Frisco Express

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St. Louis has been home to some pretty great, much-missed concert venues — e.g., Kiel Opera House, Mississippi Nights, Graham Chapel (yup, the old stone church at Washington University once hosted rock & roll shows), the sprawling, bucolic grounds of the amazing Mississippi River Festival over in Edwardsville. But we've never had anything quite like the legendary Fillmore West in San Francisco, run by the equally legendary promoter Bill Graham. The Fillmore West (not to be confused with the Fillmore, still open for concert business in S.F.) rode high at the end of the '60s, but Graham closed the venue on July 4, 1971; on that final bill were Santana, CCR, the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service — the Bay Area's rockin' crème de la crème bidding adieu to San Francisco's premier concert locale. The 1973 documentary Fillmore takes the viewer through the waning days of the beloved hall, with extensive footage of Graham and, of course, many tasty in-concert sequences. Fillmore screens tonight at 8 p.m. at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood) as part of Webster University's Strange Brew series. Tickets are $4; for more information call 314-968-7487 or visit
Wed., June 1, 2011
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