Billy Bragg Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: "Liberty and Justice for All!"

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Bryan Sutter
Billy Bragg addresses a crowd of about 100 people on the Royale's patio. See more photos here.

Billy Bragg stood at the microphone toward the end of his set at the Royale, thoughtfully looking up into the night sky as he tried to put words to what's happening in Ferguson.

"The true enemy is our own cynicism," Bragg finally told the audience. "We have to fight to overcome that cynicism. We have to show the world that St. Louis is not a cynical place, a place where people give in to their worst impulses."

Bragg, known worldwide for speaking out against human-rights violations and bigotry, performed an hourlong set at the Royale on just a few hours' notice, deciding to stop in St. Louis as he made his way south to Arkansas on a photography tour of the old Rock Island Line railroad path for Aperture magazine. Several performances over the next week are planned, but Bragg and fellow guitarist Joe Purdy already have made a habit of impulsively playing where they've felt moved to do so, such as outside a school in Illinois where teachers were striking for better pay. St. Louis was just such an impulse stop.

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5 Things We Learned During Miley Cyrus' 'Bangerz' Tour at Scottrade Center

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Bryan Sutter
Miley Cyrus has kicked "Hannah Montana" to the curb for good. See more photos here.

If last night's gleeful tongue wagging and enthusiastic dry humping were any indication, Miley Cyrus has definitely licked whatever ailed her this spring.

After cancelling her original April date due to hospitalization for an illness, Cyrus made good on her promise to make it up to St. Louis during last night's rescheduled "Bangerz" tour show at Scottrade Center. The former Disney star slid down a giant tongue, pranced around the stage and engaged her audience with passion, and though the show wasn't perfect, it certainly was amazing to see. From gyrating bears to shout-outs to her "hillbillies," Cyrus gave her all.

See also:
- Slideshow: Miley Cyrus Brings the 'Bangerz' Tour to Scottrade Center
- Hospitalized Miley Cyrus Cancels Tonight's Scottrade Show
- Sorry, Miley Fans, You Need to Buy New Tickets to the Rescheduled St. Louis Show


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Beck Performs In St. Louis For the First Time In Fourteen Years: Review and Photos

Categories: Last Night

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Jason Stoff
Beck
The Pageant
7/16/2014

As Beck stepped on stage in front of a capacity crowd at the Pageant last night, he looked younger than he should. His hair was cropped short, a leather jacket stylishly complimenting his black jeans and Hawaiian-ish button-up. Here he was, his first show in St. Louis in fourteen years, and alongside him were guitarist Smokey Hormel and bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen -- two musicians that have been with Beck during his best moments but who have been absent for most of the last decade. As the three ripped into opener "Devil's Haircut," it felt like the band was back together. The evening proved to be a career-spanning whirlwind with no shortage of nostalgic hits.

See also: Beck Rediscovers St. Louis Fans at the Pageant: Slideshow

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Dandy Warhols Rock the Ready Room; Wolfmother Approves

Categories: Last Night

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The Dandy Warhols
Jason Stoff

The Dandy Warhols may have been the big draw to the Ready Room last night, but eagle-eyed music lovers actually caught two headliners.

RFT Music photographer Jason Stoff reports that during Thursday's show, he spotted Australian band Wolfmother rocking out to the Dandies. "They were all at the Ready Room enjoying the show," Stoff says.

Indeed, Wolfmother confirmed Stoff's sighting with this photo on the band's Facebook page:

See also: The Dandy Warhols at the Ready Room: Slideshow

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Wolfmother at the Pageant 5/6/14: Photos

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Steve Truesdell
Australian rock trio Wolfmother performed at the Pageant last night, bringing its psych-influenced hard rock to its loyal fans in St. Louis. We sent photographer Steve Truesdell to the show to capture the highlights. Here are our favorite photos from the night.

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Thrown Beer, Broken Equipment and Rock & Roll: A Black Lips Review

Categories: Last Night

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Jon Gitchoff
Black Lips at the Firebird. Check out our full slideshow here.
It was just after 10 p.m. when the fog machine began belching clouds and the house music was cut. As the members of Atlanta, Georgia's Black Lips took the stage, cheers erupted from the near-capacity crowd at the Firebird. Lead guitarist Ian Saint Pé was the first to speak.

"Remember now," he began. "If it's perfect, it's not rock & roll. Let's go!"

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Arcade Fire Chooses Pageantry over Music 4/27/14: Recap, Setlist, Photos

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Jason Stoff
Win Butler of the Arcade Fire gets off on confetti. See more photos.

A severe thunderstorm may have been raging outside Chaifetz Arena last night, but within its walls, the Arcade Fire was busy whipping up a different type of shower.

On April 27, 2014, the gazillion-piece band from Montreal made it rain at least five times during its first St. Louis show since 2011. There was no water or dollar bills to be found, though -- this downpour was all confetti. Three bursts during opening song "Here Comes the Night Time," an explosion during "Normal Person" and a blowout during "Reflektor" set up and maintained a party atmosphere that encouraged nonstop reveling, and fans happily complied.

But the deluge of showboating occasionally made us want to hide under the pink umbrella we'd brought in with us.

See also:
- Slideshow: Arcade Fire at Chaifetz Arena
- Arcade Fire Concert Dress Code: The Ultimate Guide
- I Kinda Like It: Tales of an Arcade Fire-Ambivalent Music Journalist


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Jeff Tweedy, Ginuwine Sing for Unity on Parks & Rec Season Finale

Categories: LOLZ, Last Night

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@unity_concert | twitter
Jeff Tweedy does neat things.

Hey, did you guys know that Jeff Tweedy was on the season finale of Parks and Recreation last night? I didn't. Wait, that's not quite true -- I heard about it a million months ago but kind of forgot until 40 minutes before the episode aired, and then I got excited and forced a friend to say that I could go to their house to watch it.

But still! Jeff Tweedy! And possibly (totally) some other musicians! And a not-so-secret Michelle Obama cameo! And no Zooey Deschanel whatsoever!

See also: Prince Blesses The New Girl, Forces Us to Watch This Stupid Show

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Ben Folds, SLSO Sex Up Powell Hall 4/13/14: Review, Setlist

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Michael Wilson
Ben Folds and the St. Louis Symphony made beautiful music together.

In this week's print edition, renowned pianist and songwriter Ben Folds makes the case that going on a date at the symphony is akin to foreplay -- that the atmosphere is a perfect prelude to a little bump and grind. We could say that about many musical endeavors. After all, music and sex have been intertwined for a very long time -- well before Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus pantomimed the nasty at the Video Music Awards or Elvis Presley had his gyrating lower half cut off from the Ed Sullivan Show.

But there's certainly something about a live orchestra that inspires a rush of blood to our private parts, so as we set out to review Folds' second of two nights with the world-class St. Louis Symphony, we decided to track which songs created the biggest stirrings in our loins. Spoiler alert: we didn't have to fake a damn thing.

See also: Sex and the Symphony: Ben Folds Explains Why Orchestral Music is the Best Aphrodisiac

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The Party People of Psychotronic 8 at Old Rock House: Photos

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Jon Gitchoff
Blindfire Entertainment hosted Psychotronic 8 on March 15, 2014, at Old Rock House. Photographer Jon Gitchoff swung by just before midnight to grab some photos of the party people in action.

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