The 20 Best Concerts That Happened in St. Louis in 2012, According to Us

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Steve Truesdell
Wailing on an air guitar at a Wailers concert earlier this year at the Old Rock House.
It's been another steller year for live music in St. Louis, whether you were looking for the most legendary living pop artist or the quiet birth of a powerful local band. We've racked our brains and come up with our twenty favorite shows (they're listed below), but what tops your list?

Was it The Urge at the Pageant? Those Darlins at Off Broadway? Magnetic Fields at the Sheldon?

Something different entirely?Just sound off in the comments, of course.

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Kholood Eid
20. Fiona Apple at Peabody, July 14
Fiona Apple is not afraid of silence -- but at least a few of her St. Louis fans might be. At Apple's concert in June 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. -- Liz Miller

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Jon Gitchoff
19. Van Halen at Scottrade, April 29
Van Halen came to the Scottrade Center on April 29, 2012 with Kool and the Gang in tow. The band, in its fifth decade, is back to its David Lee Roth roots.

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Todd Owyoung
18. R. Kelly at the Fox, November 15
R. Kelly inspires an adoration that bordered on worship from the rafter-stacked patrons of the Fox Theatre in November. -- Ryan Wasoba

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17. Chain and the Gang at Pig Slop Studios, April 21
In its second St. Louis appearance, Chain and The Gang succeeded in raising the roof. Besides Svenonius and Greer, the current lineup includes guitarist Brett Lyman, Madison Farmer on cool Danelectro bass, and drummer Fiona Campbell. Together, they lay down a spare rhythm with roots in garage-rock and soul. -- Mike Appelstein

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16. Slaughterhouse at Old Rock House, May 25
For hip-hop fans who still appreciate lyricism, Slaughterhouse epitomizes the term "supergroup." Joe Budden, Royce Da 5'9", Crooked I and Joell Ortiz returned to St. Louis in April for the first time since 2009 -- this time bringing a stronger performance, a bigger catalog, and most importantly, bars. -- Calvin Cox

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Jason Stoff
15. Walkmen at Plush, June 28
This was a no-bullshit show, straight into the tunes. We begin with a bunch of the new stuff, which manages the studio depth and warmth just as well in the cavernous Plush. Leithauser has a solid repertoire of front-man moves; he's mastered the subtle art of where to put your head relative to the microphone for maximum dramatic impact. -- Kiernan Maletsky

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Jason Stoff
14. Tenacious D at the Pageant, July 23
Core members Jack Black and Kyle Gass took to the Pageant stage slowly in July, entering from the side in white glowing robes, hoods up. Triumphant, swelling classical music filled the house speakers as one of the band's roadies came out and removed the robes from the duo. -- Daniel Hill

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Jon Gitchoff
13. Phish at Chaifetz, August 28
Maybe Phish was really living up to its proclamation that the 2012 Summer Tour would be one of the band's greatest, or perhaps the show's aim was to fuel the souls of the band's maturing following. Whatever the motives for this solid show, Phish arrived prepared and hit each moment of the first set with flying colors. -- Cassie Kohler

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Todd Owyoung
12. Die Antwoord at the Pageant, October 18
Last night, Die Antwoord shifted reality for a room full of screaming Midwesterners. -- Kristin Dennis

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Mabel Suen
11. Demonlover / N. Nomurai at Smash Bar, February 15
N. Nomurai was coming off a recent sabbatical from shows. On February 16, the powerhouse trio showed up to sling its booming improvisations. -- Joseph Hess

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23 comments
pnangled
pnangled

Wolf Gand at bluehill with The Royal Concept... Show of the year cus everyone missed it. 

mdcleude
mdcleude

OOOO nice !! Loved this pics

coreyjwoodruff
coreyjwoodruff

You wrote this list too soon.  Tonight's Every Time I Die show at The Firebird was easily my fave of the of year.  It was full blown mayhem from the first note of the first band and it never...let...up.

Sweaty, intense and offensive--just the way I like my women.

naffziger
naffziger

Chain and the Gang show was amazing, and only $5.

Matt Gardetto
Matt Gardetto

13? Cassie KOhler, props on the print but 13??

groovyrooby
groovyrooby

JEFF the Brotherhood at Off Broadway changed my life. how glorious it is to ride the waves of the crowd, dance until your clothes are falling off, fail to notice that each and every one of your toes has been stomped black and blue, and never listen to a band the same way again. sweet messy dirty riotous rocknroll bliss.

chrisward99
chrisward99 topcommenter

Oh man....so many shows:  Kishi Bashi at Off Broadway was huge for me. He just destroyed. The next time he comes through it will be huge. Better than Andrew Bird, for me, if you want to make a broad comparison.

Cloud Nothings at the Luminary were righteously loud and everything I wanted it to be. The Avett Brothers at the Fox was pretty special. Nee opening for Santigold was a great moment at The Pageant. YACHT at Plush was magic. DJ Needles set at Midwest Mayhem was the most fun ever this year. It's all kind of a blur now. Crooked Fingers and John Vanderslice was a nice highlight, and there weren't that many people there, which was insane but made for a really nice and intimate show. Charles Walker and the Dynamites at Thursdays at the Intersection was just amazing to witness in that space. Japandroids was actually a huge letdown for me, unfortunately. Oh man...PHISH. I saw Phish for the first time ever. I hate Phish. But under the right conditions, I have to say that show was a lot of pretty lights and now I'm suddenly hungry. Ha Ha Tonka at Twangfest 16 was a blast.

Still, I gotta say...Dethklok at the Pageant was hands down the craziest, most fun show I saw this year. Sometimes you just have to look up from your shoes and get stupid.

opawaukay
opawaukay

Are these the best concerts or the most over-priced?

mattp19us
mattp19us

Vintage Trouble at Lola. They came twice over the summer and you missed them both times. They probably should have the number one spot. You're really missing out!

David Moore
David Moore

Midnight/Ares Kingdom/Gates of Slumber was an intimate and magical evening

Jared Brewer
Jared Brewer

midnight / ares kingdom / the gates of slumber at el lenador was the best metal show this year. where is it?

Ben99
Ben99

No Guided by Voices? 2 hour set? Pollard drunk like a rock star? First time back in a decade? Wow, that is an oversight.

Erin Clyburn
Erin Clyburn

The Magnetic Fields at the Sheldon was a magical evening. Blew their last appearance here out of the water.

hannahmo
hannahmo

UMMM Yacht?! Pretty sure you made a review of it being one of the "best shows of the year"...which it was.

Jason Stoff
Jason Stoff

I second How To Dress Well, Jake. Such a special evening.

Jake Niehaus
Jake Niehaus

How to Dress Well's intimate Firebird show is severely missed on this list.

Hal Greens
Hal Greens

Lee Fields & The Expressions was the shit! Rumor has it they may be coming back in late March. ; )

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