The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 29 to January 4

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New Year's Eve brings lofty expectations for lavish parties and because we, as a people, build this night up so much, it tends to end in disappointment or disaster. As you read our rundown for the week ahead you might notice only one show gets the spotlight for Wednesday but don't worry, we also have a comprehensive guide to the drunkest night of the year. After all, this column is called "Out Every Night" for a reason -- so you can find an excuse to leave the house all 7 days of the week. But don't let that stop you. If we left out your favorite show for the week ahead, let your fellow readers know about it in the comments below.

click to enlarge The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 29 to January 4
The Stone Sugar Shakedown logo, taken from the band's Facebook page.

The Stone Sugar Shakedown Monday, December 29 Cicero's 8 p.m. | $6 From the 2012 Best Of St. Louis Awards: When the average citizen thinks of jam bands, names like Phish and Widespread Panic come to mind. But Led Zeppelin jammed too, and Stone Sugar Shakedown's blues-steeped explorations tend to resemble the latter. The band sounds and looks transplanted from the 1970s, with hints of the Blues Brothers and Funkadelic, and it doesn't hurt that singer Tracy Gladden can alternately channel Grace Slick and Roberta Flack. It is no surprise that Stone Sugar Shakedown is incredibly active with appearances at clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest. The band is a crowd pleaser; it is sometimes funky, sometimes psychedelic, but it always infuses its tunes with an energy that only true believers in the power of rock can embody.

Since 1902 w/ We're Bears, The Jockstraps, DJ Jake Leech Tuesday, December 30 Plush 8 p.m. | $5 By Joseph Hess Like most bands that show great promise early on, Since 1902 split just when it seemed to build momentum. Released early last year, the group's last record Slightly Elevated displays a range of blown-out folk jams rife with vocal melody. Horns punctuate pieces and express a striking contrast to jangly guitar, which alternates between fuzzy chords and sharp, acoustic riffs. Since 1902 sounds so confident in driving what would otherwise be soundtrack-esque songs over the edge -- and at times -- right into rip-roarin' rock territory. Thankfully, the holidays tend to bring bands back together for one-off gigs like this and Plush's recent announcement to close on January 3 transforms this concert into a must-see event.

click to enlarge The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 29 to January 4
Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Bret Michaels NYE 2015 Wednesday, December 31 Hollywood Casino 11 p.m. | $100 By Allison Babka On New Year's Eve, you ain't lookin' for nothin' but a good time. Fortunately for St. Louis, Bret Michaels wants to give you something to believe in. Over the years, hair-extension fan Michaels has expanded his personal brand by starring in VH1's Rock of Love dating show and winning the third season of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. But no matter where his reality-show acumen or solo career may take him, the Poison frontman always returns to the stage to talk dirty to fans and do the unskinny bop. Plunk down a Franklin for this casino show and expect to hear a full catalog of '80s glam-metal hits, unabashedly punned here for your pleasure.

click to enlarge The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 29 to January 4
Photo by Jake Hale

Relentless Approach w/ The Warden, Pizza Boys Thursday, January 1 Melt 9 p.m. | $5 By Daniel Hill Relentless Approach is a Notorious B.I.G.-themed hardcore band. Yeah, you read that right. While the recordings contain no actual rapping per se, the band itself is thematically centered around the late Biggie Smalls and the content of his songs. The name Relentless Approach is culled from the lyrics of "Machine Gun Funk," and most (if not all) of the band's tracks share titles with Notorious B.I.G. ones: "Who Shot Ya," "Juicy," "Hypnotize" -- hip-hop classics reimagined as hardcore songs, but not in a cover-band way at all. Relentless Approach writes its own searing music, with lyrics that run parallel in subject matter to the originals. Relentless Approach contains members of Quad Cities' weed-drenched Lord Green, a now-defunct stoner rock/hardcore outfit and St. Louis favorite. Remnants of that band's sound can be heard in RA; the marijuana is clearly still essential to the process.

Follow through more happening in and around St. Louis this weekend.

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