Speedy Ortiz Delivers a Tight, No-Frills Set at the Firebird: Review, Photos and Setlist

Categories: Show Reviews

Derek Schwartz
Sadie Dupuis at the Firebird.
When the four members of Speedy Ortiz stepped up to the stage at the Firebird Tuesday night, they didn't waste much time with introductions. There was no dramatic entrance or extended crowd banter. Just a quick hello, and then an explosion of convulsive guitars.

The Boston-based experimental rockers opened their set with "Taylor Swift," before launching into a run of tracks from the band's new album, Foil Deer. On the left side of the stage, Sadie Dupuis required no theatrics to command the audience. Gazing toward the back of the room, she leaned into the microphone to sing the bouncing lyrics of "Raising the Skate." "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss / Shooter, not the shot / On the tip and fit to execute," she declared, seemingly unaware of the captivated crowd in front of her.

See also: Speedy Ortiz Donates $1,000 to Ferguson Public Library

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Weezer Sprints Through Hits-Heavy Set at Plush: Review, Photos, Setlist

Categories: Show Reviews

Steve Truesdell
Weezer performs at Plush on October 19, 2014. See more photos here.

Ok, so maybe when it comes to music, length really doesn't matter.

In stark contrast to Pearl Jam's recent three-hour show, Weezer sprinted through its headlining set at Plush in just over an hour. Then again, perhaps this was appropriate, with the band's performance being the grace note of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on October 19, 2014, though lead vocalist/guitarist Rivers Cuomo readily admits to failing P.E.

"I was never much of a runner... but for some reason, you picked Weeeeeeee-zer," Cuomo sang during an instrumental interlude. "You're not asking us to run or do calisthenics or push-ups or anything but play muuuuuuu-sic. That's what we dooooooo. That's all we dooooooooooooooo."

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Pearl Jam Grunts Out an Incredible Three-Hour Set at Scottrade Center: Review, Setlist, Photos

Steve Truesdell
Eddie Vedder performs with Pearl Jam at Scottrade Center on October 3, 2014. See more photos here.

Forget about Sting and his never-ending tantric sex. Pearl Jam just proved that its own Eddie Vedder is the master at giving it to us long, hard and deep.

Pearl Jam rocked a packed Scottrade Center on October 3 with three exhilarating hours of hits spanning the band's 25-year career. Three hours. Let that sink in. Three freaking hours. That's how long the Gilligan's Island crew was to have been on their doomed boat. That's longer than many baseball games. That's almost enough time to drive across the state to Kansas City. Three hours. An epic set like that is practically unheard of these days, but the grunge gods made sure that every glorious minute counted.

See also:
Photos: Pearl Jam at Scottrade Center

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Spoon Blasts Through an Incredible Set at the Pageant: Review, Photos and Setlist

Categories: Show Reviews

Micah Usher
Spoon's albums are incredibly detail-oriented. Every note rings out clearly, every arrangement holds together tightly and even the ostensibly chaotic bursts of effects and noise that sometimes punctuate the songs are carefully considered. This aesthetic perfectly complements the band's brilliant records, but has hindered live shows in the past. 2006's Pitchfork performance was a model of stiff competence, hardly embarrassing but not the ideal of what a concert should be.

Judging from Saturday's tremendous show at the Pageant, however, Spoon's live problems are a thing of the past. The band cut loose with natural rock & roll swagger and energy over a set that spanned its past six albums and wowed the enthusiastic crowd.

See also: Spoon at the Pageant: Full Slideshow

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Cat Power's Solidarity in Song at the Firebird 8/24/14: Review

Nick Schnelle
Cat Power performing at LouFest 2011.
When St. Louis last saw Chan Marshall, she was performing on a dark stage in Forest Park at LouFest 2011. Though barely visible as the sun went down, she and her expert, frenzied band bent the blues to their will. You couldn't see her, but if you heard her, you recognized it as the most powerful set at the festival.

This was before the release of her largely self-played, ambient-rock album Sun -- for financial and emotional reasons, her most prolonged and difficult project. These days, those who follow Marshall on the social platforms know her for her all-caps, ideogrammed barrages, coming and going as if she were addicted to every progressive RSS feed on the planet. Instagram activism from indie-rock stars is generally wince-inducing. With Cat Power, it's another glimpse, like it or not, into the manic, unfiltered spirit behind her music.

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

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

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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Budweiser's "Made in America" Concert at the Pageant Was Kinda Epic

Categories: Show Reviews

Forgive us for not getting this review up the day after Budweiser put on its "Made in America" concert featuring Girl Talk and the Floozies. But with free Budweisers being tossed about the Pageant like Dubble Bubble at a kiddie parade, we were in no condition yesterday to write anything remotely intelligible.

See also: See Girl Talk at the Pageant for Free, Courtesy of Budweiser

So, now that we've had a day to come to our senses, let us unequivocally state the following: Budweiser's "Made in America" pit stop through St. Louis on Tuesday was -- if not the best concert of the summer -- certainly the best party of the season.

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Mötley Crüe Bids Farewell to a Packed House at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Categories: Show Reviews

Press Photo

My love affair with Nikki Sixx began in 1985. I was a nine-year-old Catholic schoolgirl -- plaid jumper, Barbie lunchbox, Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper -- and he was the bad boy rocker with jet black hair and a penchant for setting himself on fire. It was an unlikely match, one sparked by my mom's odd willingness to let me sit in front of MTV and watch long-haired, leather-clad men swill Jack Daniels (so long as I got my homework done). Yet here we are, thirty years later -- after all of the affairs, booze, failed marriages, his heroin overdose, my brief dalliance with electronica -- as strong as we were when our eyes met over the small screen to the tune of "Home Sweet Home."

But last night, I had to say goodbye.

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

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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