Monday, December 8, 2014

The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 8 to 14

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Bob Seger brings his Silver Bullet Band to the Scottrade Center this Saturday. - PHOTO BY JON GITCHOFF
  • Photo by Jon Gitchoff
  • Bob Seger brings his Silver Bullet Band to the Scottrade Center this Saturday.

Country fans might be catching their collective breath after four days of Garth, but Chris Isaak is coming to town and let's face it, the guy was (and probably still is) the soundtrack to many lost v-cards. Even if you see his ill-fated show on HBO as a massive misstep, it's hard to deny the man's smooth showmanship. Chicago's Bitchin Bajas and legendary pop-punk outfit Lagwagon are just a few highlights for the week ahead. Read on and stay clued in to the best concerts happening around town.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BEN WOLF
  • Photo by Ben Wolf

Skinny Puppy and VNV Nation w/ Haujobb, Youth Code Monday, December 8 The Pageant 8 p.m. | $27.50/$30 By D.X. Ferris From the RFT Music Archives: Emo, goth and punk fans who don't go for dance music may already know the Euro-duo VNV Nation: Multi-instrumentalist Ronan Harris manned the samplers on AFI's smash album Decemberunderground, while his thumping remix of "Miss Murder" caused a sensation in underground dance clubs. VNV (short for Victory Not Vengeance) has been lurking around European clubs since the early '90s, when the previous decade still echoed freshly in its ears. Pulsating with industrial beats and ecstatic keyboards, original cuts such as "Perpetual" and "Homeward" still stand out among all the '80s electro gems and EBM bruisers freshly unearthed and posted to YouTube. When he's not programming for rockers, Harris heads up Modcom (a solo analog-synth project) and scores films.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MELISSA FOSSUM
  • Photo by Melissa Fossum

Lagwagon Tuesday, December 9 The Firebird w/ Swingin' Utters, The Legend 8 p.m. | $20-$22 By Julia Burch Lagwagon first caught the world's attention in the midst of the California's '90s punk explosion, alongside bands such as Green Day and NOFX. After becoming the first group to sign with the unstoppable juggernaut that is Fat Wreck Chords, Lagwagon has been churning out snappy songs that can please even the most discerning pop-punk palate. Lead singer Joey Cape has fronted the band for over 24 years while also working on various side projects including Bad Astronaut and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. This tour celebrates Lagwagon's first studio album in nine years and promises an unforgettable mix of fun and nostalgia.

click to enlarge bitchin_bajas.jpg

Bitchin Bajas w/ Circuit Des Yeux, Ghost Ice Wednesday, December 10 Plush 9 p.m. | $10 By Joseph Hess Straight from the brain of Chicago's Cooper Crain, known best for his work with Cave, Bitchin Bajas locks neo-hippy soundscape into beats. Musical pieces drone on in loops while a stray woodwind fights against murky keys. Keys populate the sound, adding tonal guidance to a spacey group who manages, just barely, to stay grounded here on Earth. Once a solo endeavor, Bitchin Bajas now works through a trio, indulging with deep psychedelia. Luckily these hippies eschew the drum circle (or any sort of percussion, really) allowing for focused tones from tape machines and time-warped electronics.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ROY KASTEN
  • Photo by Roy Kasten

Chris Isaak Thursday, December 11 The Pageant 8 p.m. | $50 By Roy Kasten From this 2009 concert review: Chris Isaak is one of the few singers alive who can pull off, as he did last night, Roy Oribison's "Only the Lonely," (Orbison was his mentor after all, and remains his sonic wellspring), with note-for-vertiginous-note precision. He's also one of the few singers who could stake a claim to James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy" (but his lyric-flubbing attempt at "I Want You to Want Me" counsels against power pop). That voice is not just the production craft you've been hearing since his first album in 1985. It remains an unalloyed, unfaded force of beauty and expressiveness, just as Elvis's voice was. He swung, belted, rumbled, purred, and, yes, crooned so sweetly that for an hour and twenty minute set, half the homes from University City to O'Fallon threatened to fall to wreckage. In other words, what happens in Vegas sometimes also happens in St. Louis.

Follow through for more shows happening this weekend.

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