Walking up to the House of Blues, it was hard to gauge the fans lining up for the show. Sure, on paper, it's a Stone Temple Pilots show. But, until now, the band had been led by longtime vocalist, Scott Weiland. And as much as I would have loved to see Weiland front the band, I could see why those attending the show were excited to see Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, lead the way. And why not? He's been an integral part of one of the more successful alternative rock bands of the past decade. But would he be able to fill the shoes as the voice of STP? Only time would tell. And time told.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
To say my knowledge of Sleater-Kinney was minimal would have been a huge understatement if you would have asked me a few years ago. I knew of Carrie Brownstein for endeavors outside of music, see Portlandia. I also saw Carrie and Janet Weiss perform under Wild Flag at Parade of Flesh's 2011 installment of Bro Fest (now Spillover Music Festival). But Sleater-Kinney? I had no idea, that is, until I met my wife. A riot grrrl fan, she shared the ins and outs of the movement and her favorite bands of the time. Most of which, Sleater-Kinney. So over the years, I have heard album upon album, even more so in the coming weeks to the show. So it was a no-brainer that I was going to cover the show, and more importantly, bring her along for the ride.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
In the music world, as in the real world, there are high points and low points. I truly feel that currently there is a resurgence in the long lost art of soul and feeling being injected into the music. Tonight at Off Broadway in St. Louis, two of the artists leading this resurgence gave soulful, heartfelt performances, even if there weren’t many ears in attendance. I went to this show anticipating one thing but got much more in return. Fueling my anticipation was the chance to see Anderson East for a second time this year. I was lucky enough to catch Anderson as he opened for Sturgill Simpson, performing a brief acoustic set earlier in 2015. My expectation of Anderson’s performance was more of the same but I was pleasantly surprised as he had a full band in tow for his return to STL. With the band, Anderson’s set was much more varied and upbeat. The Alabama songwriter took notice that St. Louis audiences, no matter how big, are timid when it comes to approaching a stage. East said, “this feels like a middle school dance”. 2015 will see the release of East’s first formal album, Delilah. After hearing both sides of this artist, it’s hard to choose which one I like the best but East covers all the bases in one fell swoop.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Standing on the corner near the entrance of the Mad Magician, I can’t help but notice how the surrounding, industrial area is the perfect backdrop for tonight’s show. A line has formed, a scan of this line reveals a group about as diverse as they come. Goth chicks, youngsters in their favorite brand of guitar t-shirts, and old guys like me are waiting to catch a glimpse of guitar mastery in the form of John 5. Mr. 5, aka John Lowery, took a liking to the guitar after watching episodes of the 70’s TV series, Hee Haw. At 43, John 5 has packed a little bit of everything into his stage career, playing with everyone from the likes of K.D. Lang to Marilyn Manson. John is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie when he is not promoting his latest solo album, which is entitled, Careful With That Axe. This self-promotional tour will last a mere 21 days before John resumes his duties with Zombie.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Concerts can be quite the experience. The crowd. The venue. The auditory and visual sensations. The buzzing and rumble from the bass. The sweat and glee from dancing to your favorite songs being played right in front of you. It can all be complicated and overwhelming sometimes. I knew going into the first of two nights for TV on the Radio at the Granada Theater, that I was in for a treat. Having seen the band twice before and immensely enjoying both experiences, I had high expectations going into the show. From my point of view, they were right on point, performing a spectacular show to the Dallas audience. So, it boggled my mind reading the next day when one reviewer said they "played a mediocre show". There was no "through the motions" at this show. I don't think TV on the Radio understands the phrase.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Last year, I had the privilege of catching the Nick Moss Band as they opened for Gary Clark Jr. Tonight, at Blues City Deli, the Nick Moss Band proved that whether they were playing for a room of 200 or a room of 2000, they are a band that can get the job done. Nick Moss has been in hammering out the Blues (I use the term loosely) for quite some time now and does not appear to be stopping anytime soon. Nick Moss and his band cover a large volume of musical styles during their live shows. This evening, the Band had a little seasoning for everyone’s taste as they dabbled in various genres including gospel, traditional Blues, and jam band. On a night that found the outside temps nearing single digits, Nick Moss gets a head start on warming up the Deli to the delight of those in attendance.
The pride of Brown County, Indiana, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band made a stop in St. Louis as part of a promotional tour in support of their new album, So Delicious. It has been awhile since I have seen the Big Damn Band, roughly around four years as they were the opening act for the Reverend Horton Heat, one of the first shows I covered for MTC. The Reverend along with his wife, Breezy, on the washboard and drummer, Ben Brussell, tore through roughly half of the new album during this stop at Vintage Vinyl. Opening up with “Raise a Little Hell”, something caught my attention: the Reverend’s guitar playing was even better than before! The Reverend and company take a bare bones approach to their music which translates to what you hear live is pretty much what you hear on the album. The always animated Breezy, spiced up the tongue-in-cheek song, “Pot Roast and Kisses”, with her background vocals and clicking washboard. The Reverend took a second to explain to the large Sunday afternoon gathering, that his guitars were not the best in the world but he would take one of those guitars over a top of the line Fender anytime. This down home, front porch attitude is prevalent throughout the self-produced So Delicious. As with most guests that perform at Vintage Vinyl, the Reverend and his Big Damn Band took time to sign vinyl copies of the new album and pose for pictures after they concluded their set. If you’re a guitar player get out there and discover the Reverend. If you’re a fan of good hard-working, good time music, get out there and discover Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band! Thanks to our hosts Vintage Vinyl and the Rev and his Band for taking time to stop in St. Louis.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Having missed Nika Roza Danilova, or Zola Jesus, way back when in 2011 at Dan's Silverleaf, I made sure to make a very conscious effort to see her when she stopped at Trees in Deep Ellum. Touring in support of her latest effort, Taiga, Danilova has traded her darker, baroque sound for a more accessible, poppier sound. But regardless what of what sound she is currently going for on her current album, one thing's for sure, this girl has the pipes to sing whatever she wants. In front of a pretty nice crowd, Danilova took command of the stage, standing in front of a white-lit mountain, flanked by a backing band. She worked every inch of the stage, matching the intensity of the music and her vocals. She headbanged, she flailed wildly, and she even had time to stop and take a breath from time to time. Opening with title track "Taiga" followed by her single "Dangerous Days", it was clear Zola would bring some bounce to the Trees stage, but her set list contained a bit of everything from her catalog. She is quite a talent and definitely must be seen live.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Well, I was hoping to make a triumphant return to the pages of MTC but as luck would have it, a triumphant return will have to wait due to some paranormal camera activities! (Update: photos have been recovered!) With recovered photos in hand, I will be providing you with an eyewitness account of an awesome show that recently took place in St. Louis. BB’s Jazz, Blues, and Soups, the setting for this night of blues music and education. As always, when you’re running late, the rest of the world slows down as well. So after sitting in a post, rush hour traffic jam, I finally made it to BB’s in time to catch the last half of a presentation by Alonzo Townsend and Marquis Knox. Alonzo is the son of the late great St. Louis bluesman, Henry Townsend. This presentation was entitled, “Reflections of a Genius: Henry Townsend” and set out to tell the story of Henry’s life and the life lessons he instilled in those around him. With Marquis Knox being an understudy of Henry Townsend, he (Knox) provided the perfectly-timed musical interludes that followed Alonzo’s stories. Not only did I have the privilege of hearing these stories but, as an added bonus, I got to see Henry’s Grammy award that was on display at the foot of the stage. Henry’s Grammy was awarded to him in 2008, two years after his passing, for Best Traditional Blues Album. Alonzo was on hand to accept this award on behalf of his father. Thanks to both Alonzo and Marquis for keeping these age old traditions alive!
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I'm not going to lie but I wasn't all too familiar with the artist known as Thundercat when he was announced to headline the January Red Bull Sound Select at Three Links in Dallas. But after a few YouTube videos, it was obvious that this man was a treat for the Metroplex and one of the up and coming artists in music in general. This was evident when I arrived at Three Links an hour in advance and found myself at least 50 behind the line. And the anticipation didn't stop there. The line stretched all the way down to the 7-11 store at the intersection of Elm and Good Latimer. It was more than sizable. It was amazing. So those who were lucky enough to get a wristband and make it into Three Links were treated to a great show by three great artists, capped off with Thundercat's interesting and joyous set. He was fun to watch and you could tell he was enjoying himself. It was a pretty great night.