Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Doobie Brothers @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, MO

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3:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Some would consider only photographing and reviewing the opening band as somewhat of a consolation prize, that is, unless the opening band is the Doobie Brothers.  These music icons were in town to open up for another legendary band, Boston.  The list of the accomplishments for the Doobie Brothers is as long as their storied career.  Grammy awards, Vocal Group Hall of Fame inductions, and forty million albums sold worldwide just barely scratch the surface of the accolades this band has received.  Original members, Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston, have fronted this band for the past forty-five years, which in itself is quite a feat.  Although there have been many lineup changes throughout the years, the quality of music has never suffered.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ray LaMontagne / Hamilton Leithauser @ The Fabulous Fox Theater, St. Louis, MO

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2:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
After reviewing a few shows that involved headbanging and crowd surfing, it was nice to take a break and enjoy crooning and songwriting at its finest.  I would like to start off this review by apologizing, as I was planning to review the opening band, The Belle Brigade, but for some reason their opening slot was moved up forty minutes and their performance was missed.  So we’ll hopefully catch them at a later date.  I did have the pleasure of catching the second act, Hamilton Leithauser, and was pleasantly surprised by his New York style of crooning.  Hamilton provided a touch of smoothness that landed somewhere between Sinatra and Timberlake.  Leithauser is currently on hiatus from his band, The Walkmen.  The proceeding laid the perfect foundation for the rest of the night’s festivities.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Perfect Pussy / Potty Mouth / Stymie / Orgullo Primitivo @ Three Links, Dallas, TX

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1:30 PM
Perfect Pussy have been riding high over critically positive reviews of their Bamcamp demo and their debut album, Say Yes to Love, not to mention acclaim for their intense live shows.  The band was making their second stop at Three Links in little less than six months, a true sign that this band tours quite a bit.  But this show was a bit different than their last.  This show at Three Links, co-booked by Tactics Productions and Parade of Flesh, proved to be a memorable one.  But it wasn't for the performances, but by a speech given by Perfect Pussy front woman, Meredith Graves, regarding women in music and overall misogyny in the world.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slayer / Suicidal Tendencies / Exodus @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

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2:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
If you were in the mood for something hard and heavy, this show at The Pageant was the place to be.  St. Louis was the lucky recipient of one of only seven shows this trio had scheduled back in January.   All three bands were anticipating playing with one another as Slayer guitarist Kerry King said it had been over twenty years since Slayer had played a show with Suicidal Tendencies.  Exodus was the first band to confront this sold out, SRO show.  As one could imagine with a show of this magnitude, it did not take long for the mosh pit festivities to begin.  Exodus has been thrashing it up since 1980 and was co-founded by Metallica guitarist, Kirk Hammett.  Through the many lineup changes, Exodus has continued to endure and is rocking harder than ever with this current lineup.  With barely time for fans to make it to the restroom and back, Suicidal Tendencies took their places on the stage.  Tendencies have also secured their spot in thrash metal history with a thirty-plus year career.  I can tell you I first saw this band in 1987 and they are aging like a fine wine.  Front man Mike Muir has not skipped a beat and remains the band’s constant throughout the many ups and downs the band has endured over the years.  Taking only a brief pause from his perpetual bobbing and weaving, Muir took a second to remind attendees to pick themselves back up when life knocks you down.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Wolfmother @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

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12:30 PM
For me, there are certain bands that just strike a chord whenever I hear one of their songs.  The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, White Stripes, et cetera.  Among those is the hard-hitting sounds of the Australian outfit, Wolfmother.  When these Aussies released their self-titled debut album, you knew it was going to be something special.  Born from the ashes of 70's riffs and style, Wolfmother were compared to the likes of Zeppelin and Sabbath.  With ringleader Andrew Stockdale at the helm, Wolfmother have gone through several lineup changes over the years but that hasn't stopped them from scorching stages and ringing ears.
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Pointfest 2014 @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis, MO

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3:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
St. Louis has had its share of music and food festivals but there is one that always kind of gets the festival ball rolling and that is Pointfest!  This was the 32nd installment of this annual, sometimes semi-annual, music festival.  This year’s festival lineup received some undue, harsh criticism.  I have to agree that this was quite a change from last year’s heavy hitter lineup, which included the likes of Hollywood Undead, Volbeat, and headliners Alice in Chains.  This year’s lineup was definitely more diverse than those of the past.  Some mellower bands such as the Head and the Heart and Airborne Toxic Event graced the side stages in the middle of the afternoon.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Homegrown Music Festival @ Main Street Garden Park, Dallas, TX

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2:00 PM
In its fifth year, Homegrown Fest continues to grow and continues to bring great Texas artists to the Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas.  The perfect space to host a music festival with a great plot of grass, big enough to have two modestly-sized stages but small enough to feel intimate and not overwhelming or impersonal.  Having a large pool of Texas-based artists to choose from, the booking for Homegrown has been stellar, bringing a plethora of diverse talent from around the state.  Only a couple of bands have made it to the Homegrown stage more than once, leaving plenty of room to showcase new bands each year.  Under the warm Texas sun, this year's installment was a great time for the music lovers of North Texas.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Suburbia Music Festival @ Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, Plano, TX

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2:30 PM
When I first heard that Plano would be getting a two-day music festival, my first thought was, "Wow, out in the suburbs?"  Precisely.  And to be honest, when I saw the initial lineup, I wasn't all thrilled and thought that Live Nation could have done better.  But I was a little off base.  It wasn't the lineup I wanted but that's not who they were catering it for.  They were catering a music festival for the masses, for the everyday music listener who was getting away for the weekend.  They didn't come to see the hot indie band or the overpriced headliner, they came to see and hear the music they know and love.  When you look at it from that perspective, they hit the nail right on the head.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

JMBLYA @ Main Street Garden Park, Dallas, TX

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3:00 PM
What is Jambalaya?  Or is it JMBLYA?  Whatever the masterminds at ScoreMore decide to call it next year, JMBLYA is an eclectic mix of rap, hip hop and EDM (electronic dance music).  After last year's very successful debut at the Southe Side Ballroom featuring Big Boi, Zeds Dead, and the headlining duo of Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, the Austin-based promoters decided to go for an outdoor affair, hosting the day long event in downtown Dallas at Main Street Garden Park.  Last year, Antonio covered the event for me but this year, I wanted to check it out for myself.
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Curren$y @ South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
Words and pictures by Antonio Chantaca  
Whenever your all-time favorite artist comes to town and the promoter offers an expensive VIP package instead of general admission, buyer beware.  When Curren$y came to Texas for a couple of shows, a Texas-based promoter offered such deals during the rapper' Smoker's Holiday Tour.  The goal was simpe:  fill the South Side Music Hall and fill it early.  I was a bit skeptical if Spitta could fill such a large venue at the rate of the ticket prices, $35 for GA and $100 for VIP.  Enter Groupon and their Helluva deal, $49 VIP tickets.  The VIP ticket didn't offer the fancy extras like a t-shirt and lighter, only early entry into the venue.  It was a deal too hard to pass up.  A game changer.  This was my deciding factor on catching Spitta's set over Devin the Dude at Granada the same night.
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