Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Photos: Peter Matthew Bauer @ the Loft, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
As a fan of the Walkmen, I was pretty intrigued to here one of its own, bassist and organ player Peter Matthew Bauer, would be performing a free show exactly a month after his debut album, Liberation!, was released via Mexican Summer.  A blend of classic rock with a singer-songwriter twist, Bauer's songs are easy to ingest and a joy to listen to.  Performing for years with the Walkmen, Bauer is no stranger to the stage but this is the first time in his career to front and lead his own band.  With less than a dozen live performances under his solo name, Bauer had an composed yet highly energetic feel to him.  His performance was pretty straight forward but he provided a lot of energy when needed, almost screaming his vocals or furiously playing his guitar.  Although the crowd was very modest, he did nothing short of 110% on this night.  I would definitely recommend catching him as I thought it was a great show.  
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gary Clark Jr. / Nick Moss Band @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

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2:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson

How fitting is it that I’m sitting in my living room watching a Jimi Hendrix documentary and typing up this review?  Fitting!  Very fitting!  Stellar guitar playing was the main course of this show and St. Louis guitar fans were more than starved to see this show.  The Nick Moss Band had a tough job, warming up these staunch supporters of Gary Clark Jr.  I’m happy to report Nick Moss had what it takes to get the job done!  Nick Moss is a big man but he and his band produce a sound that is even bigger.  Moss's Band has a sound that is part jam band and part Chicago blues band.  No slouch on guitar himself, Moss is a veteran musician that has been endorsed and invited to play at Buddy Guy’s Legends by Mr. Guy himself.  The Band is touring in support of their new album, Time Ain’t Free.  If the Nick Moss Band is playing a club near you, stop on by.  You’ll thank me later!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, MO

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3:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson

After taking a break for a year, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest 2014 returned to give the St. Louis festival scene a much needed kick in the ass!  If headbanging and hair whipping for ten hours is your thing, then this festival was the spot to be on a Wednesday afternoon.  The 70-degree July weather also made attending this festival a bearable option.  This was my first visit to the Mayhem Festival and it was an experience I highly recommend.  As with any festival, Mayhem was not without its share of hits and misses; but the solid performers far exceeded the bad.  The afternoon consisted of bands playing on three stage:  Coldcock Herbal Whiskey, Headband for the Highway/Sumerian, Victory Records all provided the sponsorship needed to make these stages possible. The only snag I could find with the three-stage setup was the occasional overlapping of bands.  But Mayhem did a great job in scheduling so that most in attendance could see part of one band’s set before the next act began.
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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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