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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