Well, 2013 is coming to a close and the year-end lists are pouring in from all corners of the music universe. St. Louis saw more than its fair share of incredible live music over that last 365 days, with stops from the much-hyped (Chance the Rapper, Masked Intruder), the much-adored (Iron Maiden, Method Man) and the long-overdue (Saint Vitus, Nine Inch Nails, Jeff Mangum). Add to those some unforgettable local shows and it quickly becomes undeniable that 2013 was one for the history books. Here we run down our favorites -- click on the headlines to read the original stories we published about the shows.
A list like this is entirely subjective, of course, and we'd love to hear about the notable live music you saw this year -- be sure to post your favorite shows of 2013 in the comments.
20. Har Mar Superstar Gets Sexy at the Firebird Har Mar shook the Firebird with new songs from recent release Bye Bye 17, while dancing up a storm and performing floor gymnastics, mic in hand.
19. Chance the Rapper at the Pageant 12/8/13 Chance came out at 9:30 p.m. to play an hourlong set. His own outfit was simple: a white tee, khakis, black sneakers and snapback. Some emcees don't have a great stage presence or great live rapping skills, but you could immediately tell that Chance is different. He's young, but that just adds to his genuineness and charm. He also danced like a madman throughout his set, exhibiting his true weirdness, which was much appreciated.
18. Masked Intruder Steals Everything From the Parking Lot Around Cicero's Madison, Wisconsin's favorite band of law-breaking pop-punkers played Cicero's in February, encouraging attendees to be careless with their valuables and to wander freely into dark alleys after the show. Officer Bradford, the band's touring parole officer, made sure the band members were following the conditions of their supervised release while a crowd of a hundred or so pogo-ed, slammed and sang along.
17. The Melvins at the Firebird, 7/23/13 After a looped and warped intro of the cough from the beginning of Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf," the band opened with all guns blazing with the song "Hag Me" from 1993's Houdini album, a common fan favorite. This is a band that always seems to do whatever it feels like live, incorporating drum jams and noise sections, and sometimes neglecting most of its back catalog in the setlist. Was this about to be the set full of classic songs that most fans have been hoping for?
16. The Mountain Goats at the Old Rock House, 6/20/13 At the Old Rock House in June, the Mountain Goats played to a sold-out crowd that not only knew all the songs, but sang along like they were at a Dashboard Confessional (or Jeff Mangum) show.