The Ten Best Shows In St. Louis This Weekend: July 20 to 22

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Big Freedia - Saturday @ the Firebird
  • Big Freedia - Saturday @ the Firebird

Happy Friday, St. Louis! Before we get to the festivities, it's been a little while since we've explained our shows-pickin' blog-postin' strategy, so here it is again for the uninitiated and the forgetful: Every Monday we do a blog post called "Out Every Night" that lists shows the RFT Music staff picks for every night of the week -- here is an example. On Wednesdays we do one called "This Just In" that lists every newly announced show of the week, with shows we thought were interesting featured prominently -- an example of what that looks like is here. Finally, every Friday we do this post, entitled "Weekend Best Bets" -- but you already knew that or you wouldn't be here. More details about these individual posts, as well as information on how to get YOUR shows listed online, in print, and on the blogs can be found here.

Now that that's out of the way, this week's picks: On Friday Rockstar's Mayhem Festival comes to town, bringing with it the likes of Slayer, Anthrax, Motorhead, Slipknot and a bunch of others. Click here to see the humorous single elimination bracket-style tournament we did pitting the bands against each other this week. On Saturday Josh Ritter plays Plush -- show up early; last time he came to town, Off Broadway was packed. The Offspring play Soldier's Memorial tonight for free as part of Celebrate St. Louis -- it's free! The rest of our picks follow.

Friday:

Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra @ Webster University-Moore Auditorium 7:00 p.m. | $10 The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra, never short on ambition to begin with, premiere perhaps its largest effort to date: Twelve short scores for Georges Méliès (yeah, the Hugo guy) films at the Fourth Annual St. Louis Classic French Film Festival. Operatic vocals will be provided by Natalie Huggins (Wax Wine) Kate Peterson (Spot Ons). (KM)

Adaje @ Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center w/ Sine Nomine, Anodes, Red Squad, Places We Slept, Thunderbolts from Nebraska 8:00 p.m. | $5 A six band bill for a five dollar bill, led by the DIY post-punk of Memphis' Adaje. (DH)

James Taylor @ The Fox Theatre 8:00 p.m. | $68-$88 Do we really need to tell you? It's the guy from Funny People. And, you know, folk legend. (KM)

Motorhead, Slipknot, Slayer & Anthrax @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St. Louis 1:30 p.m. | $41-$80 Line-up pretty much speaks for itself: half of the "big four" plus Motorhead and a group of guys in Halloween costumes. Get yourself a neck brace for your next-day bangover. (DH)

The Offspring @ Soldiers Memorial Plaza 8:00 p.m. | Free You won't pay, you wont pay, yeah, no way hey hey hey for this free show, part of Celebrate St. Louis. (DH)

Josh Ritter - Saturday @ Plush

Tef Poe - War Machine 2 Release @ The Gramophone w/ Corey Black, Family Affair, Doorway, Snipes, ATM, Indiana Rome, Chalkboyz, Odd Blazing, Legend Camp, Buff N Chubb, Rob Gullate, Ooops, Jonezy 9:00 p.m. | $8-$10 Masterful rapper (and, to be fair, RFT Music columnist) Tef Poe gives his strongest release to date a proper welcome into the world. (KM)

Saturday:

Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band @ Plush 8:00 p.m. | $20-$23 No seriously, get there early. As usual, there is no topping RFT Music Senior Writer, who on the occasion of Ritter's last show in St. Louis said, "To describe the music of Josh Ritter as earnest is to call Horatio Alger hopeful, Holden Caulfield disaffected and Hamlet a mama's boy. He's as sincere as a sonnet, as genuinely happy a performer as you'll ever see outside a circus where the free lemonade is laced with Zoloft. He knows he's lucky and he's supremely comfortable in his sweat-soaked skin. He gives hugs to strangers and music critics." (KM)

Karate Bikini CD Release @ Off Broadway w/ Heebie Jeebies,The Boorays 9:00 p.m. | $5-$8 The psych-pop rockers in Karate Bikini release the band's new CD at this show, entitled Sauce of the Apple Horse. Openers Heebie Jeebies and The Boorays are each reuniting for this show as well, so don't miss 'em. (DH)

Big Freedia & The Divas @ The Firebird 8:00 p.m. | $10-$15 The undisputed queen of "sissy bounce" comes to the Firebird to make the asses drop. Assemble your twerk team. (DH)

Sunday:

Scott Lucas and the Married Men @ The Firebird 8:00 p.m. | $10 Scott Lucas is one half of rock duo Local H. His work with the Married Men is his more introspective solo work. We think it is amusing that his "solo" band contains fewer members than the "main" one, but we're fans either way. (DH)

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