The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: November 3 to 5

click to enlarge River Kittens performs this Sunday at Broadway Oyster Bar as part of Voodoo Mama Fest 2. - Photo via artist Bandcamp
Photo via artist Bandcamp
River Kittens performs this Sunday at Broadway Oyster Bar as part of Voodoo Mama Fest 2.
The weekend ahead brings plenty of opportunities to get more mileage out of that overpriced Halloween costume. Ghoul, Gwar, Motograter and the Voodoo Mama Fest all fill out the next three days of pumpkin-spice and leftover candy.

Remember, we gain an hour on Sunday morning, so enjoy all the festivities on Saturday night.


Ghoul w/ Gwar, Doyle, U.S. Bastard
7 p.m. Pop's Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Avenue; Sauget, Illinois. $20-$22. 618-274-6720.
By Daniel Hill
Two travelling bands of costumed metal monsters will be making a mighty ruckus at this show, but only one actually produces music as maniacal as its stage persona would imply — and that band is Ghoul. Sure, Gwar is a spectacle virtually unparalleled in the annals of metal music. And sure, Ghoul doubtlessly cribbed many notes from Gwar, having come onto the scene nearly two decades later. But whereas Gwar's music has often seemed like something of an afterthought to the wacky performance art taking place on the stage, Ghoul simply fucking shreds. The Oakland-based group takes influences from thrash metal and death metal in near-equal parts, producing a toxic stew of lightning-fast riffs, blood-drenched vocals and pummeling drums that appeals to even the most discerning of headbangers. Through it all, the band manages to keep its tongue planted firmly in its cheek — a rarity in a scene that can sometimes be a bit too self-serious.

Mariner w/ Motherfather, Biff K'Narly, Ursi
8 p.m. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway. $5.
With a mastery on high tension builds, Mariner slowly burns through a series of melodic scripts with dynamic class. The classic rock format is here with a glued bass and drum section taking root under strong guitar leads, and the vocal work punctuates the band's jazzy syncopation with pop-leaning punk. This year's Bury You strays far outside the boundaries of their 2013 debut Those Who Challenge The Sun while retaining the heart and heft the band so distinctly injects into every song.

Modern English w/ Seashine
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $20. 314-498-6989.
By Roy Kasten
It’s happened a million times in a million cities, towns and college dance parties: The world stops, the future opens wide, and praise-be-to-all-chiming-guitars-and-Bo-Diddley-beats, every defense melts and every voice belts out every word. In 1982, Modern English’s titanic hit “I Melt With You” made for one of pop music’s most hopeful, unifying moments. And for the last 35 years, every night the Essex UK band has taken the stage, collective nostalgia becomes pure, total joy. Of course, Modern English is more than that sing-along-to-end-all-sing-alongs. Crafty, dreamy and tensile all at once — and this year’s Take Me to the Trees is better than any new-wave journeymen’s album has a right to be – the music of Modern English can still melt you.


Hot Mulligan w/ Coldfront, Hold Close, Ursa Major, Biff K'narly
7 p.m. Foam, 3359 South Jefferson Avenue. $10. 314-772-2100.
The Lansing, Michigan-natives in Hot Mulligan thaw the most jaded of emo loyalists with an unyielding kind of energy, an optimism that leaks through fiery riffs. Synth warbles under sharp and pointed percussion, laying the kind of bedrock needed for fast flowing melodies. Steam pours out from the narrow spaces made by this band of five, a credit to the careful interplay that could easily be traded for a louder, more aggressive approach. Coming from its hometown of Oakville, Ontario, the aptly-named Coldfront joins Hot Mulligan on this tour to carry its buoyant pop-punk outside the Canadian border.

8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $20. 314-498-6989.
By Roy Kasten
From Indie-rock Innovator Luna Is Back, With Two New Records:
Beginning with the debut Lunapark in 1992, through its masterpiece Penthouse in 1995 and on through the early 2000s, Wareham and the band created a lush yet laconic sound, a glinting resonance of guitars and droning strings, with rhythms that could shift from windswept pop to sweaty punk. Through it all, Luna's melodies shimmer through the fuzz and haze, and that luminous intimacy is fully on display in its newest recordings, the covers collection A Sentimental Education and the purely instrumental EP A Place Of Greater Safety.

Patrice Rushen
9:30 p.m. The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard. $40. 314-533-9900.
By Christian Schaeffer
Crate-diggers, soul aficionados and collectors of smooth grooves understand the value of Patrice Rushen, even if the general public may only know her in passing. A lithe and versatile vocalist and a jazz-tutored pianist, Rushen cut a path through the mid-‘70s and early ’80s by combining Chic’s elegance and Herbie Hancock’s Fender Rhodes-driven funk. Will Smith made hay by stripping her “Forget Me Nots” to serve as the backbone of “Men in Black,” but the wealth of groove and poise in her prime-period cuts — “Haven’t You Heard,” “Feels So Real” — make digging through her catalog worthwhile.


Dance with the Dead w/ Gost, Giant Monsters on the Horizon
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $13-$15. 314-498-6989.
Two metalheads masquerading as a glow stick ready synth duo, Dance with the Dead schemes with sordid shred tactics. Fit for a classic broadcast of Headbangers Ball, but on acid, these songs relate the frenetic energy of metallic riffs with a synthetic rip. Sure metalstep, cyber metal and other such collisions are on the rise, but this pair keeps the vibe dialed back in favor of clever songcraft, keeping the door wide open and accessible to fans of both metal and electronic music.

7 p.m. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street. $12-$15. 314-535-0353.
Some might argue against Motograter's place in the annals of theatrical metal beside Gwar, Slipknot and Mudvayne, what with its tribal body paint and dense industrial sound. Yet the Motograter, a handmade Contrabass of which the band derives its name, should squash any doubts. The group's failure to reach Hot Topic-levels of visibility can be owed only to its history of breakups and reunions, only recently leveling out with a second studio album. Released back in August, Desolation shows the band well beyond its mainstream peak of Ozzfest 2003 but far from past its creative prime.

8 p.m. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market Street. $32-$52. 314-499-7600.
More than twenty years removed from 1995's Tales From The Punchbowl, the early nineties configuration of Primus reunited to produce The Desaturating Seven, a concept album based on an Italian children's book about rainbow-eating goblins. Because of course they did. If you've not yet taken the time to soak in Claypool and company's latest sonic odyssey, fret not, because it only dropped at the tail end of September and the timing ensures a live showing of the new digs. Just don't go in expecting "My Name Is Mud."

Voodoo Mama Fest 2 w/ Heather Manley, Tonina Saputo, Cara Louise Band, Bottoms up Blues Gang, Chrysta Lynn and the Famdamily, River Kittens, One Way Traffic, Funky Butt Brass Band ft. Kari Liston and Hillary Fitz, Naked Rock Fight, Hillary Fitz Band
2 p.m. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 South Broadway. $10. 314-621-8811.
With femme and female songwriters at the fore, this full day of music comes with a mission of fundraising for Soul Much Water, an organization that, in its own words, "creates conscious water conservation and sustainability at festivals and for the globe." Headed by Hillary Fitz, who can be seen and heard with both her own band and the Funky Butt Brass Band, this lineup spans a range of soul, funk, folk and blues with subtle hints of rock and roll throughout.

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