Friday, February 12, 2016

The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: February 12 to 14

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 6:36 AM

click to enlarge The Gorge will release Thousand Year Fire this Friday at the Demo. - PHOTO BY COREY WOODRUFF
  • Photo by Corey Woodruff
  • The Gorge will release Thousand Year Fire this Friday at the Demo.

This Valentine's Day weekend, maybe you and your better half should head out to some shows at local St. Louis venues and have sex in them. Er, well, maybe not, but if you do, just know that you aren't alone in having that idea. Some of your fellow St. Louisans are also weird.

Aside from the possibilities of public fornication, this weekend also brings a lot of local record release shows. Pick up the Gorge's highly anticipated (and quite excellent) new LP Thousand Year Fire at the Demo on Friday. The Ryans and Kellies that comprise the Southwest Watson Sweethearts and the Aching Hearts will each release new records on Sunday at Off Broadway. And there are plenty more highly entertaining options to dissuade you from a need to get naked in public as well — check out our full list of picks below.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12

The Gorge Record Release Show W/ Path of Might, Alan Smithee, Grand Inquisitor
9 p.m., $8-$10. The Demo, 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-5532.
By Daniel Hill
Slowly, steadily, a tremendous fire creeps underground, unstoppable, unquenchable. The flames cannot be seen by the naked eye, but still they burn. In their path lies barrel after barrel of discarded radioactive waste — the sins of the past, remnants of humanity at its most inhumane. We had naively hoped they'd forever remain buried and forgotten — but still the fire burns every closer. If this all sounds like the setup for a bitchin' metal song, well, it is. In fact, it is the basis for the entirety of the Gorge's Thousand Year Fire, the St. Louis prog-metal band's new album, to be released at this show. The Gorge took this very real scenario, currently playing out just outside of St. Louis in Bridgeton, and wrote an album just as explosive and dangerous as its source material. If the nuclear apocalypse is to indeed come to our city, at least we will have a fitting soundtrack.

STS9
8 p.m., $27.50-$30. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.
By Ryan Wasoba
From the RFT Music archives: As Sound Tribe Sector 9 performs one of its packed shows, it's easy to imagine the jam band kids staying on one side of the club and the rave kids standing on the other. The ravers like STS9 because the California band plays well-crafted, glowstick-friendly electro-dance music. If they close their eyes, it could be a DJ. The jam band kids like STS9 because the real people on stage can (and will) play these great-feeling party jams for hours. If they close their eyes, it could be Phish. STS9 seems to bridge this fan gap by making itself easy to like, by self-releasing its records (on the 1320 Records label) and hosting official after-show parties. After all, as long as drugs, dancing and repetitive music are involved, can't we all be friends?

Robert Earl Keen
8 p.m., $30-$40. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.
By Tom Finkel
From the RFT Music archives: If Lyle Lovett is the thinking-man's Texas songwriter, Robert Earl Keen is the drinking thinking-man's Texas songwriter. Since the late '80s, Keen's cockeyed, barstool's-eye-view of life's landscape has lured love from the alt-country set and diehard frat partiers in equal measure. Lumped in early on with the soft soil tilled by the likes of Lovett and iconic Texas crooner Nanci Griffith, Keen'd be more at home on a barroom bandstand alongside a honky-tonker like Joe Ely or a (music) border-crosser like Steve Earle.

Alarm Will Sound 
8 p.m., $20. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900.
By Joseph Hess
From the RFT Music archives: Alarm Will Sound is a twenty-piece chamber ensemble specializing in contemporary classical music. From the works of Steve Reich to Aphex Twin and even the Dirty Projectors, the massive group has written and performed a staggering number of arrangements. It's' even taken on the great challenge of replicating electronic songs with acoustic instruments — in a live concert setting, no less.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
7 p.m., $45-$125. Chaifetz Arena, 1 S. Compton Ave., St. Louis, 314-977-5000.
By Calvin Cox
From the RFT Music archives: It's been more than 30 years since Marvin Gaye took Howard "Frankie" Beverly and his band (then called Raw Soul) under his wing. Now billed as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, the group has continued to enjoy a loyal fan following. Some attribute its continued success on the road to the positive nature and almost "spiritual" appeal of its music, exemplified on tracks such as "Happy Feelings" and "We Are One." Others may speculate that it's because of the importance they place on being a "live band" over being "recording artists." Whatever the reason, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly concerts remain exceptionally popular, and the group's reputation for performing live has become legendary. 

Mike Stud W/ OCD: Moosh & Twist, Futuristic
8 p.m., $20-$24.50. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.
By Daniel Hill
Rapper Michael Seander, better known by his stage name, Mike Stud, was forced to abandon his promising pro baseball aspirations due to a prolonged period of recovery from Tommy John surgery, but it was during this time that he discovered he could rap by creating a song as a joke for his teammates. That joke got serious fast, and now six years later, Stud has a real career including three full-length albums on his hands. Must be nice to be good at two things....

So Many Dynamos W/ Rumpshaker
9 p.m., $7. Blank Space, 2847 Cherokee St., St. Louis.
By Christian Schaeffer
From the RFT Music archives: You can't call So Many Dynamos' newest LP Safe With Sound a comeback album, even if it is the band's first full-length in six years. In St. Louis, at least, the group never really went away. Regular shows were replaced by larger-scale, less frequent performances and thoughtful, genre-blurring collaborations with local hip-hop outfits, brass bands and fellow synth-nerds. A 2012 self-titled EP helped fill the gap, but there is no denying that this iteration of So Many Dynamos is a very different animal from the group that released The Loud Wars on respected but, perhaps, tonally incompatible imprint Vagrant Records in 2009.

Low
8 p.m., $18-$20. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Christian Schaeffer
Like Yo La Tengo, another band helmed by a husband and wife that has recently come to town, Low has survived a few decades as mid-level indie icons through both restless creativity and the solid dependability of their songs. That would sound like faint praise if there weren’t thousands of bands that flashed and burned during Low’s tenure, using the same rudiments but missing the essential spark that Mimi and Alan Sparhawk bring to their music. Last year’sOnes & Sixes continues the reinvigorating streak of The Invisible Way from a few years before, with characteristic steeliness and Spartan production yielding to subtly engrossing compositions.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14

The Ryan and Kellie/Ryan and Kelly Valentine's Sweetheart Showdown W/ the Aching Hearts, the Southwest Watson Sweethearts
8 p.m., $10-$12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Katelyn Mae Petrin
From this week's print edition: This Valentine’s Day, it’s happening: Southwest Watson Sweethearts and the Aching Hearts are teaming up at Off Broadway. It’s a love story, of sorts, between two performing duos. Star-crossed musician couples — one set always busy at home, the other traveling across the country. And this show is the climax, the great coming-together of souls. The Southwest Watson Sweethearts plan to add a dose of levity; the Aching Hearts, a dose of booze-soaked darkness. Despite the gooey conceit of matching lovers, there’s also a nice mixture — new and old, happy and sad, fanciful and serious. The show won’t be a mush-fest — but it won’t be just misery, either.

Valentine’s Day with Erin Bode
7:30 & 9:30 p.m., $30. Ferring Jazz Bistro, 3536 Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-571-6000.
By Erin Williams
From the RFT Music archives: Valentine's Day can be such a complicated holiday. If you're in a relationship the ideas for celebrating can boggle the mind — and cost you an arm and a leg, if you're not careful — and if you're single you try as hard as possible to avoid being hit by all the "specials for two" and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate that seem to be in endless supply. But all parties can agree that a night of good music is worth the trouble — and the trip. Jazz vocalist Erin Bode and her band, the Erin Bode Group, will be playing their fourth set of Valentine's Day concerts at Jazz at the Bistro this Saturday.

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