The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: September 18 to 20

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alt-J returns to St. Louis on Friday alongside San Fermin, Mat and Kim and more. - Press Photo
alt-J returns to St. Louis on Friday alongside San Fermin, Mat and Kim and more.
St. Louis has been in full festival mode for the greater part of 2015, and last weekend's LouFest brought the summer season to a close — but not without controversy. As writer Jaime Lees explored in an editorial published earlier this week, both women and people of color were underrepresented in this years' lineup, especially compared to the fest's past. Nevertheless, music fans were still treated to several stellar shows throughout the weekend. Those still hungry need look no further, as the river city rings in the autumn season with more festivals and two R&B giants from the '90s. 


alt-J w/ Matt and Kim, Walk the Moon, Catfish and the Bottlemen, San Fermin
Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
5 p.m. | $57
By all means, alt-J is a modern rock story about humble beginnings. From tracking stripped-down songs through GarageBand in a cramped dorm to winning the British Mercury Prize less than five years later, alt-J started off a side project while its members worked through school. The limitations of dorm-life helped form the band's minimalist approach, which amounts to a loose, airy sound jammed with nuance, even in a magnified arena-rock setting like the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. 

HEARding Cats Collective presents: Andrea Centazzo
Kranzberg Arts Center
7:30 p.m. | $10-$15
Andrea Centazzo takes special care in his practice of Eastern and European percussion. As a melodic player, Centazzo works within modern harmonics to form a classical-contemporary blend that makes use of electronics and sampling. The breadth of his work is astounding; with more than 30 years of performance under his belt, he has recorded close to 200 albums and performed well over 1,000 live concerts. On this night, Centazzo will perform a piece of his own titled "Sanctuary," which marries live drumming to his experimental video work on display in the Kranzberg galleries.  

Javier Mendoza
The Focal Point
8 p.m. | $27
The smallest notches on Javier Mendoza's belt include awards from you, the loyal RFT readership. He has been named Best Male Vocalist, Best Solo Artist and Best Pop Artist in the past, owing to his work while living in the river city. He kickstarted what's become quite the music career after attending St. Louis University on a soccer scholarship and this show works as something of a homecoming for the Spanish singer-songwriter. The now-Nashville dweller has written tracks for several big names, including Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. Need more reasons to go? This night is a benefit for USO St. Louis, a resource for the families of men and women serving in the United States military. 

Josh Rouse
Blueberry Hill
8 p.m. | $25
By Roy Kasten
For a brief time, Josh Rouse seemed a safe bet to give Ryan Adams a run for his Westerbergian hopes and despairs. A Midwesterner with a rock-meets-country-meets-folk plaintiveness and a golden, grainy voice, Rouse recorded his first album in a living room on an eight-track. In 1998 Dressed Up Like Nebraska was the right bummer at the right time, and every album since — including the beautifully textured Under Cold Blue Stars and this year's back-to-psychoanalytical-basics The Embers of Time — are required late-night, post-whiskey, reflective listening.


Boyz II Men
Peabody Opera House
7:30 p.m. | $38-$78
By Daniel Hill
You have a near-impossible decision to make, fan of radio-ready '90s R&B. Two of your all-time favorites are performing in town tonight, and you must choose wisely or forever live with regret. On the one hand you have Ginuwine, rider of ponies — he will be performing at Lumiere Place. On the other hand there's Boyz II Men, Motownphilly's finest, who will take the stage at the Peabody Opera House as part of the third annual Ozzie & Friends concert. The price of each show is comparable; there will be no easy decisions here. However, one thing tips the situation in favor of the Boyz: All proceeds will benefit the PGA REACH (Recreation, Education, Awareness, Community and Health) initiative, which aims to help keep kids in school and provide recreational and educational facilities for St. Louis-area youth. Go with the good cause. Ginuwine's saddle will still be waiting for you next time around.

Funk Fest 10 Night 1 w/ the Peoples Key, Fresh Heir​, Big Brother Thunder & the Master Blasters​,​ Naked Rock Fight feat. Dawn Weber​
BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups
8 p.m. | $10
Funk Fest is the kind of event that could only be dreamed up by a man that lives and breathes the music. His name is Andy Coco, KDHX DJ and bassist for several funky outfits throughout St. Louis. Really, he could book a night full of his own bands — Gumbohead, Dogtown Allstars and Rhythm Section Road Show, just to name a few — and the show would still be hailed as the best funk fest for hundreds of miles, New Orleans be damned. Instead, Coco opted to reach into the far corners of the city to stack day 1 with proper soul, not to mention future legends of local music. 

See also: Funk Fest St. Louis Remains Fiercely Local In Its Tenth Year

Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel
7 and 9:30 p.m. | $27-$40
For those who want to ride the pony right now, Ginuwine will no doubt supply what you demand for two sets on Saturday night. Boyz II Men at the Peabody might be for a good cause, but that's not to say "jumping on it" with Ginuwine won't bring its own perks. Either way, the seminal '90s singer has said that he's reaching the end of his recording career, which may or may not mean his touring days are numbered. Anyone who's ever owned Now That's What I Call Music volume-whatever is in pop heaven. 

The Maness Brothers 
9 p.m. | Free
Between tours, the two Maness brothers like to book local festivals and play on stacked bills with some of St. Louis' heaviest bands. Though they call themselves a blues band, the term fits very loosely around the pair's stellar take on heavy rock and roll. Everything seems to have swing, but the songs carry a certain heft that carries the duo between genres. Whatever you want to call it, the Maness Brothers bring music with hooks that dig deep and hold on for dear life. Expect an expanded set of originals with a few bonus cover songs and stay late for the brothers' record spin.

The Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival w/ Scott Air Force Base Starlifters, Gene Dobbs Bradford & the Blues Experience, Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers, Webster University Jazz Ensemble, Marquise Knox Blues Revue, Matt Rowland, Webster Groves High School Jazz Band, Kevin Ward & the St. Louis Jazz All-Stars, Dreaming in Colour, Bach to the Future with Eric Marienthal
Webster Groves N. Gore and W. Lockwood avenues
12 p.m. | Free
Buried in Webster Groves, this bill is worthy of St. Louis' storied past, filled with hardworking blues acts that run the gamut from classic to new-fangled. The lineup reads like a primer on gigging bands who work their guitar to the bone (or truss rod) each and every week. There's a collective stomping ground between B.B.'s Jazz and Blues, Beale on Broadway and Broadway Oyster Bar on display here, with acts breaking from their routines to represent right outside the city in Webster Groves. 


Horse Feathers w/ Scarlet Tanager
Old Rock House
8 p.m. | $13-$15
More than a decade ago, Horse Feathers helped usher in an age of indie rock mixing with more minimal folk songs. Of course, bands in the movement now identify as indie-folk, which makes enough sense, but Horse Feathers ignores the qualifiers by crafting songs around simple melodies. Be they thin riffs or haughty chord progressions, the band is keen with building layers without burying its central hook. That kind of restraint is rare, especially in 2015 where most bands proudly waving that indie flag pile on extra strings and horns (and why not, some vintage synth) to bolster weak songs that couldn't otherwise stand the test of time (or the coming tide of the next trendy movement). 

Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one post. Peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas, and let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this weekend in the comments below. To be considered for coverage in RFT Music, submit show info online or drop us a line anytime.


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