Tag: STL

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.

Kuroma

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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THE NORTH OF HELL TOUR FEAT. ATMOSPHERE TURNS A NEW PAGE AT THE BLUE NOTE IN COLUMBIA, MO 11/04/2014

Prof, Dem Atlas and DJ Fundo
The Blue Note, Columbia, MO 11/04/2014
words/photos by BeezNutz

The Blue Note in Columbia, MO is a gem of a concert venue. It is a old beautiful theater converted into a concert night club. For the past 40 years it has been owned by Richard King and he has done a wonderful job of running it. November 4th 2014 marked a new day in its illustrious history. It was sold to the new ownership who runs the note from here on out. I was somewhat nervous, what was and is going to happen to my favorite live music venue in Missouri? I often drive 100 miles each way to catch shows that are coming a lot closer to my native St. Louis. The reason is easy, the shows are great, the crowd is young and fun. The Blue Note is stunning for live music and that to me makes it worth the drive.

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The week of the show my friend won a pair of tickets on Social Media. Which made this trip possible, not only for me but the other 2 people we brought along for the trip. We all four pitched in on gas and, without each other we wouldn’t of been able make it. We got to The Blue Note and it was PACKED! One of the largest crowds I have ever seen there for a show. They put a sign up in the window that read SOLD OUT in big bold letters as soon we walked up to the venue. One problem, one of the four of us did not have a ticket. No sooner did he start to lose faith of himself seeing the show, the ticket lady said a few more tickets were for sale.

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We decided to sit in the front row of the packed balcony. My friends made good use of the upstairs bars and bought drink after drink. I stayed sober and made sure we had a safe ride back to St. Louis. The show opened with DJ Fundo spinning a great variety of music that got the crowd moving, buying drinks and feeling awesome. After a thirty minute set DJ Fundo handed the tables over to the Dj for Dem Atlas. Dem Atlas is a new artist on Rhymesayers Entertainment. He started his first song by simply talking into the mic before transforming the song into a full blown hip hop jam. The way he jumped around, made crazy faces while spitting his sharp lyrics reminded me of a young Busta Rhymes. Not so much of his voice or rhyme style but his in your face over the top performance that ensured all eyes were on him.

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Dem Atlas made the most of his short time and rocked his set front to back. It was super fun to watch him completely blow away the audience. Before he left he told the crowd he recently completed a full length CD for sale now! It is worth checking out. Look into Dem Atlas online because you will be hearing a lot from him the coming years.

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After Dem Atlas the party starting, DJ Fundo came back to get the crowd hype for one of my personal favorites PROF. He spun some great party records such as Biggie, Snoop and other hip hop staples between the set changes. He made sure the crowd was nice and warm for his partner in crime PROF.

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Prof came on stage and right away got things moving. He is really fun to watch as he bounces back and forth across the stage. He got the people around us commenting on his crazy style almost as soon as he hit the stage.

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He played a diverse set of old and new Prof material which was mixed in between the normal hilarious stage banter between him, DJ Fundo and of coarse the crowd. They really had a lot of fun with the Columbia crowd.

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In late 2013 Prof signed a deal with Rhymesayers Entertainment and has been busy ever since. He played his new single ” Farout ” for which a new music video was released last month on the Rhymesayers youtube channel. I dig the new music and I am really looking forward to his next album.

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After a 45 minute set mixed with jokes, hiphop, singing, dancing and all around madness from him and Fundo. Prof called it a night but not before someone in the crowd brought him a shirt threw it on stage and of coarse Prof put it on right then and there. It said Doap. on the black shirt and it was fitting because Prof was pretty damn Dope.

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There was no DJ in between Prof and the headliner of the evening Atmosphere. Each second that passed the crowd packed in tighter on the floor. When the lights dropped the crowd erupted with a super loud cheer. Only to be met by Ant and Dj Plain Ole Bill on the turntables who started dropping these crazy sounds and beats through the house speakers.

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Out of the darkness Slug appeared on stage with a hooded jacket and said whats up to the adoring Columbia, MO fans. The beat dropped, the crowd went nuts as Slug broke into the song ” January On Lake St. ” From the new album ” Southsiders “. Which was fitting since there was a custom Southsiders neon light hanging right above the DJ’s heads.

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Together Atmosphere put on a classic set from the get go. The song ” God Loves Ugly ” was the 3rd song in the career spanning setlist that they brought to the table. Each song left you guessing of what would follow next.

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Each Atmosphere performance is completely different from the next, Slug is often changing the words up just for extra fun. Ant does the same with the music by taking the beats you are used to and putting a fresh live spin on each one to make it live art right before your eyes.

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Together the three of them absolutely KILLED this performance which made for easily one of the best shows I have seen all year, if not the best! People were hanging off the shaking balcony just losing their minds to the music.

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After 60 minutes of pure hip hop Slug told the crowd thank you and left the stage. I noticed a couple of songs were notably missing from this setlist. After a few minutes Slug came back on stage to grab his jacket which he had said he forgot. Looking shocked at the crowd he asked ” What the fuck are you guys still doing here?” The crowd wasn’t ready to leave just yet so he gave us a few more classic Atmosphere tracks to send us on our way.

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It has become a custom at Atmosphere shows that he and his tourmates freestyle before leaving the building. He brought Prof and Dem Atlas back to the stage for a freestyle session. It featured a really funky beat and each of the three emcees having a lot of fun spitting freestyle rhymes over it.

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Before actually calling it a night he let Prof And Dem Atlas stay on stage and help him with the song ” Trying To Find A Balance ” which resulted in a killer performance of the popular song. The DJ’s each let loose with everything they had and it was like the grand finale of a fireworks display coming through the speakers.

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This show was incredible, very thankful to be in the house for this one. When this comes to town, get to this show you will not be let down. They are on the second leg of this tour through November and it might be coming to a venue near you. Go out and support good live music this tour will not let you down.

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For more information on all of the artist go check out Rhymesayers.com/

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

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@BEEZNUTZSTL

PREVIEW LouFest 2014 – Sept 6 & 7 – Feat. Outkast, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, Grouplove and More!

GirlTalk1

On September 6 & 7 the LouFest Music Festival will return to the beautiful Forest Park in St. Louis for a fifth straight year. LouFest is growing yet again, with a rumored FOURTH stage now being added after a third being brought into the mix last year. It was estimated that the 2013 version brought in more than 15,000 people each day, more than double the previous year. The last five years have provided concert goers with a very eclectic mix of artists from all genres and stages of their careers. Another great aspect of LouFest is that they be sure to throw a few local talents such as Sleepy Kitty, Troubadour Dali and Tef Poe on the bill as well.

Previous artists to grace the LouFest stage have included The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Girl Talk (above), The Killers, She & Him,  Jim James, TV on the Radio, The National, Trampled by Turtles, Alabama Shakes, Dawes, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr. and even a Jeff Tweedy solo set. The Roots were scheduled in 2011 but sadly had to cancel at the last minute. LouFest has certainly grown to become something very special for the city of Saint Louis.

Unfortunately for LouFest, their game to slowly reveal the first nine bands by slowly releasing clues had a slight flaw that led to a leak of those nine bands in just a few hours after announcing the game. So what we already found out last week is that alt-rockers Cake will be one of the top bands on the bill… which excites the hell out of me! The other eight leaked bands are Grouplove, Portugal the Man, Blackberry Smoke, San Fermin, Pretty Little Empire, Moon Taxi, Washed Out and funksters Lettuce, who I am also incredibly excited to see.

The rest of the lineup was just released… check it out below. Be sure to check back soon for a full preview of the entire lineup!

LouFestLogo

FULL LINEUP:

Outkast

Arctic Monkeys

Cake

Grouplove

Matt & Kim

The 1975

Portugal. The Man

Future Islands

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Kelis

Washed Out

Cherub

Vintage Trouble

Rac

Blackberry Smoke

Lettuce

Delta Spirit

Moon Taxi

San Fermin

Those Darlins

Empires

Young and Sick

The Districs

Falls

Skaters

Kopecky Family Band

Roadkill Ghost Choir

Glass Animals

Black Pistol Fire

AJR

Holy Child

Alanna Royale

Kins

The Jan Shermans

Old Salt Union

 Marc Scibilia

Dylan McDonald and the Avians

Colin Lake

Pretty Little Empire

Big Brother Thunder and the Masterblasters

 

GO HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND GET DETAILS LouFest Official Website

Check out our 2013 LouFest coverage here

Check out our 2012 LouFest Photo Gallery here

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THE FLAMING LIPS (2012)

 

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DAWES (2012)

 

LouFest 2013 - Jim James 2

JIM JAMES (2013)

 

 

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

Find and #FOLLOW us. Twitter/Instagram

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

 

Royal Teeth Brings Their ” Glow ” to Vintage Vinyl 03.06.2014

Royal Teeth
03.06.14
by bzntzstl

On a beautiful, bright day in the Delmar loop in Saint Louis, MO. Royal Teeth, a five piece band from New Orleans, LA stopped by Vintage Vinyl for a stripped down acoustic performance before their show at the Demo later that evening. They are on the road promoting their latest release ” Glow ” which is on Dangerbird Records and features the single ” Wild “.

It is always a wonderful feeling being at Vintage Vinyl, good times and a great staff that loves music as much as you! As a bonus treat, Schlafly Beer was free to those attending that were 21 and up. Schlafly has been brewing quality beer here in St. Louis since 1991 and they always have supported local music.

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The band had been on a 30 plus day tour and was this was the second from last date on the trip. Still they looked, and sounded great as it was the first day out on the road.

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They played songs from ” Glow ” as well as a few from their ” Act Naturally e.p “. Mixing in a few new songs and a cover the band played a diverse 30 minute set that lasted well into my second Schlafly.

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The most undeniable thing about this group that I loved is they made it look fun. Which translated into everyone else enjoying the music that much more.

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Last year they were featured on Last Call with Carson Daly as musical guest. Rumor has it they are booked for another national Tv spot on the 20th of this month on a prime time hit show.

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Afterwords the band, the crowd and empolyees of the store all sat around chatting as if old friends. Some of us drank, others did not. Yet, everyone left feeling good and glowing with a smile.

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Thank you Royal Teeth, Thank You Vintage Vinyl St. Louis, and Thank You Schlafly Beer.

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Be sure to check out ” Glow ” on Itunes.

@beeznutzstl TWITTER/INSTAGRAM

@vintagevinylstl
@schlafly
@royalteethmusic

till next time’
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?”

Arctic Monkeys - St Louis 2014 2   Arctic Monkeys - St Louis 2014 3

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.

Crosses 1-10-14 Pops STL

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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FOLLOW @DARBYSTL ON TWITTER / LIKE DARBYSTL ON FACEBOOK

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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

 

blitzen trapper sign

 

Blitzen Trapper ORH STL 9-18-13 3

 

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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LouFest 2013 - Space Capone 2

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

JeffAustin_bySeñorMcGuire_2

 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

Yonder Mountain String Band Release Winter/Spring 2013 Tour Dates

It is no secret that Concert Confessions houses a few folks that love them some bluegrass/jamgrass/newgrass music… call it what you will, but like Keller Williams sings “when i hear that banjo crow, when I hear that fiddle play, when I hear that chuck of the mandolin man it just makes my day.” It was a good week for bluegrass fans as one of the modern-day monsters of the genre announced this week that they will be back at it in early 2013. The Yonder Mountain String Band will head back out on the road for 2 short stints. The tour kicks off in Knoxville and wraps up in Phoenix with stops damn near all over the country, including two nights at The Pageant in St. Louis (my stomping ground.) Be sure to check back for a full recap of that one, and check out our previous Yonder Mountain content including an interview with Jeff Austin and Dave Johnston prior to last years STL stop.

Previously Announced Dates:

1/10     Knoxville, TN     Tennessee Theater
1/11     Nashville, TN     Marathon Music Works
1/12     New Orleans, LA     House of Blues
1/17     Orlando, FL     Plaza Theater
1/18     Fort Lauderdale, FL     Culture Room
1/19     St. Petersburg, FL     Jannus Live
1/20     Jacksonville, FL     Freebird Live
1/23     Charlottesville, VA     Jefferson Theater
1/24     Asheville, NC     Orange Peel
1/25     Asheville, NC     Orange Peel
1/26     Atlanta, GA     Tabernacle
1/29     Charleston, SC     Music Farm
1/30     Winston-Salem, NC     Ziggy’s Rock House
1/31     Covington, KY     Madison Theater
2/01     Columbus, OH     LC Pavilion
2/02     Madison, WI     Orpheum Theater

NEW Dates:

2/28     Lawrence, KS     Liberty Hall
3/01     Dallas, TX     Granada Theater
3/02     Austin, TX     Stubb’s BBQ
3/06     Tulsa, OK     Cain’s Ballroom
3/07     Urbana, IL     Canopy Club
3/08     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
3/09     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
3/13     Albuquerque, NM     Sunshine Theater
3/14     Flagstaff, AZ     Orpheum Theater
3/15     Salt Lake City, UT     The Depot
3/16     Aspen, CO     Belly Up
3/17     Aspen, CO     Belly Up
3/20     Billings, MT     Babcock Theater
3/21     Bozeman, MT     Emerson Cultural Center
3/22     Missoula, MT     Wilma Theater
3/23     Missoula, MT     Wilma Theater
3/24     Phoenix, AZ     McDowell Mountain Music Festival

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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

BeezNutz Races Through St. Louis To Catch 3oh!3 11/02/12

3oh!3 St. Louis, MO
Rock N’ Roll Marathon, 11/02/12
Words/Photos/Video: BzNtZ

I can remember back to the 08′ warped tour, and how 3oh!3 was on that tour. They had a new CD that was supposed to drop on that tour, it had leaked before the release date. Instead of bitching, 3oh!3 burnt copies of the new CD on CDR signed them and sold them for 5 bucks. My friend Steve has one of these, he was the one to introduce me to the band that day. The performances I saw in 08′ were great and I was instantly a fan.

I had not heard much from them since the release of the latest album ” Streets Of Gold “. Although they toured extensively for the album they did not include St. Louis on the dates. Then one day out of the blue, my friend Chris called to tell me 3oh!3 would be playing a free show for the Rock And Roll Marathon series. They would be playing the finish line party and I was pretty excited.

The morning of the show, my girlfriend and I set out with just enough time to make the 11 a.m show. Between highway construction, and road closures for the marathon we cut it extremely close. I parked as close as I could and we had to walk the 10 city blocks to the park. A steady stream of runners and joggers filed passed the line seemed to be never ending. We picked up the pace and set out on our own marathon.

We finally found the mainstage as 3oh!3 was playing ” Starstruck ” from the first album ” Want “. We quickly made our way to the front of the stage, just in time for the beach balls. As we got to our spots about 10-20 huge beach balls were thrown into the crowd and made for a fun party like atmosphere.

The crowd enjoyed them, as well as the band. In between songs they joked they were opening the show for ” The Beach Balls “. Made for a humorous part of the show. They played ” My First Kiss ” off of there 2nd cd ” Streets Of Gold ” next.

They kept the energy high and the morning crowd ate it up, the only bad thing about this set was it was censored. There were a lot of young kids in the crowd and it was a family event so they didn’t cuss during the hour long set. It was very obvious on one of my favorite tracks ” Richman ” that they were playing a clean set.

When any band says they are gonna play a new song, that instantly means I hit record on the camera. They broke out a new song for this show, and it went over great. After the song was over they invited a fan on stage to dance it out with them. One word : Amazing. Just watch this starting at 3:50.

Then it was time for the beach balls second coming, and it turned out to be a funny moment. The crowd would hit the balls on stage and Nat, and Sean would kick, punch or throw them back to the crowd. I was trying to get a good shot of them hitting the balls back, so I told my girlfriend Danielle to hit one to Sean so I could get the shot. Well she did and bounced one right off his chest, he wasn’t looking and got GOT! Made me laugh and was a highlight of the show for me.

Before starting the last song ” Don’t Trust Me ” Sean asked the crowd to ” Please, don’t hit me”. Which made me turn to my girlfriend and laugh.

They rocked the last song with a lot of help from the crowd. After the performance they jumped down to the barricade to sign autographs and take photos with fans.

It was a great show, and was a lot of fun. The Rock and Roll Marathon seemed very well organized, and well planned. I can’t wait for next years. Go check out 3oh!3 next time they come around, they still are a lot of fun.

SETLIST


Till Next Time…..

BzNtz

Infamous Stringdusters Embark on Old Rock House – St. Louis 11/14/12

An Evening with the Infamous Stringdusters – Old Rock House 11/14/2012
Words / Pictures by Bradley Darby

 

Described by some critics as “a future supergroup,” “a phenomenon” “intricately improvisational,” and “flawless”, the Infamous Stringdusters have been tearing up the bluegrass circuit for the last five years, releasing four studio albums as well as a live album while garnering a Grammy nomination along with three International Bluegrass Association awards and playing to packed venues and festival tents. The Stringdusters were just in the home of Chingy during Labor Day weekend for what was scheduled to be the late night portion of Del Yeah! Bluegrass Festival, however the festival was rescheduled due to inclimate weather. The Stringdusters played anyways to a near sold out crowd. That night they announced they would be coming back through town for one of the final shows on their Fall tour in November… that night was November 14th.

 

The first set started at 9PM with “The Place That I Call Home” with vocals by fiddle player Jeremy Garrett. While the band continued to play in the background, stand up bassist Travis Book took the mic to welcome the crowd and ask “Who here has seen the Stringdusters, whos done this before? Who knows what’s up? Then you know you are here to do whatever you want… dance, sing, drink, talk, whatever it is. Its your Wednesday night and we’re just so glad to be here tonight. Two sets of music, we’re gonna be at this awhile, settle in.” Book stayed on the mic as they went directly into the Danny Barnes tune “Get It While You Can.” It was clear at this point that the Dusters had already settled in quite nicely as the third song was a stunning instrumental that was very heavy on the fiddle, thanks to Jeremy Garrett.

A brand new song that debuted in late October, “Road to Boulder,” was led by dobro player Andy Hall. Their version of “In God’s County”, a song you may remember from The Joshua Tree by U2 was next. The Stringdusters are no stranger to that one, it was recorded for 2010’s Things That Fly. Travis got back on the mic to address the crowd again as he showed his appreciation for the Old Rock House and mentioned that this was the final week of the tour. Props were also given for the light guy, Bret Angstep, who was doing an absolutely fantastic job to make the stage look incredible. “How Far I’d Fall For You” was introduced by Book as a “party love song.”

A Del McCoury classic, “Travelin’ Teardrop Blues” segued right into banjo picker Chris Pandolfi leading the group and slaying dragons with his banjo for another instrumental. Following a brief pause to allow the crowd time to gather their thoughts it was time to cater to the hippie demographic with a cover of “Free” by Phish. Andy Hall was back at the mic for a stellar version of “Well, Well” that clocked in at 10 minutes and included what I’m pretty sure was a tease of the theme song from Top Gun by guitarist Andy Falco. The first set closed out just before 10 P.M.

After about a 35 minute break the second set started off in the hands of Travis Book yet again for “It’ll Be Alright” and was followed by another Andy Hall tune, “Rain.” The energy in the room just ten minutes into the the second set was definitely being felt by the band as they expressed how much fun they were having. The next song, “17 Cents” was dedicated to “people who struggle to make ends meet at the end of every month, damn near everybody i know ” said Book. A cover of “Walking on the Moon” by The Police had a nice bluegrass-reggae feel to it. Another tasty diddy of an instrumental went right into “Aint No Way of Knowing” followed by “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” with Andy Falco playing the part of Dylan.  “Deep Elem Blues” featured Travis Book laying down some nasty bass. He then told us about the new deluxe edition of Silver Sky, a re-release of their most recent album with bonus tracks and a live disc that is available only at independent record shops nationwide. You can’t order it on their website, really… I tried. They then played the first track from that album “Don’t Mean Nothin.” An excellent cover of The Grateful Dead’s “He Gone,” which is one of the bonus tracks featured on Silver Sky Deluxe Edition, was dedicated to Peter Dedario who was apparently responsible for the strings on Falco’s guitar. The set ended with what turned out to be a nearly 10 minute jammed out version of “Gettin’ Down The Road.”

After thanking the crowd they informed us they would be doing an encore and that they would normally walk away but theres no where to go. We were informed of The Show Hive, a section of the their website where sound engineer Dave Becker posts pictures and audio of every show. Even full, FREE recordings of most shows! The Dusters take on The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” started the encore, quite possibly a tribute to Levon Helm who passed away earlier this year. Their International Bluegrass Award winning song “Fork in the Road” closed the show out and as they thanked the crowd Book informed us that “you guys rocked!”

 

To say that I have grown quite fond of the Infamous Stringdusters over the past few years would be a fact. To say that after seeing them live for the first time last June (then again in August and October, then again three times this year) made me a fanatic would be an understatement. This band is incredibly talented and you need to do yourself a favor if you like bluegrass music the least bit and give them a chance… NOW.

—Setlist—
SET I
The Place That I Call Home
Get It While You Can
Instrumental
Road to Boulder
In Gods Country
How Far I’d Fall For You
Travelin’ Teardrop Blues
Instrumental
Free
Night on the River
Well, Well

SET II
It’ll Be Alright
Rain
17 Cents
Telluride
Something Wind
Walking on the Moon
No Resolution (Instrumental)
Ain’t No Way of Knowing
Don’t Think Twice
Deep Elem Blues
Don’t Mean Nothin’
My Destination
He Gone
Gettin’ Down the Road
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E: Up On Cripple Creek
E: Fork in the Road

PHOTO GALLERY: LouFest 2012 feat. Flaming Lips, Dawes, Girl Talk, Son Volt and More / Aug 25-26 / Forest Park, St. Louis MO

LouFest 2012 Photo Gallery

All Pictures and Video by Bradley Darby (DarbySTL on Facebook/Twitter)

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY LOUFEST 2012 VIDEO PAGE ON YOUTUBE

 

I present you with my 2012 LouFest photo gallery. This was one of my favorite smaller festivals I have attended and I look forward to what the future LouFest’s will bring now that they seem to be coming into their own in their third year. Enjoy the pictures in this gallery as much as I enjoyed shooting them and go listen to some of these great bands (I highly suggest Little Barrie)

DAWES

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LITTLE BARRIE

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SON VOLT

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GIRL TALK

GirlTalk2-Loufest2012   GirlTalk-Loufest2012

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THE FLAMING LIPS

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FULL FLICKR ALBUM LOCATED HERE

LIKE MY DARBYSTL FACEBOOK PAGE HERE

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DR. DOG

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CULTS

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SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN

SomeoneStillLovesUBorisYeltsin

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FULL FLICKR ALBUM LOCATED HERE

Split Lip Rayfield – Old Rock House in St. Louis 5/26/12

 

Words/Pictures/Video by Bradley Darby

 

Everyone’s favorite bluegrass band that features a gas tank bass invaded the Old Rock House stage in St. Louis once again for yet another stellar show. Split Lip Rayfield, the 3 piece touring machine from Kansas, brought their blend of punk and metal inspired bluegrass music back to the Old Rock House stage. The last time they stopped in was last fall with the Legendary Shack Shakers and Mountain Sprout, one of my favorite shows of 2011, also at the Old Rock House. Jeff Eaton, the man behind the gas tank bass pictured above, known as the Stitchgiver, is actually from a little town called Gumbo, Missouri which is just a few hours from St. Louis. There is always a welcoming crowd for the Split Lip boys when they come through the Gateway to the West and this was no exception, and we even got to witness a small bluegrass mosh pit at one point!

They started the night off with “Flat Black Rag” and then mandolin/guitarist Wayne Gottstine took things over for “All The Same”. It was then onto Jeff Eaton’s first featured song, “Love Please Come Home”” before Wayne took the mic back for “Moving to Virgina” and “The River.”

Wayne switched from mandolin to guitar for “Never Make It Home” while Jeff armed himself with his trusty kazoo for a rocking solo . During “Kiss of Death” we even had the aforementioned mosh pit break out right in front of the stage featuring two booze infused fans going at it while Eaton slapped away at the Stitchgiver. Banjo picker Eric Martis then introduced Jeff to the crowd as Nikki Syxx, to which the crowd cheered… one fan booed loudly, and Martis replied “only one guy had the right response!” (Good job Ben!) At this point the crowd was growing restless as Eaton took over again for the always depressing “Pinball Machine”, one of my personal favorites.

Each Split Lip show features a toast to their fallen friend, and former guitarist, Kirk Rundstrom and tonight was no different. After “How Many Biscuits Can You Eat?”,  another great tune during which Jeff Eaton is damn near incoherently growling about eating biscuits in the morning we were asked to raise a glass to Kirk, and then it was “I’ll Be Around”, the title track to their most recent album and only released after the passing of Rundstrom. The last song of the night was “Redneck Tailgate Dream”  before they stepped off the stage to catch their breath.

 

After about a minute off the stage, the guys came back out and said they had one more for us… and then went right into the face melting “High Price of Necromancy” and then the fan favorite and sing a long, “Used to Call Me Baby.” They finished out their one song encore with “Dont Believe That You’re Someone” and finally “Outlaw.” One song left huh? What a bunch of liars!

Overall, it was another great evening out with Split Lip Rayfield and I look forward to seeing them again next week at Wakarusa as well as at the end of June when they hit the BloomHeavy River Romp Festival in Grassy, MO (just 2 hours south of St. Louis)

 

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