by Mabel Suen
This week, arenas get packed to check out acts including Beyonce, Phoenix and Kenny Rogers. Besides that, check out some more recommendations for concert excursions every evening, including So Many Dynamos, Atlas Genius and Gringo Star. Check out some previews from our critics after the jump and stay tuned 'til the end of the week for even more picks for the weekend.
Atlas Genius Monday, December 9, 8 p.m. w/ All My Vices @ The Pageant - $20-$24 By Daniel Hill From this preview: Australia's Atlas Genius' rescheduled show at the Pageant will be December 9.... You may remember Atlas Genius as the band behind that song "Trojans," which earlier this year wormed its way into the ears of anyone whose radio dial landed on any alternative rock station. The song is dance-able, catchy and fun, and prophetic in its chorus ("Your trojan's in my head"), considering that is exactly the place the aptly titled song would find itself stuck for months, even after just a first listen.
Gringo Star Tuesday, December 10, 9 p.m. w/ This City of Takers @ The Demo - $8-$10 By Jaime Lees From this archived preview: Gringo Star was once a bitchin' little band called A Fir-Ju Well. For reasons unknown, the quartet of long-haired rockers from Atlanta changed its name. Luckily for us, the band also stepped up the standard touring schedule. Through word-of-mouth, boisterous live performances and constant touring, the group has built a solid, devoted following. True to its name, Gringo Star evoke Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles, with swirling psychedelics, haphazard harmonizing and pop-perfect jangly bits. Sure, most rock bands reference the Beatles, but Gringo Star does it better — and in a much, much dirtier fashion. Live, the band also matches its trippy, carnival-like vibe with a rowdy stage show, full of disorderly, cacophonous instrument-bashing and heart-crushingly somber interludes.
Kenny Rogers Wednesday, December 11, 8 p.m. @ Family Arena - $33-$68 By Rick Giordano Kenny Rogers is the very definition of a living legend. Or maybe he's actually been one of those Disney Hall of Presidents robots for years now. No one knows for sure, and no one cares as long as whatever he is keeps singing the hits. Kenny may be ten years past the standard retirement age, with those famous silver locks now Doc Brown white, but his voice is just as warm and smooth as ever -- he still knows how to make an audience love him as if he was their own father, grandfather, or pool boy fantasy (audience member age may vary). As if 130 million album sales and 120 hit singles somehow aren't enough to attract an audience, this tour will also feature a Christmas theme, pairing two loves so classically American that all this concert is missing is an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Every Time I Die Thursday, December 12, 8 p.m. w/ LetLive, Code Orange Kids @ The Firebird - $15 By Ryan Wasoba From this 2012 preview: Since Every Time I Die originally stepped out of the metalcore herd by infusing its tracks with Dimebag Darrell fretwork, no description of the group seems to be complete without the use of Southern as an adjective. Through years of refinement, the Buffalo, New York, band is gradually shifting geography, its rock & roll hardcore recalling the '90s circle of San Diego bands that included Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes and Rocket From The Crypt. Today's spin-kick ninja kids don't particularly care about Jehu, but the further west ETID ventures, the fewer banjo intros to sit through before the breakdowns.
So Many Dynamos Friday, December 13, 9 p.m. w/ Hawthorne Headhunters, DJ MAKossa @ Off Broadway - $10-$13 By Tara Mahadevan Throughout lineup changes, including the recent addition of St. Louis punk alum Stephen Inman -- So Many Dynamos rocks on, with a new record entitled Safe With Sound slated to drop in 2013. The band's sound has varied over the years, from its pure-rock single "This Can Be Useful In Rocketry" (2003) to electro-dance-punk single "Analysis Paralysis" (2012). In any case, So Many Dynamos is sure to satiate your need for local indie music mixed with a hint of pop.
Phoenix Friday, December 13, 8 p.m. w/ Bastille @ The Pageant - $42.50-$47.50 By Allison Babka Not content with the massive success of 2009's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Paris' Phoenix decided to change things up this year. For Bankrupt!,released in April, the band curtailed its indie rock-friendly sound listeners were used to, instead dipping its toes further into the slightly darker synth-pop and dance waters. This version of Phoenix hasn't reached "Daft Punk Does Tron" levels yet, but the band may be heading that way. And speaking of Tron, Phoenix's impressive light show surely will bring Disney's classic sci-fi flick to mind as you're watching the band on stage.
Beyoncé Saturday, December 14, 8 p.m. @ Scottrade Center - $45-$250 By Jaime Lees Beyoncé Knowles has played many roles in her life. From talented child to church choir soloist to the massively successful Destiny's Child, the massively talented woman has always been a performer. When she eventually began a solo career, Beyoncé was instantly recognized as a first-name-only powerhouse superstar a la Cher or Madonna. Then she even created "Sasha Fierce," an alter-ego with a naughty personality -- remember Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines? These days, Beyoncé is back to being herself and is known as the talent behind mega hit singles like "Crazy in Love" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." But she's also a wife to Jay-Z, a mother to insanely fashionable wee one, Blue Ivy, and a rumored Illuminati high priestess. Way fierce.
The 12 Bassists of Christmas Saturday, December 14, 9 p.m. w/ Bruiser Queen, Middle Class Fashion, Sleepy Kitty @ Off Broadway - $5-$10 By Mabel Suen rom "The Ten Best Holiday Shows to See in St. Louis This Season": Bruiser Queen invites a dozen of its favorite St. Louis bassists to join its standard two-piece set-up for a song each. "Being a guitar and drums duo is fun, but sometimes we miss what a bassist brings to the live show," says drummer Jason Potter. "In this season of overindulgence, this is us eating all the pie." The cameo cast includes Matt Harnish of Bunnygrunt, Syrehea Conaway of Syna So Pro, Kevin Schneider of the Blind Eyes and many more. Besides the special guest appearances, look out for "the world's largest tambourine ensemble," what Potter describes as a rock'n'roll style gospel choir.[image-10]
St. Louis Symphony: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Sunday, December 15, 2 p.m. @ Powell Symphony Hall - $30-$70 By Mabel Suen From "The Ten Best Holiday Shows to See in St. Louis This Season": When it comes to classic Christmas, no one does it better than the St. Louis Symphony. Besides these modern symphonic arrangements of classic Christmas tunes, check out a packed schedule that includes Handel's Messiah, a holiday celebration with Christmas carols, and for a special post-holiday treat, the music of John Williams.
Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas any time. Let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week in the comments below, and send show tips any time to email@example.com to be considered for inclusion on these lists.
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