Out Every Night: The Best Shows in St. Louis from May 20 to 26

May 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

Next weekend looks pretty awesome, though anything does when an extended weekend awaits most of us thanks to Memorial Day. Keep that extra sleep time in mind while slogging through the work week and affording yourself some time to enjoy visits from acts like Andrew W.K., Soundgarden and El Ten Eleven. More recommendations await after the jump.

Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend show post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas any time.

Did we leave something significant out? There's a chance it didn't make it onto our radar! Send your show tips anytime to [email protected].

Speedwolf w/ Grand Inquisitor, Tropical Storm!, Rites of Impiety Monday, May 20, 8 p.m. @ Fubar - $10-$12 By Daniel Hill Denver's Speedwolf plays ripping thrash metal with heaps of Motörhead influence, from the gravelly vocal delivery down to the dirty thrash-rock riffage. Speedwolf is no tribute band, however; d-beat-style intensity and impressive technicality set Speedwolf apart from the cookie-cutter bands. Have you seen the cover of last's year's full-length, Ride With Death? Half-man, half-wolves wearing jean biker vests ride choppers across the open highway, while the Grim Reaper -- who looms over the horizon as large as the setting sun -- looks on. That image pretty much sums up this band nicely.

The Band of Heathens Tuesday, May 21, 8:30 p.m. @ Off Broadway - $12-$17 By Roy Kasten Neither blues nor Southern rock, neither a jam band nor a bar band, the ensemble of Austin, Texas songwriters, singers and guitar-slingers known as the Band of Heathens have drawn buckets of inspiration from all the wells of American music. Its two core songwriters, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist (co-founder Colin Brooks left the group in 2011), seem intent on following the tracks of the only other band they resemble: The Band. Mining the iconography of rural life, lost highways and damaged dreams, Jurdi and Quist and their comrades make unpretentious rock & roll sound exhilarating again.

Soundgarden Tuesday, May 21, 8 p.m. @ The Pageant - $75-$100 By Allison Babka "I've been away for too long," growls Chris Cornell on Soundgarden's 2012 album King Animal. It's certainly been too long since Soundgarden has visited the Gateway to the West. Sure, Cornell has been here a few times with Audioslave, as well as on his own, but Soundgarden? Freaking full-on Soundgarden? That hasn't happened since flannel shirts and hair dyed with Kool-Aid fell off the fashion radar. The band had called it quits in 1997, but as happens with many bands of a certain age, Soundgarden gave the reunion idea a go, and it's paid off. King Animal is a hell of a comeback album, full of the band's distinctive howl but with an edge that feels more mature. Soundgarden has played a few one-off shows and festivals since reuniting in 2010, but seeing the boys at the relatively small Pageant will be a sonic treat.

Andrew W.K. w/ The Fuck Off and Dies Wednesday, May 22, 8 p.m. @ The Firebird - $17-$20 By Daniel Hill From "Andrew W.K. is Coming to the Firebird May 22:" It has been years since W.K. came to St. Louis on a non-Warped Tour stage. His appearances at Pop's in the early aughts were rather rambunctious affairs -- at that time his debut album I Get Wet had just been released and droves of faithful partiers worshipped the man's every move. Now I Get Wet is ten years old and W.K. is the subject of increasingly weird conspiracy theories, but we're betting that his live shows are still just as wild and fun as ever.

El Ten Eleven Thursday, May 23, 8:30 p.m. w/ Michna, Nude Pop @ The Firebird - $10-$14 By Shae Moseley From this 2009 show preview: The danceable, hypnotic loops created by the Los Angeles electro-rock duo El Ten Eleven are a very 21st-century, post-everything artistic expression that borrows very little from the past. But the pair's real strength is its live show, where its mastery of looping techniques and full exploitation of effects-pedal manipulations set it apart from most of its peers. Double-neck guitar wizard Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty construct layers of sonic bliss in a live setting on a nightly basis; the audience is placed in the interesting position of watching the piece-by-piece construction of each pulsing, ethereal number. It's hard to fake that sense of immediacy and it translates into an energetic live experience.