The Ten Best Concerts of the Summer
Well, the white trousers are back in storage and the river flotation seat with tall-boy sized cup-holders is deflated. We may have a few warm days ahead still, but summer is behind us. Lest it all fade into a haze of sweating (maybe you recall that it was hot...), we here at RFT Music have preserved the biggest gems in a crowded concert season. These are totally objective picks based on the collective experience (obviously), but if for some strange reason you were into something different, please let us know in the comments. We're going for big picture here, but there were thousands of shows in the last few months and many of them did not suck.
Kholood Eid And many more to come.
10. Tenacious D at the Pageant
Tenacious D has the biggest dick in rock and roll. Not that I've seen too many rock band dicks -- I can't think of any offhand, actually -- but still I think it's safe to say Tenacious D's looming twenty foot dick easily towers above them all.
Allow me to explain. Inspired by the cover of the new record Rize of the Fenix, the lone set piece serving as a backdrop for the self-proclaimed "Greatest Band in the World" is a giant inflatable phoenix (or "Fenix") that looks, well, like a gigantic dick -- replete with gigantic balls. The album even comes with a sticker covering the bulk of the offensive piece of male anatomy - suffice it to say that subtlety is not Tenacious D's specialty. Dick jokes and juvenile humor are, however, and the capacity crowd at the Pageant Monday night couldn't get enough of it.
Review and Setlist
9. Open Highway Music Festival at Off Broadway
Roy Kasten Jon Henry & the Engine
A block away from Off Broadway at sundown, you could see the glint of light on pearl snaps and smell the macaroni and cheese, bacon and apple butter melting on Texas toast. It was the final night of the first Open Highway Music Festival and the Cheese Shack food truck was cooking. Looking for jam bands and veggie wraps? Try another ZIP code.
The brainchild of club owner Steve Pohlman and booking agent/songwriter John Henry (who was a late add to an already flush bill), the quasi-Twangfest featured acts like the Turnpike Troubadours, the John D. Hale Band, Will Hoge, William Elliott Whitmore and, on this night, Ben Nichols of Lucero and headliners the Bottle Rockets. You can't kill roots rock with a deep-fried, heart-attack sandwich and you can't build an altar for alt-country Valhalla on empty Stag half-quarts, but you can try.
8. Fiona Apple at the Peabody Opera House
Fiona Apple is not afraid of silence -- but at least a few of her St. Louis fans might be. At Apple's concert Saturday at the Peabody Opera House there were more than a few moments when hootin' and hollerin' from a few rowdy audience members seemed to threaten not only the experience of enjoying the singer's gripping live performance, but also maybe the singer herself. To Apple's credit, her performance wasn't at all deterred, despite the obnoxious lady sitting in the mezzanine who punctuated every other song by yelling, "Rock it out, Fiona!"
If it seems unfair to criticize vociferous fans at a concert, I submit that Fiona Apple isn't that kind of musician. There is already a skittishness to her stage presence, a feeling that too much of anything will throw off the precarious balance that her talents demand. Upon entering the Peabody, multiple ushers urgently informed me to remember that, "There's no flash photography allowed at tonight's show. If the artist sees one flash go off she'll exit the stage." Effuse praise all you like, St. Louis, but please don't send her walking off stage.