser Schlafly Beer was on hand to provide adult refreshments to the 21 plus crowd. Black Lager tasted outstanding, Thank You very much Schlafly, keep up the great work.

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The first thing anyone noticed about this performance was LOUD. Incredibly LOUD, even for this large size record store, the sound was in your face from the moment you stepped inside. After securing my refreshment I took a spot up front and watched the insane antics of frontman Shannon Fields.

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They used a lot of funky futuristic sounds, auto-tune and various other instruments including a maraca and megaphone. They were very amusing to watch, I surely enjoyed it. After 20 minutes and a full sweat soaked shirt Leverage Models thanked the crowd and reminded everyone to check out the new self titled release which just came out last fall. Check the links below.

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They put on a amazing show, afterwords we chatted for a few minutes they were very nice talking to. You should go check them out online, or even better when they come to a town near you. Many gracious thanks to everyone making this possible.

Thank you Vintage Vinyl, Thank you Leverage Models (safe travels) and a much love, very special thank you shout out to my unofficial (for now) sponser Schlafly Beer Saint Louis, MO (p.s SPONSER ME )

TNT’
BZNTZSTL

@BeezNutzSTL
@VintageVinylSTL
@LeverageModels
@Schlafly

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The Lonely Wild Live From Vintage Vinyl 03.06.14

The Lonely Wild
Vintage Vinyl 03.06.14
by bzntzstl

Before thier show later that evening at The Old Rock House, The Lonely Wild came to Vintage Vinyl in The Delmar Loop for a intimiate performance. I was lucky enough to of caught the instore put on by Royal Teeth earlier that day so I hung around the famous loop and grabbed a bite to eat. It was a bright, very sunny day in St. Louis the perfect weather for getting out of the house for some new music.

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After lunch I made it back to Vintage Vinyl about a half hour before the 4 p.m start time. If you ever get time to check out Vintage give yourself extra browsing time as they have a amazing collection no matter your taste. It is truely a gem, you should see it first hand.

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The five piece band ran through a fast soundcheck, grabbed some beers and started up. Schlafly Beer was on hand once again to those of us 21 and up. It is always a nice treat to have a ice cold locally brewed beer.

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The Lonely Wild are based in California, they are on tour promoting their newest release ” The Sun As It Comes ” on Thirty Tigers records. It is out now and you can buy it on Itunes here: http://bit.ly/1kf6ZhN

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The band played for about 20 minutes and reminded everyone to check them out later that night. I thought they had a great performance had not for having plans I would of loved to attend their full live gig that night.

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Before leaving most people got their second Schlafly sample (who could resist?) and stay to chat with the ever friendly members of the band. I am very lucky to have caught this show I feel very blessed.

Thank you Vintage Vinyl, Thank You The Lonely Wild, and Thank you Schlafly for supporting both music and St. Louis in general.

Till next time’

BznTzStl
@BeezNutzStl

 

Arctic Monkeys Invade The Pageant in St. Louis 2/15/2014

Arctic Monkeys Invade The Pageant in St. Louis 2/15/2014

Words and Pictures by Bradley Darby (Follow @DarbySTL / LIKE DarbySTL)

 

105.7 The Point has done a great job over the past 21 years bringing some of the biggest names in modern rock to town to celebrate Halloween, Christmas, and their Birthday by playing shows across St. Louis. When this one was announced back in the Fall it was no question that this would sell out. The Arctic Monkeys have played at The Pageant before back in 2011 and most recently stopped in St. Louis when they opened for The Black Keys at Chaifetz Arena. Their most recent album, AM, has garnered a lot of attention from both critics and fans alike and the Arctic Monkeys seem to be destined to rise the ranks from the post-punk under card. I have only recently started paying attention to this great UK band, but have very quickly found myself smothered in their entire catalog. This was a show I was very much looking forward to.

Arctic Monkeys - St Louis 2014

Upon arriving at The Pageant, I proceeded to get my cavity search from the friendly security staff and my ticket scanned before making way to the ID guy. While he was checking mine, there was a young British fellow getting harassed for having what was apparently judged by security to be a fake ID. As he all but begged him to reconsider by telling him that all his friends are in the bar and he swears its real, I pushed forward. The set up for the venue was strange… according to one bartender they expected a 70/30 split favoring 21+ but as the venue filled in it ended up going the other way so they had to change it at the last second. Even with the expanded underage section, it was still noticeably more crowded in the kids section than near the bar.

 

The Arctic Monkeys took the stage just after 9:15 to ominous music that set the tone for the evening. The lights were consistently reds, blues and purples with heavy strobe effect that kicked in the moment drummer Matt Helders hit the bass drum for the first note of “Do You Wanna Know”, the opening track to 2013’s critically acclaimed AM. Right away the capacity crowd was hooked in and hung on every word that frontman Alex Turner sang. The band were all dressed in button up shirts and sport coats with the exception of Helders who was dressed for comfort on the drum kit. Guitarist Jamie Cook was to Turner’s left while bassist Nick O’Malley was on his right. Halfway through “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” Turner took a moment to address the crowd with a simple “Hello St. Louis!”. After the song he went on to say “Have you missed us St. Louis? You probably missed us. We are going to have a good time tonight!”

 

During “Snap Out of It” I started to notice that Alex Turner had this little hip shimmy thing going on… kind of like Jack Parkman. I hear it drives the women in Cleveland crazy. Turner introduced us to drummer Matt Helders, who’s bass drum is adorned with 0114… the dialing code for their hometown of Sheffield, England. He told us that Helders was going to sing us a song, “Brick by Brick”  from 2011’s Suck It and See. After “Crying Lightning” it was four straight songs from AM including two of my favorites, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” and “Arabella” which featured teases of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”… watch that below right now courtesy of YouTube user Ashley K!

Pretty much the only song I heard people scream-requesting was “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, the bands first single from their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not… the band complied, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it was on the set list anyways. The set closed with three of the last four songs taken from the 2007 follow up Favourite Worst Nightmare including set closer “505.” The band flicked their sticks and picks into the crowd and took a short break before coming out for a three song encore that started with “Cornerstone” and finished with two more songs from the heavily featured AM, “One for the Road” and “R U Mine?”

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The show clocked in right at 90 minutes and even though a majority of the songs were from the most recent album, they did a great job at mixing in material from throughout their careers. This show is one that I won’t soon forget, the band was incredibly tight and were hitting on all cylinders all night. I regret not getting more interested in the Arctic Monkeys earlier, but I am incredibly happy that I had the opportunity to see them at The Pageant this time around because I won’t be shocked to see them move on to a bigger room next time through.

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SETLIST (click links for YouTube videos. Credit to YouTube user Ashley K)

Do I Wanna Know?

Brianstorm

Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

Snap Out of It

Brick by Brick

Crying Lightning

Fireside

Knee Socks

Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

Arabella (War Pigs tease)

Dancing Shoes

Pretty Visitors

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

Do Me a Favour

I Wanna Be Yours

Fluorescent Adolescent

505

E: Cornerstone

E: One for the Road

E: R U Mine?

Arctic Monkeys - St Louis 2014

††† (Crosses) Kicks Off 2014 In St. Louis

††† Crosses Opens 2014 Tour in St. Louis
Words by Bradley Darby (FOLLOW on Twitter/ LIKE on Facebook)

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In 2011 Deftones front man Chino Moreno got together with childhood friend and fellow musician Shaun Lopez, who plays guitar for Far, as well as Chuck Doom to form a new group that Moreno said would “be minimal and soothing…. kinda like the stuff I listen to when I’m not screaming my head off.” From their vision, Crosses was born. Technically its listed like this, †††… but that’s just a pain in the ass to type so we will stick with Crosses. The electro-downtempo rock project features Moreno on vocals, Doom on bass, while Lopez plays guitar, keys, and makes beats and weird noises with a Macbook.

Since their formation Crosses has released 2 EPs as well as many YouTube videos teasing their debut full length album that was originally due out in October… and then November… and now scheduled for release in February via Sumerian Records. To commemorate the occasion, Crosses announced a handful of Midwest tour dates that featured stops in St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, and Detroit. I had the opportunity to catch the tour opener at Pop’s Nightclub in beautiful Sauget, IL, also known as East St. Louis.

The show started with tour support Dawn Golden, a producer who hails from the magical land of Chicago. I didn’t make it in time to see Dawn Golden, I actually walked in right as Crosses was walking out, but this is the description found on both the Facebook page and Dawn Golden’s official website:
“Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross is meant to bring about a melancholy familiarity, like going back to the house where you grew up and finding it the way you left it, only 10 years later and everything is falling apart.”
Whatever that is supposed to mean… I did overhear a group discussing his set and they mentioned that he played “Ava Adore” by The Smashing Pumpkins. So there’s that.

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Crosses started their set just about 9:15 P.M. Pop’s Nightclub was crowded and people were packed in by the stage, but it definitely wasn’t sold out. In addition to the main trio, Crosses tours as a five piece with the addition of a drummer and another guitar player. The stage was adorned with a backdrop that featured nothing more than three crosses (†††) as the band came on to eerie music and all red lighting. They didn’t waste much time as they went right into things with “The Holy Ghost”, a track from their first EP. Chino’s haunting vocals mixed well with the melodic yet heavy music. As he lurked around the stage, I couldn’t help but think of the White Pony era Deftones, but with a very ominous tone. Occasionally we would get a signature growl from Chino, but mostly just his actual singing voice. Think of what you would hear on Deftones songs like “Pink Maggot” or “Digital Bath.”

After giving the crowd the “What’s Up St. Louis? You all good?” shout out, they launched into “This is a Trick.” Also from the debut EP this song features more of the Chino we know and love. He has been performing to packed venues for 20+ years and his primal scream still holds up with the best of them. Chino loosened up a bit more and worked the stage as the night when on. When Moreno sang out “I’m so excited I can hardly take it” the crowd joined in and Chino let out another squeal. Moreno then announced that this was pretty much the first time Crosses has played outside of California and it was great to be in St. Louis. (Note: Crosses has played some international shows, but very few U.S. dates). A funky bass heavy number called “Telepathy” was next. I really enjoyed this one and it gave us a chance to meet Chuck Doom who slapped his bass around and showed off a bit. This song reminded me a bit of when Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo did the Head Automatica side project.

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They then launched into what appears to be the first single from the soon to be released album, “Bitches Brew”, a fantastic and catchy song with a very creepy music video that came out in November, when the album was scheduled to come out.  Moreno asked the crowd “who’s ready to get loose? Its fucking Friday night!” as the band went into “Prurient”, an absolutely beautiful song that almost seemed at times like Moreno was struggling to hold back another signature growl or two. During “Frontiers” the fans down on the rail were greeted with a visit from Chino as he jumped in the photo pit area and up on the railing.

VIDEO CREDIT TO YOUTUBE USER: SbMick

After “1987”, a very trancy song that has lots of guitar and weird sounds in it, courtesy of Shaun Lopez’ Macbook, Moreno introduced “The Epilogue” in his best scary voice. “The Epilogue” was released a few months back to promote the original release date of the album, and is the first Crosses song I was actually familiar with. I really enjoyed it live. Chino then said “I hadn’t’t even noticed there were moterfuckers up top” referring to the balcony. They closed the set out with the guitar heavy “Option”, where Chino again came down to the rail to interact with the fans before a brief exit from the stage. The encore started with “Trophy”, a very mellow song from their second EP that a guy standing next to me referred to as “stoner metal.” Chino thanked the crowd one last time before they finished the incredible set with a song they recorded for a Batman video game called “The Years”, during which Chino spent a good chunk of the song laying out over the crowd screaming into the mic.

For only having a handful of shows under their belt, this band plays together like they’ve been doing it for ten years. This may have been my first show of 2014 but it will certainly leave a lasting impression on me and will most likely be in consideration for one of the years best. My only complaint is that their set was only about an hour long including the encore, but with only a few EPs under their belt there isn’t much more material they could have pulled out. Either way, I paid $10.57 for the ticket and would have happily paid $25. If you get the chance to catch ††† live, I suggest you do. They were recently announced as part of the 2014 Coachella Festival and their debut full length will drop on February 11th. You can pre-order it now right here.

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SETLIST (from Setlist.fm – CLICK LINK FOR VIDEO FROM YOUTUBE USERS)
The Holy Ghost
This is a Trick
Telepathy
Bitches Brew
Bermuda Locket
Prurient
Frontiers
1987
The Epilogue
Option
E: Trophy
E: The Years

 

REVIEW: Blitzen Trapper at Old Rock House 9.18.2013 – St. Louis, MO

Blitzen Trapper at Old Rock House 9.18.2013 – St. Louis, MO

Words / Pictures / Videos by Bradley Darby (@DarbySTL)

Blitzen Trapper - ORH STL - 9/18/13

Quick story for you… I’ve been contributing posts to Concert Confessions for something like four years now. Throughout this entire period, our founding father Reverend Justito had continuously told me that I need to listen to this band called Blitzen Trapper. He told me once… he told me twice… hell, he even told me thrice. And I heard him, but I didn’t listen to him. There is no good reason to explain why I never did give this Blitzen Trapper a fair shake… The Rev and I have an incredibly similar taste in a good chunk of our favorite music. Then came the Wakarusa 2012 lineup announcement sometime around January of 2012, and there they were making their Wakarusa debut. The time was upon us… minutes after combing the lineup, to YouTube I went to type in those two words that had been staring me in the face for the last few years. I started with a few songs from 2008’s Furr… SON OF A BITCH I REALLY LIKE THIS BAND! Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Eric Earley’s lyrics immediately sounded like something that could have been released by Tom Petty or Ray LaMontagne or maybe even Bob Dylan. The music gave me a strong Wilco vibe, but with more twang and not so much jam. Why had I not taken Papa Concert Confessions advice a hell of a lot earlier?! (Note: See all of our previous Blitzen Trapper coverage right here)

Wakarusa come, and Wakarusa go… and I got the chance to see Blitzen Trapper for the first time. That performance was absolutely great in my eyes, but we will come back to that in a bit. Let’s talk about the Portland, Oregon quintets recent stop in St. Louis at the Old Rock House in support of their soon to be released seventh album called, VII where they worked a smaller yet respectable crowd into a frenzy for about 90 minutes with their blend of Oregonian Alt-Country… Or as Earley called it in a recent interview , “Rocky Mountain Whoop Ass.” The set kicked off with the opening track to Furr, “Sleepytime in the Western World” after informing the crowd that they were “here to play rock music… and sensitive music.” Our first new song of the night titled “Thirsty Man” followed, which was one of seven songs from new album featured in the set. Stand outs tracks were “Heart Attack”, “Feel the Chill”, and “Shine On” which is “just straight gospel” and my pick for the first single. One noticeable trait with the new songs was a more upbeat sound, almost a bit of a funk, but still nothing too far off the path of the typical Blitzen Trapper alt-country/rock/Americana/whatever genre you want to call it. You can grab that new album, VII, on September 30th or just pre-order it here (they are also selling it on tour right now)

Blitzen Trapper - ORH STL - 9/18/13 2 BlitzenTrapper 2013-09-18 ORHSTL

“This one is a country song” said Earley before “Taking It Easy Too Long” from 2011’s American Goldwing.  Each song drew a smattering of applause from the crowd that packed in mostly on the main floor. After each break the band would thank the crowd and mentioned that St. Louis is always one of their loudest cities. Earley addressed the crowd prior to “God and Suicide” and noted that “your all going to look back and think how polite this band was”. At one point the setlist featured a back to back to back knockout trio of fan favorites “Black River Killer”, “Love the Way You Walk Away” and finally the title track to their pivotal 2008 release Furr, which Earley called a “pretty song.” The crowd erupted yet again as they continued to play another of the seven tracks from Furr that would appear tonight, “Lady on the Water.”

The set closed out with two more new songs and finally “Fire & Fast Bullets” before the band graciously thanked the crowd for their raucous applause and support. After leaving the stage, front man Eric Earley returned to the stage and performed a few acoustic songs, both songs that really showcase Earley’s songwriting, “The Man Who Would Speak True” and “Stranger in a Strange Land” which features some of my favorite lyrics from any Blitzen Trapper song. The rest of the band came back out to join him on stage for one final song, “Evening Star” from 2010’s Destroyer of the Void. After the set you could find all five of the guys scattered around the venue chatting with fans, taking photos and signing autographs… which brings me back to the Wakarusa set we briefly touched on earlier. I was talking with guitarist Erik Menteer and drummer Brian Adrian Koch after the set for a minute and mentioned seeing them at Wakarusa for the first time and told them how much I enjoyed the set and had looked forward to a non festival show. Both of them were very impressed to hear that, because apparently that was what they referred to as one of their worst shows and even went on to say something about how the “hippies fucking hated us so much.” I definitely don’t remember getting that vibe from their set, but they were one of my highlights going into and coming out of the festival that year… to each his own I guess, but you may be tough to find someone who was in attendance at the Old Rock House last Wednesday that would be able to say they didn’t enjoy the performance put on by the boys of Blitzen Trapper. Check out tour dates below and go see these guys.

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SETLIST

Sleepytime In the Western World (Furr)
Thirsty Man (VII)
Fletcher (American Goldwing)
Astronaut (American Goldwing)
God and Suicide (Furr)
Ever Loved Once (VII)
Not Your Lover (Furr)
Taking It Easy For Too Long (American Goldwing)
Heart Attack (VII)
Shine On (VII)
Earth (Fever Called Love) (VII)
Neck Tatts, Cadillacs (VII)
Black River Killer (Furr)
Love The Way You Walk Away (American Goldwing)
Furr (Furr)
Lady on the Water (Furr)
Feel the Chill (VII)
Big Black Bird (Black River Killer)
Fire & Fast Bullets (Furr)
E: The Man Who Would Speak True (acoustic) (Destroyer of the Void)
E: Stranger In A Strange Land (acoustic) (American Goldwing)

E: Evening Star (Destroyer of the Void)

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UPCOMING BLITZEN TRAPPER TOUR DATES:

Sep 24 The Bottle Tree Birmingham, AL
Sep 25 40 Watt Club Athens, GA
Sep 26 The Haw River Ballroom Saxapahaw, NC
Sep 27 Black Cat Washington, DC
Sep 28 Arch Street Tavern Hartford, CT
Sep 29 Royale Boston, MA
Sep 30 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA
Oct 01 Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington, VT
Oct 03 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
Oct 04 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY
Oct 05 Lee’s Palace Toronto, ON
Oct 07 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
Oct 08 Turner Hall Milwaukee, WI
Oct 09 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
Oct 10 The Aquarium Fargo, ND
Oct 12 The Filling Station Bozeman, MT
Oct 13 Top Hat Missoula, MT
Nov 05 The Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
Nov 06 Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
Nov 08 Pappy & Harriets Pioneertown Pioneertown, CA
Nov 09 Porter’s Pub La Jolla, CA
Nov 10 Club Congress Tucson, AZ
Nov 12 The Parish Austin, TX
Nov 13 Club Dada Dallas, TX
Nov 15 The Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
Nov 16 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 19 The Bartlett Spokane, WA
Nov 20 The Leavenworth Festhalle Leavenworth, WA
Nov 21 The Wild Buffalo Bellingham, WA
Nov 22 The Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, BC
Nov 23 Neptune Theatre Seattle, WA
Nov 30 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR

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Blitzen Trapper drumkit

Drunk Blitzen Trapper

THIS IS WHAT I WAS SEEING BY THE END OF THE SHOW. Special Thanks to 4 Hands Brewing Co. for the buzz

 

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4th Annual LouFest Music Festival Comes To A Close – Day 1 Review

4th Annual LouFest Music Festival Comes To A Close – Day 1 Recap

Words and Pictures By Bradley Darby

Follow Me on Twitter / Like Me on Facebook

LouFest 2013 - Main Stage TBT

The Fourth Annual LouFest Music Festival has come to an end. This year’s installment featured the addition of a third stage and expanded festival grounds in the beautiful and seemingly never ending Forest Park in St. Louis. The stacked lineup mixed some of the hottest up and comers with some grizzled veterans that have many large shows already under their belts. This was my third experience at a LouFest Music Festival… and I could tell it was certainly larger in scale and attendance than previous years. Early reports were that the organizers were expecting as many as 15K people each day. Previous LouFest’s averaged around 8K over the two day span! The first thing I noticed upon arriving was that the parking situation was starting to get out of hand. Luckily we arrived a bit earlier on Saturday than we did on Sunday, so we lucked out and found a spot. More on that later…

 LouFest 2013 - Gate

Upon arriving we exchanged our paper tickets for wristbands and we were in the gates within minutes! Security was very friendly and rather quick with their searches, which I certainly appreciated. Right as we entered, Jukebox the Ghost and Kentucky Knife Fight both began playing at opposite ends of the festival. We decided to make a lap and see where everything was… we ended up at the Schlafly Beer booth. From there we could hear Kentucky Knife Fight on the smallest of the stages, the BMI Stage. After indulging in a few beverages we went to set up shop for the first band on our list, J Roddy Walston & the Business.

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Originally from Tennessee, J Roddy Walston & the Business play straight forward rock and roll music. Their live show was incredibly energetic and transferred well from the few songs I had listened to pre festival. Their new album, Essential Tremors, is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, but they were selling advance copies at the festival which I found to be pretty cool.

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 LouFest 2013 - Trampled by Turtles

After aimlessly wandering around a bit more and meeting up with some friends, we headed back to the Bud Light Mainstage for our second featured show of the afternoon, Trampled by Turtles. Straight outta Minnesota, Trampled by Turtles is a band that I really should enjoy, they are about as in my music wheelhouse as it gets… but for some reason I have now watched them three times and I just can’t seem to get into them. I’m not saying the show wasn’t good, they sounded great and the majority of the crowd seemed to really be digging their modernized bluegrass sound. The rapid fire banjo and fiddle both played at machine gun speed were definitely  standouts… but I can’t pinpoint what it is about TBT that doesn’t allow me to get sucked in. Don’t let that stop you from checking them out. The crowd went absolutely bonkers when they broke out “Wait So Long” from 2010’s Palomino.

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 LouFest 2013 - Space Capone

It was now time for us to check out the band who wins my award for Best Band Name of LouFest… Nashville’s soulful funky 8 piece Space Capone. Invading the smallest of the three stages and playing against the very popular Ra Ra Riot, we chose to check this new group out and see what the Chipotle VIP lounge was all about at the same time. What it was about was some FREE tacos and bottled water! We sat in the shade while enjoying the music of Space Capone while catching a few minutes of the Mizzou game and eating free lunch before venturing stage front for a handful of songs. Space Capone is apparently the stage name of the lead singer, who can get down while working the crowd. Behind him you find seven other band members playing drums, horns, tambourines, keys, guitar and bass. Capone had a unique voice, one that took me a few songs to really accept. But by the end of his set I was feeling the soul/R&B/funkiness. They definitely had an Earth, Wind & Fire / George Clinton thing going on. Be sure to check out Space Capone, my pick for hidden gem of Day 1. Watch this video, it has a Michael Jackson vibe to it.

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 LouFest 2013 - Fitz and the Tantrums

After the 70’s dance party ended, we kept the funkiness going with Fitz & the Tantrums back on the main stage.  Another band that I had previously watched and found myself less than impressed with, Fitz & the Tantrums call the City of Angels home and play a modern brand of pop-soul music. A few years back they headlined one night of the Taste of St. Louis and I was not a fan. I still tease my girlfriend about making me watch them. Going into this one I was less than thrilled, but in all honestly they sounded a lot better this time around. The two part harmonies provided by Fitz and the strong winded Noelle Scaggs worked really well and everyone in the field was dancing or swaying around to the grooves.

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Next on our lineup card was Jim James, but with a bit of time to kill we decided to spend some time venturing around. LouFest featured a great selection of food vendors from a cast of mostly local establishments including Atomic Cowboy, Local Harvest and Mission Taco Joint. There was a rather small grouping of vendors set up and drinks were incredibly easy to find from any stage. The only downfall was that Schalfy Beer was only available at one stand, the Schlafly Brewtopia, and was on the far side of the grounds from the Forest Park Stage. Euclid Records had a tent set up to sell the artists CDs and vinyl while there was a separate merch booth for your LouFest branded merchandise as well as posters and t-shirts. You could also wait in line to meet certain artists and get your albums signed at the Euclid Tent.

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 LouFest 2013 - The National

We wandered over to check out some of The National, a band that no one in our group was excited to see, but we were all at least a little intrigued to see what we were missing. At this point you couldn’t get anywhere near the stages, so we just hung out towards the back of the crowd. The National featured what I would call the best stage design thus far with a large LED screen in the background that had been teasing us all day finally being utilized. I am not at all familiar with The National, and I won’t even pretend to know any of their songs… but I will say they sounded a lot better than I would have imagined. It was now time to go claim our spot for Jim James.

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 LouFest 2013 - Jim James 2

Best known as the front man of My Morning Jacket, Jim James is on his own for this tour promoting his first full length solo album Regions of Light and Sound of God. Prior to James taking the stage his signature flying V guitar was mounted center stage… right at 7:30 the lights dimmed and out came Jim James in a suit with his long curly hair bouncing around as he prowled around the front of the stage to the opening notes of “State of the Art.” Finally the lonely guitar was played, while still on its stand. The set featured most of James’ newest album and also a peek at Jim James playing the saxophone during one song. This one wins the award for Best Show of LouFest in my opinion. The only downfall was that the set was limited to only an hour, but this was consistent with most of the lineup as only headliners received more than an hour and a few bands early each day received 45 minute sets.

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Day One ended in style as 2010 LouFest headliner, and Belleville born and raised, Jeff Tweedy came back to Forest Park and brought along his buddies that make up Wilco. If you have yet to see Wilco, I truly am sorry. A lot of people give Tweedy a lot of flack, but the man can straight up write songs and watching the live execution is a thing of beauty. The set opened with a pair of songs from 1996’s Being There, “Misunderstood” and “Forget the Flowers.” Other highlights of the set included an Uncle Tupelo song, “Give Back the Key to My Heart”, “I Might”, “Handshake Drugs”, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Heavy Metal Drummer.” In typical Wilco fashion, “Casino Queen” was featured near the end of the night before closing down LouFest Day One with “Hoodoo Voodoo.” Wilco proved yet again why they are one of the best live bands out there today. Make it a point to catch them at a more intimate venue next time you are given the chance. (Note: I didn’t get a decent picture of Wilco as we just posted up in the field… so instead of Wilco please enjoy this picture of some random dude that was in the zone rocking out on his keyboard while bands played on the stages in front of him. Rock on brother!)

This was yet another great LouFest and I look forward to the 2014 edition! They have found a truly beautiful place to hold the festival, but to come back to the parking dilemma I briefly discussed earlier, that is something that needs to be addressed. The Muny parking lot was being used and people were making their own spots wherever they damn well pleased. This led to an incredibly tight parking lot that was impossible to navigate with cars going every which direction and fighting over spots. Outside of that lot, there were numerous cars being ticketed all over the park for various reasons including creating their own spots, having 2” of their car over the yellow line, parking in wide open streets that were marked no parking for no apparent reason. If you want to draw 15,000 people a day there needs to be parking to accommodate those people. It took us an hour to find a legal parking spot on Sunday.  There were shuttle signs randomly around the park but I couldn’t find any other info on the shuttle service in the program that was passed out or near the signs stating it was a shuttle zone. I also never once saw a shuttle running.

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 LouFest 2013 - Jim James

JIM JAMES

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LouFest 2013 - Alabama Shakes

ALABAMA SHAKES (Played Sunday)

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Fitz and the Tantrums - LoUFest 2013 2

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

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SPACE CAPONE

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LouFest 2013 - Forest Park Stage Lit Up

FOREST PARK STAGE ILLUMINATED FOR JIM JAMES

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LouFest 2013 - The Killers

THE KILLERS (Played Sunday)

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CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO A FULL PHOTO GALLERY ON INSIDESTL.COM

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INTERVIEW: 15 MINUTES IN TRAFFIC WITH JEFF AUSTIN

15 MINUTES IN TRAFFIC WITH JEFF AUSTIN (of Yonder Mountain String Band) 

Interview by Bradley Darby

@DarbySTL / DarbySTL on Facebook

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 Jeff Austin, who you may know as the mandolin man and one fourth of the jamgrass powerhouse that is the Yonder Mountain String Band, recently took some downtime with Yonder to hit the road with a few close friends. Austin’s current project, Jeff Austin and The Here & Now, consists of banjo picker extraordinaire Danny Barnes, as well as the husband and wife / legendary bluegrass combo of flat picker Larry Keel and Jenny Keel on the bass.

The tour kicked off in Chicago a few nights ago and has recently stopped in Kentucky and Ohio. They also stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Thursday before wrapping up at the Mumford and Son’s Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Guthrie, Oklahoma this weekend.

You can download a FREE 4 SONG EP HERE. Be sure to check out one of the few Jeff Austin and the Here and Now shows or catch Jeff later this fall when the Yonder Mountain String Band resumes their schedule. All the dates are listed below, may I suggest the Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, AR in October. Not only do you get Yonder, but you get to see Tedeschi Trucks Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, Railroad Earth, JJ Grey and MOFRO, as well as Friends of Concert Confessions, Dirtfoot and many many others. Get the full lineup here.

I recently had a chance to catch up with Jeff Austin to discuss his new adventure while he was sitting in traffic with Danny Barnes en route to their show at the Bluebird in Bloomington, Indiana. We also discuss a lot of things St. Louis (this was originally done as preview piece for STL show on another site) and Jeff’s passion for delicious food.

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Me: Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me about The Here and Now. Its a great project that I’m very excited to see on Wednesday.

Jeff Austin: I’m pretty excited too. It’s some of my heroes and they happen to be some of my friends. Every day is just great, I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Me: You’ve been involved in many different solo projects over the years, from the 30dB shows (with Brendan Bayliss from Umphrey’s McGee) to various Bluegrass Balls to the Grateful Grass show (with Keller Williams and Keith Moseley) How did the Here and Now come about?

Jeff Austin: The first time the 4 of us played together it was two years ago out in Oregon. I got asked to do a set of Jerry Garcia music on the anniversary of his death. They said play whatever you want, hire whoever you want, and I kind of went… Shit, this could be a  fun lineup to try and get together. Everyone was able to do it and it was just a blast we had a great time. The musical conversation was really neat, it was very easy to have, the call and the response and all of that it was just beyond cool and to ignore that would be irresponsible. We’ve all been busy, it took a little while to get it together, but earlier this year we played together in Colorado and it was off to the races… we put together a tour and it came together.

 

Me: I am very happy you’ve chosen St. Louis as a stop to bring this project to. You’ve been at the Old Rock House a few times before with the Bluegrass Ball, is that a venue you personally wanted to come back to or did it just happen that way?

Jeff Austin: I really enjoy that venue, I think its perfect for this project. Its not too big, but its not small. Its got that intimate vibe to it. This is a Wednesday night and a new project, so its all about new things. I’m telling you, I like St. Louis… I really, really like St. Louis and I wanted to kind of  make sure this was somewhere we went on our first run. It worked out perfectly and the people at that venue are really nice and accommodating and open to musicians coming in. I was really glad when it worked out.

 

Me: A few of the other shows are just duo shows with you and Danny Barnes. How does planning a set list with just you and Danny differ than a set list with the whole Here and Now band?

Jeff Austin: The Keels had a prior engagement at that Lock’n Festival that they have to fly out to. One of the things with Danny and I just doing that show, and I’m looking at him right now, with just the two of us it will be a lot of open ended stuff and kind of, off the cuff. Seeing how the emotion of the evening kind of writes the set list for us. Some of the songs we probably haven’t even rehearsed like ‘Hey you know this Hartford tune’ or whatever. That will be really cool, it’ll be really kinda in the spur of the moment thing and see how the crowd reacts and how we’re having our conversation with each other.

 

Me: Is the Here and Now going to be a rotating cast of musicians, similar to Sam Bush’s New Grass Revival, or is this the group of four you plan on moving forward with?

Jeff Austin: Well it has the potential there that we could write songs, have a horns section, who knows? It could turn into anything. It kind of really is based on the idea of Here and Now, what’s happening in this moment and what works. Not just because I’m writing material I want to play for people, but you know… I have so much freaking fun with this lineup that I may be hard pressed to pick up traveling with anyone else. Its pretty damn fun.

 

Me: What does the future of the Here and Now look like? Is there going to be an album or is this mostly a live thing?

Jeff Austin: The plan right now is that I have a laundry list of material I want to put on a record I was hoping to have out this fall. There are certain songs being played, that I can’t think of any other lineup playing them than the folks I am traveling with, so as i’m thinking of the studio version of it I absolutely want to see these guys play on it. But it could be a rotation of songs where i want a  horn section or drums or strings or this and that. It will vary a little bit but the core of it will be built around the way that this project is sounding… thats what I hope

 

Me: That sounds awesome.

Jeff Austin: There are songs that I didn’t write in a bluegrass vane but I played them in a bluegrass vane and when I put them out, I want to play them the way that I wrote them. To be able to go into a studio to do those songs that way, its going to be interesting because its not going to be a bluegrass album by any stretch of the imagination. It will just be a record. I guess if you had to categorize it Americana? I don’t know, but i’m looking forward to that process. i’m in the part right now of getting the lineup of songs, editing, and all that kind of stuff and going full steam ahead.

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Me: I’ve read recently that in your freetime one of the things you love doing is running a food blog, “Table for One”, right?

Jeff Austin: It’s not only a food blog its going to be turning into a webisode kind of thing. I’m actually in the editing process right now with that as well. I did filming a number of months ago, and I have four days of a shoot coming up in September. My hope is by mid or late October to drop the first webisode of Table for One. I have some high aspirations for that so that hopefully it could maybe turn into, or launch, a show at some point, but yeah its a huge passion of mine. Just telling the story of people who are passionate about what they do and how that affects me and how it affects people. I find that story intriguing.

 

Me: Back in Spring 2012 we spoke briefly and you told me about the Thai Kitchen Cafe down on Delmar. Is there anywhere in St Louis you are looking forward to checking out when you get back in town or somewhere you went last time you want to give a shout out to?

Jeff Austin: Thai Country Cafe.. I LOVE that place. One of the heartbreaks on the road for me was when they took the duck noodle soup off the menu, and then they put it back on. I was so happy… so happy. I love that place. Uhh… I am not sure. I’d like to make it a point to get back there. The beautiful thing about having not done a tour like this is with these friends is that I get to take them to new food joints that I love and I want to share. This morning in Chicago we went to Hot Dougs Sausage Emporium. I’ll tell you what I like at the Rock House is right down the block that tiny little joint, that one room diner. That place blows my mind. When the Del McCoury Band was just down there doing a couple nights… me and a couple of those guys, we will text each other when we know we’re in a restaurant that someone else likes. I got a couple photos of just them at the counter or the menu on the wall.

 

Me: Well Jeff thats really all I had for you, is there anything else you want to tell us about? What else is going on in the life of Jeff Austin?

Jeff Austin: I’d say check out www.JeffAustin.com, I am going to try to post something everyday from the tour whether its a little video of us playing, song ideas or food updates or whatever but I’m going to start that up tonight here and do little things everyday. Kind of a little road diary type of thing.

 

Me: Thanks for the time Jeff, we’ll see you on Wednesday!

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READ MY MARCH 2012 INTERVIEW WITH JEFF AND DAVE JOHNSTON FROM YONDER MTN STRING BAND HERE

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JEFF AUSTIN and THE HERE & NOW on Tour:

9/04 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

9/05 The Shrine – Tulsa, OK *Jeff Austin & Danny Barnes duo show

9/06-07 Cottonwood Flats – Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road – Guthrie, OK

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

10/09 Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

10/10 Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend

10/11 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre

10/12 Silk Hope, NC

10/13 Chattanooga, TN – Track 29

10/16 Oxford, MS – The Lyric Oxford

10/17-19 Ozark, AR – YMSB Harvest Festival at Mulberry Mountain (3 nights)

10/23 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom

10/24 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue & 7th St Entry

10/25-26 Chicago, IL – House of Blues (2 nights)

10/29-30 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl (2 nights)

10/31 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts

11/01 Boston, MA – House of Blues

11/02 Portland, ME – State Theatre

12/27-29 & 12/31 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater (4 nights)

jeff austin

One Republic – Peabody Opera House, St. Louis, MO – 7-20-2013

 

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This was my first time seeing One Republic live, I’ve heard all their songs, got all the albums, but still hadn’t had a chance to see them perform. They were amazing to say the least.

One Republic is a pop rock band that comes from Colorado Springs. They’re composed of Ryan Tedder (lead singer), Zach Filkins (guitar) , Drew Brown, Eddie Fisher and Brent Kutzie all of which make up one awesome live performance. They have two sets of drums on stage alongside a piano, cello, and a couple guitars, so there range of sounds and music can go along way when played live.

I remember hearing them when they released their first single “Apologize” it was a catchy song that got remixed by Timberland, and was all over the air waves in it’s first week of being released.

One Republic took the stage at the Peabody Opera house around 9:30pm and put on an explosive two hour set. They opened their set behind a curtain playing “Light it up” from there current CD “Native” . It was really cool as you could see them playing, and it created a mysterious affect, made them look larger then life.

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One Republic has three albums out, so a variety of songs were played from those three albums, there was several acoustic songs, and several stories. One story that stood out, was Ryan talking about the time him and Zach were in London trying to finish their second album and they still needed one song. Ryan said, “he is a huge Tim Burton fan, and loved the music in the Tim Burton movies, that Danny Elfman created” then continued, “wanted something on their album to do with Tim Burton, so he’s like you know all the songs that Danny Elfman creates always have some sort of kids singing in the background, so he said if we can’t get Danny Elfman to help us, can we have the “creepy ass kids” from the Tim Burton movies?”. So that is where the choir kids singing before “All the rights Moves” comes in, according to Ryan,they are the “creepy ass kids from Tim Burton’s movies”. It was a great, hilarious little story. Felt like something out of  “Storytellers” from VH1. Made for an interesting part in the show.

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The set list is listed below, I’m not sure if all of it’s correct or not, but from what I remember, this was the set list.

  1. Light it up
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. Secrets
  4. All the Right Moves
  5. What you Wanted
  6. Stop and Stare
  7. Counting Stars
  8. Aplogize
  9. Come Home
  10. I’ve Got a Women (Ray Charles Cover)
  11. Gold Digger (Kayne West Cover)
  12. Marchin On
  13. Good Life
  14. Feel Again
  15. Life in Color
  16. If I lose myself

Overall it was a magical night, and I’m thinking I might have to see these guys perform again, they truly were amazing live. Ryan’s voice is spectacular, and he can sing high, low, you name it he can sing it. I loved the whole cello aspect in there songs, and they even had a Spanish guitar solo, that was pretty cool as well.

There was two opening acts for One Republic, one was a singer/songwriter from Canada, named Serena Ryder and she was pretty good, had her guitar and a drummer. They also had Mayer Hawthrone he was more of a soul singer from recently bankrupt Detroit that had a full band, but couldn’t get the crowd into it. I didn’t care to much for him nor did the crowd, but he did do a good job during his set.

The Peabody Opera house is located downtown St. Louis, about a block away from Union Station, and just attached to the Scottrade Center, so it’s centrally located and has a beautiful setting for concerts. Great acoustics, high ceilings (that even include a bear that reflects on the ceiling), it’s a very good concert hall. It was my first time going to the Peabody Opera house and I’m sure it won’t be my last, it was odd going to a show with seats, even the small pit had seats, but we all stood during One Republic.

Overall great concert, One Republic does not disappoint they put on a spectacular show, with lights and screens, and just sounded amazing. If they come back near my area again, I think I might do the VIP, it helps that they are a good looking bunch of guys who can play music with the best of them.

Flyleaf – Pops Nightclub – Sauget, IL – 07-11-13

This was the first time that I have seen Flyleaf, so I can’t judge on who is the better singer Lacey or Kristen, but I do know that Kirsten can fill Lacey’s shoes and did an amazing job singing old songs, and brand new ones.

 

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Anyone that is a fan of Flyleaf knows the story, although I think several at the show last night did not. One girl made the statement, “that’s not flyleaf, you are some chick” well that “chick” is “Kristen May” and she does have a voice that resembles “Lacey Sturms” who did hand-pick her to replace her while she took a different route in her life to raise her son.  And Lacey should be proud, Kristen did an excellent job filling her shoes, and fans old and new shouldn’t judge based on the voice or who the person is, they sounded the same to me and they sounded good which is all the matters at a rock show.

 

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Flyleaf took the stage at Pops at exactly 9:30pm, and opened up with “Again” from their 2009 release, “Memento Mori” and they did sing several new songs such as “Something Better” off of their current EP.  Kristen said they were singing a brand new song, never been done live before, and honestly I’m not sure what the name of it was, but it was quite good. The set list below is a rough draft of some of the songs, it might not be exactly accurate, but the majority of the songs were song.  They did close with the two songs that put them on the map, “All around me” and “I’m so sick”, you could tell that Kirsten couldn’t get as high as Lacey on the verses in “I’m so sick” but she did an amazing job, and her voice sounded awesome, it fit in nicely.

  1. Again
  2. Call you out
  3. New Horizons
  4. Cassie
  5. Perfect
  6. Great Love
  7. Fire Fire
  8. Swept Away
  9. Bury Your Heart
  10. I’m sorry
  11. Sorrow
  12. Broken Wings
  13. Fully Alive
  14. Freedom
  15. Cage on the Ground
  16. Arise
  17. All Around Me
  18. I’m so Sick

During “Broken Wings” Kristen came out along the rail and sang with everyone, I did get to shake her hand which was nice. Overall Flyleaf did an amazing job, they are a “Christian Rock Band” if that’s what you want to call them, there songs are related to “Christian themes” and they do put on a good rock show. Flyleaf consists of : Kirsten May (vocals) Sameer Bhattacharya (lead guitar), Jared Hartmann (rhythm guitar), Pat Seals (bass and backing vocals), and James Culpepper (drums).  Pat the bassist was all over the stage, jumping off of the platforms, and really getting into the performance, which made the crowd get into it as well.

There was a couple of opening bands for Flyleaf, one was a band from Cape Girardeau Mo, they were called “Isabella” not a fan. Basically they were like every other “screamo” band on the Warped Tour. The lead singer mentioned that we needed to go vote for them on the “Battle of the Bands” to get to the Warped Tour and that he had never been, well, I wanted to say you need to go, so you can learn how to scream.

The other band was “Killer Me, Killer You” they are a local band from St. Louis whose lead singer is engaged to the Lux, the radio personality from 1057 the Point in St. Louis. They did a great job, at least you could understand what they were saying, and this is my second time seeing them live.

And of course Pops, the venue between two strip clubs never disappoints, love the place.

ROAD TO PAID DUES TOUR ST. LOUIS, THE GRAMOPHONE 03/05/13

Road To Paid Dues, The Gramophone, 03/05/13
Photo’s/Words : BeezNutzSTL

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Paid Dues is a independent hip hop festival held annually in Pomona, California. This week some of my favorite artist came out to rock The Gramophone in St. Louis on The Road To Paid Dues tour. Thanks to my good friends Kathy and Curtis, I have known about and been a fan of Prof for years now.

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My friends Kathy, Curtis and I all decided to meet up and ride downtown together. That way we would save that gas money for better things, such as drinks and merch. We got to The Gramophone around 9:30, went inside and headed straight to the bar. Which was where I met my new friend Anna. We had both came to the show to see Prof and we ended up hanging out most of the night. A beer later I found my spot just in time for Black Cloud Music who was taking the stage.

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Black Cloud Music is a indepedent record label based in Island Empire, California founded in 2006. They were represented by two of the members Noa James ” The Intelligent, Elegant, Elephant ” and Curtiss King who made a reference to himself looking like Sinbad which was funny. They both were dope, had great lyrics and played well off each other. I watched the entire set and was very impressed. Noa commanded everyone’s attention and respect when he rapped acapella and his words boomed off the back brick walls.

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They rocked for 30 plus minutes and got the crowd hyped up. It was a nice sized crowd packed into the smaller venue. We headed outside for a minute to cool off between acts. Fashawn was the next man to the stage. As soon as Fashawn touched the mic he got right to work. My friends and I all liked him, and you could hear people around us remarking how dope he was between songs. He rapped about life, California, weed and girls. Fashawn started ” G’s Up ” by asking ” By a show of hands who knows where the good weed is in St. Louis? ”

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Fashawn made a lot of fans, my friends and I included. After Fashawn left the stage I held down our spots while everyone went for merch and drinks. Anna came back with beers, and shots. While Curtis and Kathy went and got some merch including a fresh Dj Fundo T-shirt. As soon as Dj Fundo walked out and started scratching records the party was on. Prof has a unmatched energy level on stage and his shows are just crazy start to finish. He opened with ” Gampo ” off his newest official release ” King Gampo ” which had the people that knew him rapping along, while everyone else was bouncing.

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Prof has so much fun with his music and it spread like fire through the small venue. One of my favorite songs ” President ” was in the midway through the set and was a highlight of the show for me. During a song break Anna got Prof’s attention and told him she bought him Jameson. He was super excited and said she looked like a mob daugther. She promised him that her mob father wouldn’t put a hit on him, if he hit on her. In exchange for the shots Prof personally thanked her and then serenaded her with some R. Kelly. Then they both slammed down the shots, made for a very memorable part of the show. As always Dj Fundo, kept it fun on the Turntables chiming in with funny stage banter throughout the night.

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Everytime Prof comes back around the crowd is bigger, and he has stepped it up. Two of my favorite Prof tracks closed out the set ” On My Way ” which was on the first Prof cd I ever got. He followed that up with my favorite track off King Gampo ” Yeah Buddy ” which got a great crowd response each chorus. This show made me feel great, and it wasn’t even over yet. I looked over and Anna was glowing, her night was made. The look of amazement was spread evenly across the room. Just wait till he comes back through he will have a lot more St. Louis fans and be in a bigger venue.

My fans are like pyros spreadin’ fires you already heard about him ” – PROF – AMAZING

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Coming into this show, my knowledge was extremely limited on the headliner of the evening Murs. The Los Angeles based rapper has been making music since 1995 and has a long track record of appearances, and features. He walked on stage backed by Dj Foundation and won me over immediately, he has a awesome stage presence and his music was dope. The song ” Better Than The Best ” featured some awesome word play and a catchy beat. I also really enjoyed the ” O.J ” song which was about breakups. During one point he slowed down the song to talk to the crowd about relationships before bouncing back into the rest of the song remixed with a outkast beat. He also paid respect to the legend Nate Dogg by doing a brief piano backed cover of ” Regulators “. The crowd sang every word and we all stopped for a second to remember Nate Dogg, R.I.P.

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He brought back out Fashawn again, which was cool. Fashawn really impressed me so it was a welcome sight to have him back on stage. Together Murs and Fashawn teamed up for some really great live hiphop. Everyone in my group with the exception of myself had to work the next morning. Which meant for me that we had to leave before Murs finished his set. I wanted to stay, but it was time to roll. We said our goodbyes and hit the door.

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The show front to back was solid, the definition of live hip hop at its very best. You owe it to yourself to check this tour out when it rolls through your town. Be sure to check out the links below and show these artist some love. The Gramophone did a great job with this show, the lights, sound and staff were all on top of their game. This easily was one of my favorite shows of the year.

Till Next Time…..

BeezNutzSTL

Thank you!!!: Stophouse, Black Cloud Music, Fashawn, Murs, The Gramophone, Curtis, Kathy, Devon, Thank you Anna for the Beer! Thank you to everyone who read and shared this.

BLACK CLOUD MUSIC

ガールズバーならば女性も楽しく飲むことが出来る

http://store.blackcloudmusic.com


FASHAWN

http://www.fashawn.ca/

http://www.youtube.com/fashawntv
http://instagram.com/TheRealFashawn

PROF


http://www.stophousegroup.com
http://profstophouse.bandcamp.com/album/kaiser-von-powderhorn-3
(FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD)

MURS

http://mursworld.com

PAID DUES FESTIVAL

http://www.paidduesfestival.com
http://www.facebook.com/paidduesfestival

http://www.instagram.com/guerillaunion
http://www.youtube.com/guerillaunion
http://www.guerillaunion.tumblr.com

The Rouge Pays St. Louis A Visit 02/10/2013

The Rouge The Firebird 02/10/2013
Words/Photos/Video By BeezNutzStl

There is a funny story about how I discovered this band. I work at a famous restaurant in St. Louis, and back during the Myspace days I met this band traveling to and from Nashville to record. They all were very nice and I added them on myspace. Over the years I had served them about 3-4 times and they were always cool. Fast forward to the Facebook era, I saw they had booked a show in St. Louis. I jumped on the chance to come out and support.

They booked a show at The Firebird, which is a great venue for music. I invited my awesome sister, and bought her ticket. Pulling into the parking lot I was pleasantly surprised at the crowd. Sundays are not the best for concerts in St. Louis, because sometimes the crowd is a no show. Not this night however, about 50 cars were already parked in the lot by the time we arrived around 8:30. When we got there the first band was walking off stage, so I didn’t get to catch them.

The next band Without Hazard started and my sister and I stayed at our table during the first few songs chatting it up. They played this song which they called ” Track 4 ” because they hadn’t named it yet. It got both of us out of our seats and in front of the stage. I really dug everything about the song especially the bass line which was very catchy and funky.

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We stayed upfront for the rest of their set and enjoyed the music. My sister loved their sound, I dug it too. They played a great set and did a great job of warming up the show. They had a Cd for sale and download ” Amateur Astronomer ” which I will provide a link for at the bottom.

They wrapped up the set, and let The Rouge run through a brief soundcheck. Then something happened that I have never seen in all my years of concert going. The singer Josh jumped on stage and told the crowd his batteries to his guitar were dead. He said the show would start when the new batteries arrived. Minutes later his dad came in the door with some fresh double a’s. He brought his father Dan to the stage and had the crowd give him a hand.

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A few minutes later the 4 piece band from Nashville took the stage. The Rouge fronted by Joshua Vaught on acoustic guitar/vocals, Jack Egan on Bass, Nick Edler on the drums, and Steve Voss doing back up vocals, Guitar, and keyboard took their positions on stage. The first song ” Steel Town ” captured everyones attention. Joshua has such a strong voice and the rest of the band compliments each other so well. They had won me over before the first song even finished. They said they had a new video coming out for the song ” Cocaine Hero ” which the guitar palyer Steve had shot and edited. It is a very catchy song, and can see this single becoming a big hit.

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My sister and I keep looking at each other saying to each other how good they were. There was so many great songs ” Medication ” was a personal favorite of the night. Such great lyrics, and feeling behind each song. Joshua has a great showman quality about him, at one point he left the stage to check the poster out so he could mention the opening bands. Which was funny, most bands just say thanks to the great openers. Someone in the crowd named Troy I believe bought the guys a sixer of Schlafly Beer. Schlafly is a great local beer company and was great to see that on stage with them.

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Recently they have been signed to Atlantic Records, and released a single ” Pressure ” which has been getting spins nationwide. Joshua told the crowd all his friend had been calling him about hearing them on the radio. It is a great song about Rock and Roll, and really sounds great.

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They played for 60 minutes finishing their set with ” We The Free ” which was a great song to close the night. It was such a good show, the kind that leaves you feeling great at the end. My sister and I stuck around to chat with the guys. I am happy we took the time to come out, it was a great show. The new E.P ” Blurry ” is out now at major retailers, and online at Amazon, and Itunes. You really should consider buying a copy. Be on the look out for The Rouge when they play your area. You will be glad you did.

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Be sure to check out Without Hazard and their E.P which you can find at the link below.

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https://www.facebook.com/without.hazard/

The Rouge – The Firebird – 02/10/13

1. Steel Town
2. Absinthe
3. Cocaine Hero
4. Medication
5. Pressure
6. Sleepwalking
7. Six Shooter
8. Bashful Branches
9. Sinners
10. Handcuffs
11. We The Free

Soul Asylum Kicks Off 2013 Tour With a Party In St. Louis!!!

Soul Asylum The Old Rock House 1/30/13
Words/Photos By BeezNutzStl

I have always liked Soul Asylum, they remind me of good times in my childhood. I never got to see them during the 90’s and missed them every time since. They had just came out with a new album last year. When I heard they were coming to one of my favorite places in St. Louis, I jumped on the chance to go. The Old Rock House is the perfect place for a band like them, big enough to sell a bunch of tickets. Yet small enough so its a big party, it’s a awesome venue for music. Featuring 3 Levels, 2 Bars, and 2 Bathrooms makes it comfortable to see a show. They have always been extra nice to me, and its always a good time there.

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Soul Asylum fronted by founding member Dave Pirner took to the stage a little before 10 p.m while a lot of the crowd was finding the way inside. They started the set with ” Somebody To Shove ” off of the mutli-platinum album ” Grave Dancers Union ” which came out in 1992. It was hard to believe it had been that long, they played a diverse set list and had the crowd feeling the music. I saw so many smiles it was unbelievable. Prior to the show I had bought and listened to the new album and they did a few of my favorite songs from it. The new album is called ” Delayed Reaction ” and it is instores now if you would like to hear it.

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Up next they tried a new song on us ” Gravity ” which is from the new album ” Delayed Reaction . They really sound good together on this new stuff and the band plays off each other well. Dave was rocking some thrashed up jeans that looked as if they must of came from the 90’s and drummer Michael Bland was rocking a sick mo-hawk. They all looked really cool, and just as you would expect them to.

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Dave’s voice sounded great live, just like you remembered it on the radio. They played the songs ” Pipe Dream ” and ” Into The Light ” which are both new songs. It was cool to hear the difference in the old and new material. I would recommend getting the new album. I am glad I did, made the show more enjoyable to me.

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Dave is quite the joker on stage, he has a lot of fun with the crowd. Which should make for a interesting rest of these exhausting tour dates. They followed the new stuff up with some classics ” Black Gold ” was up next and had everyone singing along, dancing and it felt amazing to be part of. Next he said they just came up with a new song on the bus that day, and played ” Runaway Train ” the crowd ate it up. It was so great to be in that room at that moment, so many people just had this euphoric look on their faces. It was priceless, nowhere else I would rather be.

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After a few more song they left the stage briefly, they came back up and Dave started talking about how he wrote the next song about our state. The crowd laughed and we knew that ” Misery ” was up next. That song is from the album ” Let Your Dim Light Shine ” which came out in 95. They chose to end the set with another song from that album ” Just Like Anyone ” which closed out the night and sent people paying their bar tabs.

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After the show I was feeling incredible. Soul Asylum really made it into a party and played a great show. Everyone left happy, I waited around after the show and talked to Dave. We talked about his ripped up jeans, music, and just a bunch of fun things. He was really easy to talk to and enjoyed being around his fans. He posed for pictures and signed autographs for as many people that wanted one. He went out of his way to be cool to everyone he met. I hope I see them back here soon, I can’t wait to see them again.

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Make sure you go check out the new album ” Delayed Reaction ” you will be glad you did. You can find it online, instores or at one of the many, many shows they have booked across America this year. For a list of tour dates you can find Soul Asylum here:

http://www.enterthesoulasylum.com

Go check out the new album ” Delayed Reaction ” You will be glad you did.

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Soul Asylum 01/30/13 The Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO.

1. Somebody To Shove
2. I Will Still Be Laughing
3. Can’t Even Tell
4. Lately
5. Whatcha Need
6. Oxygen
7. Leave This Town
8. Gravity
9. Pipe Dream
10. Into The Light
11. The Streets
12. Without A Trace
13. Black Gold
14. Runaway Train
15. Closer To The Stars
16. Made To Be Broken
17. Stand Up And Be Strong
18. Misery
19. Just Like Home.

Till next time.

BeezNutZStl

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Thank You to : Wes, The Old Rock House, Dave, Soul Asylum, Airika, Bradley and everyone that came out. Thanks.

Reel Big Fish Heats Up St. Louis 01/15/2012 The Pageant.

Reel Big Fish, The Pageant 01/15/13 St. Louis, Mo
Photo’s and Words By BeezNutzSTL

I have been lucky enough to call myself a Reel Big Fish fan for many years. They always make me laugh, their shows are high energy and most of all they are FUN. So with a show announced for the first month of 2013 in my hometown. I had no choice in the matter. During the weeks leading up, I kept suggesting that my girlfriend come out and see the show with me. She wasn’t that hard to convince. It had been a year since I had seen The Fish so there was no way I could miss this show.

Reel Big Fish released ” Candy Coated Fury ” on July 31st 2012 on Rock Ridge Records. They have been very busy since embarking on a world tour that had already included a St. Louis date. Well that didn’t stop the fans from showing up again. Arriving at The Pageant a bit after 8:30 my girlfriend and I parked and hustled through the cold to the venue. After a brief search we were in and Dan P and MU330 were finishing their reunion set which I sadly missed.

Up next was a band that I was at the time unfamiliar with The Pilfers from New York City. I was unprepared for the level of energy, and the show they brought with them. They got the crowd moving as soon as they hit the stage, and the floor soon reached capacity.

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The Pilfers took the stage as the loyal fans none as ” Pilfer Crew ” filled the pit area. The fusion of the different styles of music melted into a crazy stream of energy felt throughout the venue. The band lead by ex-Toasters singer Coolie Ranx on vocals, Billy Kottage on Trombone, Nick Bacon played Guitar and did back up vocals, Ben Basile on Bass and James Blanck behind the kit. They all sounded great together, and had my lady and I dancing to the beats.

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My girlfriend told me after their set how compelled she felt to dance during the whole set. Before leaving the stage Coolie came and paid the crowd a visit. First he did a entire song from the pit, then he walked the length of the crowd on the counters of the venue. Very cool and made for a highlight of the show for myself.

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After a brief sound check and set change, the crowd grew louder in anticipation. The lights fell black, and a epic sounding intro song blasted through the speakers. The Orange County Ska Legends took the stage. Notable missing Little Johnny Christmas (congratulations on fatherhood) and Matt Appleton (whom is sick). The band led by Aaron Barrett on Vocals/Guitar, Dan Regan on Trombone, Derek Gibbs on Bass, and Ryland Steen on the Drums took their places. A few of the Pilfers helped fill in the void of the 2 missing members. They chose to open the set with the opening song from ” Candy Coated Fury “. The song ” Everyone Else Is A Asshole ” started the crowd on a nonstop skankin’, dance marathon that was this entire show. Next were the fan favorites ” Trendy ” and ” Everything Sucks ” which are always great live.

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Reel Big Fish is a great live show, for one the jokes are different every time. And two the setlist will be different every time no matter what. So every show is fresh and new, which I love most about this band.

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Midway through the set, Aaron told everyone about how cool the 90’s were. Before jumping into the song ” Sell Out ” he told everyone that the next song was written before Instragram. Which made for a great intro to popular hit song.

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The highlight of the show for me was them breaking out the 2002 classic song ” Where Have You Been “. It had been far, far too long since I heard that live. Last time I saw that song was 2008 on the Warped Tour. They dropped many gems throughout the show.

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Before breaking into everyone’s favorite drinking song the band had a identity crisis on stage. First they played ” Tequila ” before they realized they don’t know that song. Then they tried “ Red Red Wine ” but sadly didn’t know that one either. Finally they gave ” Margaritaville ” a try but that didn’t fare any better. Before giving up they played a awesome version of ” Beer “.

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They left the stage for 5 minutes with chants of Reel Big Fish filling the dark room. Getting the crowd charged up again with ” Don’t Stop Skanking ” Reel Big Fish got the crowd moving again. Which was followed up by one of my favorite ” The Many Faces Of Suburban Rhythm ” which is where they play a quick song followed by different musical versions of the same song (Country, Death Metal, Disco). Before ending the bit, Aaron remarked that was the first time for that joke. Funny guy.

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They sent everyone home with a classic cover of the 80’s song ” Take On Me ” which was a fitting way to end a great night. This show was awesome, Reel Big Fish never lets me down and I always feel great when I leave.

Reel Big Fish are on tour NOW! Through April 2013 and BEYOND!!!! Check the dates here: http://www.reel-big-fish.com/tour-dates/

The Album ” Candy Coated Fury ” is in stores/online now. Go support locally owned record stores. Or shop online by clicking here


Thank You to : Reel Big Fish, The Pageant, Dan P and MU330, The Pilfers, Mike at Ear Shot Media, Nick Bacon and everyone else who made this night so great.

Reel Big Fish, The Pageant 01/15/13

1. Everyone Else Is A Asshole.
2. Trendy
3. Everything Sucks.
4. She’s Famous Now.
5. Your Girlfriend Sucks
6. All I Want Is More
7. Everybody’s Drunk
8. Sell Out
9. Your Guts ( I Hate Em’)
10. Good Thing
11. I Hate You, Fuck You, Leave Me Alone.
12.Where Have You Been
13. Candy Coated Fury
14. She Has A Girlfriend Now
15. Another F-U Song.
16. In The Pit
17. I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore.
18. Tequila, Red Red Wine, Margrataville – BEER.
19. Don’t Stop Skankin’
20. Suburban Rhythm (Many Faces Of)
21. Take on Me.

Chevelle – Pop’s Nightclub – Sauget, IL 12-7-12

I’m really not sure how many times I’ve actually seen Chevelle, I know I’ve seen them many, as I was seeing them when they first came out and Joe there other brother was the bassists, so regardless of how many times.. they never disappoint. I love standing there and singing every word. I tend to think of the time when I actually heard the song on the Cd, or why Pete wrote the lyrics for that certain song, it’s memories in your head that come up while your singing along, it’s priceless.

Chevelle really is about the music for me, I love there music, love Pete’s lyrics and the guys are great, regardless of what others say, they bring it every night.

Overall Chevelle never puts on a bad show, at least not none that I have been too. They had two opening bands, the first one Lye, isn’t worth mentioning they were a local band from St. Louis. 10 years was the second opening band and they rocked, it was my first time seeing them, and they were amazing. They got the crowd going, came out into the crowd, it was a major group effort and I know they have toured with Chevelle in the past, so overall great performance by 10 years.

Since this is one of my favorite bands, being in the front is a must, so you can imagine that my friend and I were the first two, too arrive at Pops at 10am in the morning by dang it, we had a plan, we were on a mission we were going to be in the front row. After picking up another friend from the airport we planted ourselves with chairs in tow, outside the doors, and that worked.  We were front row and that’s all that matters.

Chevelle took the stage around 9:30pm and started off with a bang, the bass in Pops was massive that it vibrated through your soul, it was awesome. They opened with “Sleep Apnea” from there 2009 album “Sci-Fi Crimes” of course they could play all of there albums and I would be happy. Pete had just gotten the ‘ok’ from his doctor to use his knee again, a couple months ago, he fell off a stage at a show and tore a muscle in his left knee so he was glad to be back to normal and ready to rock. He’s such a trooper though, even after he fell he still got back on stage, and finished the set all while sitting down.

There set list is as follows:

The majority of the photos are of 10 years, as the lighting for Chevelle was in my face and hard to actually take photos, I did manage to get a few, which was fine. It’s not like I don’t have photos of the band, just enjoying the music and singing was the highlight of my night. It’s all about there music for me, and Pete’s lyrics. I heard they are going to try to get another album out next year so that will be a plus all the way around.

Again Pop’s came through venue wise, can’t wait to see what 2013 brings to the area, and finishing off the 2012 concert season with two great bands was well worth the travel. Thanks again St. Louis.

Bush 12/06/12: Pop’s – Sauget, IL

It had been ten years or more since I first seen Gavin Rossdale and Bush live, I still remember the event, as he left the stage that night and came up close to where I was sitting, an unknown band at the time called Muse opened up for them, and that’s all I remember really, couldn’t tell you anymore, just remembered the event in my head.

So I was slightly excited to see Bush again, since it had been so long and I just wanted to make sure I was down in front of Gavin, but so did the fifteen or so fan club members that were there before us. My friend from Michigan flew down to St. Louis and we made a evening of it, as we were attending another concert the next day. Being about 15th, or 20th, in line wasn’t to shabby so the chances were good to get a rail when walking into the venue.  Getting to the venue early always allows you to make friends, visit and talk about other concerts that you have went to, and this was no different, Bush fans are really nice and they do love Gavin that’s for sure, but when security came out to tell the ones that had waited in line since noon or more, that only a few of them could go in, the bush army quickly became the blood army, but in the end all that were there before noon got to go in before us, still a rail was had.

Bush took the stage around 9pm I believe, and started out the night with “Machinehead” and Gavin looked mighty fine I will say. He sounded just like the album, voice and all didn’t miss a beat. They continued on with “All My Life”, “Chemicals” and the lead single off of there current CD “The Sea of Memories”. During “Afterlife” Gavin decided to leave the stage and make his way completely around the venue he started with the balcony and worked his way all the way back to where he started, of course a sweat trail was made. The man sweats a lot, so much so that he has plastic over his sound board, that’s how bad he sweats, but he’s getting a work out none the less. I’ve heard that the cold air affects his throat, so I understand why it’s warm in there and why he sweats, he doesn’t need to work out after a show that’s for sure.

Bush

The set list consisted of:

  • Machinehead
  • All My life
  • Chemicals
  • Sound of Winter
  • Zen
  • Heart of the Matter
  • Greedy Fly
  • I Believe in You
  • Afterlife (where he left the stage)
  • Break on Through
  • Little Things
  • Glycerine
  • Comedown

Overall it was a great show, I found myself taking more photos then normal, as Gavin is just so man pretty, the dude is flawless and he’s just sweet as he can be. I was able to met him afterward as there was a line, and he made his way down the line and hugged everyone, talking to them for a bit, posing for photos, and just overall gentlemanly. I told him one day I will meet your wife, he said he hoped to met her one day too.

Bush – Glycerine

Bush had two opening bands, Brookroyal a local St. Louis band whom I’ve seen a couple times on tour, they are a great rock band. They got the crowd moving and ready for Bush, along with Hollow Point Heros who from what I remember where pretty good. Both put out excellent performances while the crowd waited for Bush to take the stage.

Pops is a great venue in East St. Louis, I’ve been to it so many times the security guards hug me, that’s how much I’ve frequented that venue this year, it’s great for concerts and I’ll always feel safe there regardless of if others think it’s in a bad part of town, yes it’s between two strip clubs, but hey, it’s a rocking venue that’s all that matters. Pops does Rock!!

Check Out Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale sing Glycerine at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas together by clicking here.

ZZ Ward Stops In Vintage Vinyl For Instore Performance 12/02/12

ZZ WARD VINTAGE VINYL 12/02/12
PHOTOS/VIDEOS/WORDS by BzNtz

Before Vintage Vinyl posted a event called ” ZZ Ward Instore Performance ” on Facebook. I had never heard of this young rising star. I had the night off work because, I was going to see Coheed and Cambria later in the evening. So my girlfriend and I decided to hit the local record store for some free tunes first.

So coming into this show, my knowledge of ZZ was extremely limited. I knew she had a new record out which was being well received, and that she recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Other than that, I knew next to nothing.

We got to the wonderful Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, a few minutes early and found a good spot up front. About 20-30 people filled the aisles of cds and waited patiently for the show to start. About 6:05 the band came out from the back and took the small stage. They all looked very cool, and ZZ came out rocking a Notorious B.I.G shirt (Which made her even cooler!). She looked very excited to say the least!

ZZ is originally from Oregon, but is now based out of L.A . She played songs from her new album ” Till The Casket Drops ” which came out in October. One of my favorites was the title track ” Till The Casket Drops ” which is a great song about loving someone till the end. In this case, till the casket drops. She rocked this song, her voice was incredibly powerful and capturing.

There was a very diverse crowd in attendance all types of people, young and old filled the area around the stage. My girlfriend really enjoyed her lead single ” Put The Gun Down “. ZZ is a very good performer and she steals the show. Her lyrics are very catchy, her band was on point, and that made her show all the better.

ZZ really connects with the crowd, her band really compliments her well and they sound great together. Last time they were in town they opened for Blues legend Buddy Guy. If only I had known about them then, I would of went to that show.

Before playing the song ” Charlie Ain’t Home ” ZZ credited legendary Etta James for inspiring her to write the song. It was another highlight of her 25 minute, 5 song set-list. I enjoyed hearing the story and inspiration behind the song.

Before leaving she made sure to introduce her band and play a song about hooking up with a nerd called ” Move It Like You Stole It ” which was another great song. Everyone was in a good mood by the time they left the stage.

After the show, ZZ hung out to sign autographs and meet with fans. When it was our turn she was really nice to us, down to earth, and cool. Then Papa Ray from Vintage Vinyl came over and gave her a rare Etta James Cd that made her smile ear to ear. She was great to talk with and I am very happy I came out to see this show. They played a show here the day after at The Firebird which I was unable to attend sadly. However, next time I will be there, she blew me away. Go check her out if she comes to your town, you won’t regret it.

Till Next Time.

BzNtz

BLUEPRINT, MAD DUKEZ, AND MATHIAS AND THE PIRATES

Blueprint, Mad Dukes, Mathias and The Pirates
The Firebird 11/29/12
Words/Photos/Videos : BzNtz

I must admit, I feel bad for sleeping on Blueprint for as long as I did. With some many choices in music these days, its easy for great artist be over looked. A few years back I saw a show he did with Atmosphere and he stole the show for me. He has so much depth, passion and great lyrics in his music. His beats are alive with his pulse, because he puts heart and soul into his music.

The holidays are fast approaching, which meant I could not afford to ask off work anymore. I decided if fate gave me a night off, I would go to this show. Well it didn’t give me a night off, but I did manage to get off work sooner than expected. So I made a late dash to The Firebird in St. Louis, MO to catch a great hip hop show.

As I was pulling up to the brick building that houses The Firebird. It was easy to hear deep bass vibrating the walls. I was somewhat worried I had show up too late. It was difficult to tell through the thick walls if this was Blueprint on stage, or not. I was a bit late as it was 10:15 when I showed up. Just my luck however, I had made it in perfect time. One of my local favorites Mathias and The Pirates were on stage and I got to catch the last few songs.

They were great to watch and were a good way to start my evening. Mathias has been rapping in St. Louis for a very long time, he was part of the award winning hip hop group The Earthworms. Lately he has been on a lot of shows doing his solo projects which are equally as dope.

Up next from New York was Mad Dukez. He has a new video for a very entertaining song called ” Animal “. Mad Dukez is from Buffalo, NY and represents DTR45 records. He was very bouncy, and hype on stage.

I really enjoyed his set closing song ” Stupid Hard “. I thought his show was dope, and I can’t wait till he comes back to the Midwest. I enjoyed the downtime between sets and caught up with old friends in the crowd.

That brought up the main act of the evening Blueprint and DJ Rare Groove. He took about 5 minutes to hook up effect pedals, and a keyboard and beat machine. Then he told the crowd ” I am gonna work hard to make you guys feel good about coming out on a Thursday night, Thank you “. He would not disappoint the small, but fun crowd in attendance.

Coming out of Columbus, OH and representing Rhymesayers Ent. Blueprint got right to work, he spits his lyrics in a raw, easy to understand tone. His subjects are real, they can be a story, they can just be fun, but he has a unmistakable confindance when he raps that draws people in. For the next hour the stage was Blueprint’s. Early in the set, he played one of my favorites ” The Clouds “. The song is very personal and very unconventional because it has no hook or chorus.

He dropped great track, after great track, spanning all of his albums. Since 2003 Blueprint has released album after album. Also he has appeared on various hip hop projects. Neeless to say Blueprint carries quite the body of work with him when he tours. During some songs Blueprint picked up his keyboard and used it like a guitar. DJ Rare Groove made sure everything was fresh, and added dope cuts throughout the night.

He rocked some of my favorite songs this tour, like the one about selling weed. The song is called ” Neighborhood Weed Man ” he started the song off by talking about how many songs are about smoking weed while hardly any are wrote about selling weed. The song features what sounds like Method Man saying ” Roll that shit, light that shit, smoke it ” and it is easily a great baking jam.

He also played the timeless classic ” Big Girls Need Love Too ” which before he started joked that is the number one song in South America. ” I can’t walk the streets of Hondurus because of this song “. It is a great song, filled with great lines. Just listen.

Blueprint got off stage and headed to the merch booth, where he sold T-shirts and copies of his new cd ” The Deleted Scenes ” which is a b-side record of all the cuts that didn’t make the ” Adventures in Counter Culture ” release. What is remarkable about Blueprint is that he has a amazing memory. Right way he remembered me, and he started a conversation about the last show I was at of his. I made sure to buy the new cd, and thanked him from coming back to St. Louis. He thanked me.

That doesn’t happen a lot anymore, he cares about his fans and it shows. This was a great hip hop show, Blueprint brings it everytime. If he stops in your hood, hand over that 10 dollars and go see this show. You wont regret it.

Thanks to : Blueprint, DJ Rare Groove, Mad Dukez, Mathias and The Pirates, The Firebird and everyone who was there.

Till next time.

BzNtz

Twiztid Destroys East St. Louis With Help From Hed Pe and Lil Wyte 11/29/12

TWIZTID/HED PE/LIL WYTE/POTLUCK POP’S SAUGET, IL 11/29/12
WORDS/PHOTOS/VIDEO by BzNtz

Strangely I had not heard much of this tour until a few days before the show. Fate had giving both my girl and I the night off so we set out to make the most of it. After talking to my friend Steve, he invited us out to show and talked both of us into going. In exchage we talked Steve into giving us a ride out to Pop’s in Sauget, IL. Pop’s is one minute across the river in beautiful East Saint Louis. I have been coming to Pop’s since 1998. Great place, good staff, and awesome times.

We got inside as the California duo Potluck was midway through there set. They seemed like a fun band, and a great fit for this crowd. The crowd was a very good sized one, and had both the balcony and floor close to full.

After a few minutes of walking around we settled into a spot as Potluck played a remake of Tyga’s ” Rack City ” and turned it into ” Pot City ” talking about there hometown of Humboult County, CA. They closed out the set by asking fans to come smoke and talk with them at the merch booth.

During the intermission my buddy asked me? ” Is Lil Wyte here, he has no merch here? ” That was a good point too, as it was close to 8 p.m and they still hadn’t set up their merch. Well the lights went black and out came the southern legend that is Lil Wyte.

Hailing from Memphis, TN and reppin’ both Hypnotize Minds and Wyte Music. Lil Wyte has released 6 studio albums since 2000, the latest being ” Still Doubted ” which dropped in June of this year. The crowd really was into seeing Lil Wyte and his shows are always fun. As to be expected he closed his 30 set with ” Oxycottin “. The last few verses he did accapella with the crowd and was a great ending.

That brought up (Həd) p.e. they are from Huntington Beach, Ca. I have been seeing them live since 1999. Since then I have been to countless shows. They have a very loyal following now, and they had a lot of t-shirts with their logo in the crowd.

As soon as that first song ” Let’s Ride ” hit, all hell broke loose. The crowd went into a frenzy and a huge pit formed. The crazy thing is normally the pit stays away from the metal beams way off to the side, this pit sent people hurling into it. Girls were left scattering as the crowd grew more vicious with the song.

Lead Singer Jahred talked in between songs about a lot of things: Freedom, America, fucking, smoking, being lied to and just overall living a good life. He still can get down on stage too, during some songs bouncing 3-4 feet off the stage. The crowd matched his intensity and gave it right back.

My favorite part of the show was when Strata-G came out and rocked the stage. Strata-G is part of the F.T.I Army, which is a St. Louis label. They rock a lot of shows out here, and they are constantly on the grind. Strata-G has spent years promoting F.T.I outside of Pop’s chasing his dream, and has released multiple full length cds.

Hed rocked the stage for a good 45 minutes, and it was obvious the crowd wanted more. There just wasn’t enough time though and it was time for the Detroit horror duo, TWIZTID.

We left the crowd for some fresh air, soon enough some random girl came outside screaming TWWWWWWWIZTIDs on. We left and went inside as the murderous tag team that is Monoxide Child, and Jamie Madrox took the stage for the first song. Onstage Madrox sported a fancy mo-hawk, while Monoxide Child rocked some toxic lime green hair. Many juggalos in the crowd sported bloody clothing, painted faces, and psychopathic merch.

I first heard of Twiztid back in 1998 when I got a flyer featuring a dead siamise baby. They have went on to release 9 full length and 6 e.p albums since then and have developed a extremely devote fan base. This year they released ” Abominationz ” in October on Psychopathic Records.

Twiztid pieced together a impressive career spanning setlist that made both new and old fans happy. During the show a omenious ” Old School ” sound bite would drop everytime Twiztid played a older song.

Twiztid played for a hour, and the packed house loved every second of it. My girl had fun, I had fun. After the show the bands stuck around to sell merch, sign autographs and take photos with fans. Jahred from Hed was helping fans cut the sleeves off their newly purchased shirts.

It was a great night, and I can’t wait to do it all again. Thanks to: Pop’s, Twiztid, Hed Pe, Lil Wyte, Potluck, F.T.I Army, Straga-G and everyone else who came out and made this night awesome.

Till next time…..
BzNtz

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