The Best Concerts in St. Louis This Week, October 12 to 18

Local hip-hop collective M.M.E. performs a free, all-ages show this Thursday at the Schlafly Tap Room. - Photo by Cory Miller
Photo by Cory Miller
Local hip-hop collective M.M.E. performs a free, all-ages show this Thursday at the Schlafly Tap Room.
For once, we take a break from album release parties and local festivals to focus on the kind of concerts that happen in and around St. Louis every single day. Four of the seven shows highlighted below feature heavy-hitters in the hip-hop scene, including Chance the Rapper, Warren G and more. Remember what life was like back in 2010? Chillwave returns this Friday at the Ready Room with Toro Y Moi and Astronauts, etc. Genres aside, you'll likely find something to like in our guide for the week ahead.


The Brainstems w/ Cult of Lip, Brilliant Beast, Bridled Spells
Foam Coffee & Beer  8 p.m. | $5
By Bob McMahon
From the RFT Music archives: That's right, the group we crowned the "Best Band to Die in the Past Twelve Months" in 2013 is back from the dead and rocking harder than ever. The short respite has done nothing to dull the power of the Brainstems' fast and loose attack. The quartet still bashes out insanely catchy riffs through ragged guitars, with each axe-slinger backing up the song's designated lead howler for monstrous gang-vocal choruses. The band bleeds garage-rock essence. Its new EP, Cold Sweatin', finds the Brainstems playing in higher fidelity without sacrificing its ramshackle charm. All the players have become better soloists, and a few tracks find the group stretching out with repetitive, near kraut-rock grooves. If only all hiatuses could end so gloriously.


Chance the Rapper w/ D.R.A.M., Towkio, Metro Boomin
The Pageant
8 p.m. | $35-$37.50
By Daniel Hill
At only 22 years old, Chancelor Bennett (better known as Chance the Rapper) already seems to have this “life” thing figured out. Since his breakthrough mixtape Acid Rap dropped in 2013, the Chicago wordsmith has been on a consistent upward trajectory, collaborating with the likes of Madonna, Skrillex, Lil Wayne, Wale and scores more. In November he was honored with Chicago's “Outstanding Youth of the Year” award by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In January, Forbes Magazine listed him on its annual “30 Under 30” music list. April saw the rapper giving a lecture on hip-hop at Harvard University. To top it all off, in July he dropped a critically acclaimed mixtape with none other than Lil B, a well-known Internet meme that has taken human form. Oh yeah, and he announced that he is expecting his first child with his girlfriend of the last two years. We can only assume he has appropriately thanked the BasedGod for that one.


Broncho w/ the Feed, Twinsmith
Old Rock House
8 p.m. | $10-$12
By Bob McMahon
From the RFT Music archives: It's almost unfair how Broncho makes instantly memorable music out of rock's most tired chord progressions. One of the scrappy garage-punk quartet's best songs, "I Don't Really Want to Be Social," mostly revolves around a two-chord riff. Broncho sells these simple foundations in a couple ways. First, the group plays them through cutting stop-start rhythms anchored by Nathan Price's economically creative drumming. Broncho then layers on snappy guitar leads and catchy vocal hooks that are often bolstered by charming shout-along choruses. Filter it all through dirty guitar and drum tones that strike the ideal balance between grit and clarity, and you have skuzzy pop perfection.


M.M.E. w/ Willis, Ryan Markovich, Paperkite
Schlafly Tap Room
9 p.m. | free
By Mike Roth
From the RFT Music archives: Though a collective, each of the six members operates individually, with his own style and hip-hop sensibility. The eldest of the bunch at 24, Mvstermind produces his own records, which bring a soulful electronic edge to his real-life perspective. Ciej is also his own producer, with a lyrical tone oozing vulnerability and depth. A talented lyricist himself, Con delivers a grittiness in his voice that mirrors his disillusionment with an imperfect world, while Dante Wolfe also dwells on society's woes, utilizing his intellectualism to smoothly convey his inner thoughts. Lastly, neo-soul singer Lyrique's deep and moody voice vibrates images of love and beauty, whereas Mir distorts sounds to create an unsettling atmosphere for his bold raps.


Toro Y Moi w/ Astronauts, etc.
The Ready Room
8 p.m. | $18-$20
By Diana Benanti
From the RFT Music archives (an except of a concert review): Chillwave, swillwave. Anyone who came to bob along absently to Chaz Bundick's set was disappointed by its inherent lack of low, slow chillwaviness. However, everyone's heads bobbed along anyway. Bundick and his newly formed backing band blitzed the confines of this buzzy non-genre, bringing an organic, torrential element to his blissful sound.


Warren G
Pop's Nightclub
7 p.m. | $20-$25
By Daniel Hill
Did you know that Warren Griffin III — better known as rapper/producer Warren G — released a new EP this year? More importantly, did you know that four of its five tracks contain vocals by the late, great Nate Dogg? Regulate... G Funk Era Part II is the sequel to Warren G's 1994 breakout, which contained the duo's smash hit “Regulate” — by all accounts a timeless hip-hop classic. Never mind the fact that Nate Dogg passed away four years ago. The two were close friends and frequent musical partners, and Griffin apparently was sitting on loads of unreleased vocal tracks from the California crooner. The radio dial has assuredly suffered greatly from the lack of that smooth voice ever since his death. Any new music, posthumous or not, should be enthusiastically welcomed.


Joey Bada$$ w/ Denzel Curry, Bishop Nehru, Nyck Caution
The Ready Room
8 p.m. | $27.50-$30
By Daniel Hill
The last time New York's Joey Bada$$ came to St. Louis he had a little bit of trouble with the law. The night before his show, he and fellow rapper Ab-Soul were handcuffed and detained in the parking lot of their hotel on the way to their tour bus. The two were in town as part of the Smoker's Club tour, and Joey was sporting a longsleeve shirt with a large pot leaf on the back — presumably, the police expected to find some contraband. But no illicit substances were found on either man, and the event only served to fuel the fire of the rappers' sets the following night. "There's one thing I don't love about St. Louis,” Joey said onstage, “and that's the fucking police, man. Fuck the police!” The sentiment was met with wild cheers from the crowd.

Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas and let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week 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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