The 5 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend, April 20 to 22

Kudzu will perform at Flood Plain on Saturday. - VIA ARTIST BANDCAMP
Kudzu will perform at Flood Plain on Saturday.
Each week we bring you our picks for the best shows of the weekend! To submit your show for consideration, click here. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.


Bit Brigade w/ Thor Axe
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-498-6989.
By Daniel Hill
One of the most exciting parts about watching a performance by Athens, Georgia’s Bit Brigade is that there is an actual possibility that you might watch one of its members die onstage. Not in the truest sense — that’d be awfully morbid, you weirdo — but via the video game avatar the band’s resident “gamer” Noah McCarthy is projecting on the back wall behind the band. At each Bit Brigade show, McCarthy does expert speed-runs of classic Nintendo games such as Zelda, Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man and Contra while a crack band of musicians expertly recreate those games’ soundtracks. McCarthy himself is impressive — spoiler, he’ll likely live to fight another day — but he is easily matched by the oft hyper-technical musical wizardry going on around him. One would be hard pressed to find a more appropriate way to celebrate 4/20 than attending this show. Bonus: St. Louis’ Thor Axe is a perfect match to open, with its own brand of instrumental prowess and an impressive light show. Don’t get too high in the parking lot and miss ‘em.

True Friends w/ Key Grip, Syna So Pro, Bear Cub
9 p.m. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Avenue. $7. 314-352-5226.
Without catching True Friends live, it's hard to comprehend just how drummer/singer Nate Larson pulls off his heady pop endeavor. Through a kind of musical smoke and mirrors, he lays into the drum set with tight syncopation while managing all the elements of a dance song. In this way, Larson offers the density of a full band as a one man act — a tall order for anyone with less than eight arms. Last year's Disco Lyfe is a taut four-song blueprint that works well as proof-of-concept. There's a party vibe that permeates just about every second, offering a relentless brand of positivity and upbeat energy.


Kudzu w/ Sea Priestess, deth_bb, Wombglow
8 p.m. Flood Plain, 3151 Cherokee Street. $5. No phone.
Synth-pop bands seem to travel in pairs. Maybe there's something about the lack of dissenting voices mucking up the overall vision or the limitation of what two people can conceivably do at once, but electronic acts tend to be duos. True to form, Seth Goodwin and Mark Gillenwaters shape a cyberpunk set of hooky songs as Kudzu, a deep sea creature landlocked in the middle of Missouri. Both gloom and doom are present, but the sound tends to be more buoyant and bright despite its dark undertones. The show takes place inside Flood Plain, a fairly small art gallery seated in the old Fort Gondo space on Cherokee Street.


Mardou w/ Crime of Passing, Futurejunk
8 p.m. Foam Coffee and Beer, 3359 South Jefferson Avenue. $5. 314-772-2100.
Mardou sounds plucked from a distant time — before post-punk succumbed to the glossy sheen of new wave — and dropped in downtown Cincinnati. It's as if the band is singing at you from the other end of a winding tunnel, with the sound obscured by curving concrete walls. The songs have considerable heft, weighed down by the thick gnar of noisy riffs. Tourmates Crime of Passing are equally a band out of another time, offering up a colder, more robotic brand of pop-sensible punk. Rather than two sides of the same coin, think of these bands as two different colors on the same spectrum.

Datenight w/ Frankie Valet, Hushgush
8 p.m. CBGB, 3163 South Grand Boulevard. $5. 314-773-9743.
Comin Atcha' 100MPH marks the latest full-length for Nashville's Datenight who, bless their rotten jangly hearts, live the gimmick. The trio, led by songwriter Grayton Green, are certified road warriors who have taken to constant touring in the last year. That kind of rigorous road life has only sharpened the band's chops, letting its members deliver pitch-perfect garage rock full of heat-seaking riffs. The group's releases come by way of Drop Medium, a New York-based label that specializes in no-wave, thrashy punk and left-of-center pop.

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