Hot Time, Music in the City

A feast of sweet summer sounds awaits you

Strhess Tour

Saturday, July 16
Mississippi Nights
914 North First Street

If the Warped Tour and Sounds of the Underground seem a little overwhelming, but you still need an annual dose of summer punk and metal, try the Strhess Tour, affectionately known as a Small-Ass Tour. This year Mississippi Nights hosts Bleeding Through, Darkest Hour, Fight Paris, Martyr AD and Zao. Tickets are $13 to $15.

I Am Indie, Hear Me Roar
Your summer music experience need not be limited to festivals and stadium tours. There are plenty of smaller acts out on the road, anxious to add their heat to the thick of our Midwestern humidity. It all starts June 3 with Andrew Bird, who appears at Off Broadway in support of his February release, Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Bird spent a good part of last year on the road with My Morning Jacket, so we can only hope this deserving singer, songwriter, violinist and whistler has garnered more fans. Hot on the heels of the Bird brigade will be Marah, who will prove their straight-ahead solidity June 13 at Off Broadway.

Few concerts this summer can be compared to the Hasidic reggae of MC Matisyahu. It's hard to believe these thick roots rhythms and Jah sensibilities come from an Orthodox Jew whose lyrics are drawn in equal parts from the annals of hip-hop culture and Hebrew scholarship. He will turn skeptics into converts on June 15 at Mississippi Nights. Xiu Xiu, beloved by masses of college girls transformed by the Garden State soundtrack, will probably draw the most coiffed crowd ever seen at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center on June 29. Twelve years ago, the lives of college girls were similarly changed by the soundtrack to Untamed Heart, featuring "Tom's Diner," everyone's favorite Suzanne Vega song other than "Luka." Vega brings her astoundingly reliable catalogue to the Pageant on August 18.

Top 40 Skillet
Thrown into the frying pan this year is a mix of Top 40 hits from then and now. Here's a rundown of the highlights -- bacon grease and all.

The Dave Matthews Band packs the UMB Bank Pavilion June 1, with Jurassic 5 opening. Not wanting to be one-upped by Brian Wilson at Roberts Orpheum on August 24, the other Beach Boys stop at Harrah's on June 19 -- the same night bluegrass king Ralph Stanley performs at Meramec Music Theatre in Steelville. Little Feat hits the casino circuit on June 23 at Ameristar. One-hit wonders Dishwalla tell you all their thoughts on God (they're still on their way to see Her) at Six Flags on June 25. Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire share the UMB Bank Pavilion on June 26, followed on June 28 by a John Mellencamp and John Fogerty double bill. The Moody Blues get in the game June 29 at the Savvis Center.

Alanis Morissette brings her newly softened self to the Fox Theatre on July 2 with Jason Mraz. (Twenty dollars to anyone who explains the logic behind that pairing.) We wish you were still angry, Alanis! In these modern times we are left with the "anger" of "singers" like Avril Lavigne at UMB Bank Pavilion on July 21. Or, stay in the '90s groove at the Roberts Orpheum on July 25, and hearken back to a time when Jewel played "Foolish Games" with us and we loved her for it. July begins with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson teaming up at GMC Stadium in Sauget, Illinois, followed by the Black Crowes opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on July 9 at the UMB Bank Pavilion.

Adult-contemporary fans get their due later in July at Roberts Orpheum, with the Neville Brothers on July 21 and Dave Koz & Friends on July 22. ZZ Top rocks Family Arena on July 27, a couple days before Rick Springfield revives old phone numbers at Roberts Orpheum on July 29. It only gets hotter when Mötley Crüe slams into the UMB Bank Pavilion on August 9, and the casinos fight back with legends Chubby Checker at Ameristar on August 11 and Loretta Lynn at Harrah's on August 21. Hometown redneck heroine Gretchen Wilson closes summer with a night of country August 20 at the Savvis Center.

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