This week, we get plenty of visitors including Dropkick Murphys, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, 2 Chainz, Shovels and Rope, and more. Besides that, support a couple of local shows to help out some hardworking St. Louis bands. Palace plays the Gramophone to raise funds to make it to SXSW and Kentucky Knife Fight headlines Off Broadway this weekend in an effort to replace their stolen van. Read about these shows and more after the jump.
Dropkick Murphys Monday, February 24, 7:30 p.m. w/ Lucero, Skinny Lister @ The Pageant - $27.50-$35 By Michael Dauphin On paper, a Dropkick Murphys and Lucero pairing may seem odd. On the one hand you have a gang of Yankee Irish punks who wear kilts and chant songs about union pride, and on the other a group of grizzly Southern boys singing about broken hearts, fucking up, and Red State blues. It almost sounds like a recipe for disaster, really, but while it may not make sense on paper, there's a common bond among each band's fans that is undeniable. Both love nothing more than standing front and center in the pit, arms around the sweaty body next to them, singing along to every word and paying no mind to the thirty bucks in beers they'll each inevitably spill by the time the night is over.
Shovels and Rope Tuesday, February 25, 8 p.m. w/ Hurray For the Riff Raff @ Off Broadway - $15-$18 By RFT Staff From RFT's Best of St. Louis 2013 (named Best Concert of the Past 12 Months): Hard-rocking country-blues duo Shovels & Rope probably could have sold out the Off Broadway music venue on its own, but with LA-based lyrical rock band Dawes headlining, the joint was at sweating-room-only from start to finish. And the headliners proved more than up to the task of following the wild-and-loose opener.
Palace Wednesday, February 26, 9 p.m. w/ Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals @ The Gramophone - free By Allison Babka From the 2013 RFT Music Awards: Close your eyes while listening to Palace and you're bound to "see" all kinds of crazy things. Stars twinkling over old-timey carnival. A roomful of balloons just waiting to be kicked and tossed. A dance line of pastel unicorns. You get the idea. Palace often describes its music as sounding "like your childhood," and that's no lie. Palace songs are pillow fights and cotton candy and best friends doing that hand-slap-rhyming thing. They're unapologetic happy-dappy pop tunes that feature beautiful vocal harmonies and make you want to bask in the sun. Palace is what the Arcade Fire might sound like on a never-ending sugar rush. There's no crash afterward, though -- only bliss.
Anodes Tour Kick-Off Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m. w/ Two Knights, Heavy Horse, Cathedral Fever, Stonechat @ Foam - $5 By Joseph Hess Anodes bridges the gap between genres of hardcore and emo by mashing familiar sounds of both. While many tread this sound, Anodes excells in the art with a distinct set of dramatic songs. Melodic hooks build through a wall of guitar chords, punctuated by a loud, percussive jaunt. Guitarists AJ Hofstetter and Sean Survant share vocal duties, swinging between screaming, spoken word and singing. The drums come filled with a certain depth, infused with heavy-handed jazz. Since forming in 2012, the four-piece has released multiple records followed by numerous tours. Check out the band's latest split with Champaign's Enta and wish its members good luck on the road.
2 Chainz Friday, February 28, 8 p.m. w/ Pusha T, August Alsina @ Chaifetz Arena - $38-$128 By Tara Mahadevan From "The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: February 2014": 2 Chainz performs dirty south rap at its finest. Hailing from Georgia, 2 Chainz came on to the scene as part of the duo Playaz Circle, rising to prominence as a solo artist with the release of his 2011 mixtape T.R.U. REALigion. Since then he has found success as both a lead and featuring artist, working with Kanye, Big Sean and Gucci Mane, just to name a few. Pusha T-- or "King Push" as many affectionately call him -- was born in the Bronx but reps Virginia as his home. Though he's been rapping since 1992, his debut solo album My Name Is My Name only dropped in 2013. Another cohort of Kanye, Push signed to 'Ye's GOOD Music label in 2010. Even though he's been around for so long, Push proves with his lyrical flow that he's still relevant.
Tok CD Release Friday, February 28, 9 p.m. w/ Bass Amp and Dano, Rat Heart @ Schafly Tap Room - free By RFT Staff Guitar licks galore, grooving bass lines, the hair, by God, the hair. Though we couldn't reach the mother of brothers Bryan and Matt Basler for comment, we like to believe that they were born armed with guitars, put on this planet to sing and shred. Tok & roll combines feel-good licks with solid midtempo beats and impeccable dance moves that prove these guys are really in it for the fun. If that visual isn't apparent enough, we highly suggest seeing them firsthand during one of their frequent gigs around town. If witnessing lanky, shimmying Bryan helicopter his long locks while soloing up the guitar neck without missing a beat doesn't convert you, we don't know what will.
Kentucky Knife Fight Van Benefit Saturday, March 1, 9 p.m. w/ John Henry, Jump Starts @ Off Broadway - $10 By Christian Schaeffer From this 2013 Homespun review: Hush Hush: Wherein the St. Louis-via-Edwardsville band marries its bluesy barroom blitzes with a cinematic scope. For its third full-length, the quintet remains clouded in cigarette smoke and dark-tinted glasses, but there's a touch of the auteur with how the album is assembled. Take, for instance, the 45-second "Theme for No One," which introduces "Love the Lonely" with a bit of spacious mood music. The "Paper Flowers" suite is more ambitious: The triptych is spread out throughout the album and presented in reverse order, opening with a piano-and-Mellotron vignette that owes a little to Frank's Wild Years-era Tom Waits. It's a disparate form of storytelling for a band that prefers a bash-'em-out style of song craft (and there's plenty of that on Hush Hush), and the bookends of the album find singer Jason Holler turning his twangy yelp into an intimate whisper. That delivery, paired with the hillbilly-noir ambience the band has more or less trademarked, shows the marks of growth that weren't readily evident on last year's "Misshapen Love" / "Love the Lonely" 7-inch (both of those tracks appear here). By the time the stabbing cellos kick in at the end of "Paper Flowers One," the movement feels complete.
The Dive Poets Saturday, March 1, 9 p.m. w/ The Poorhouse says, ARR!!! @ The Gramophone - $7 By RFT Staff From the 2013 RFT Music Awards: With Married to Your Ghost, the first full-length album from veteran band the Dive Poets, Eric Sargent has established himself as one of the keenest songwriters in St. Louis' Americana scene, but it's his band that has come into its own. With Karl Eggers on guitar and Anna Drexelius on viola, the Poets can charge as hard and reckless as Slobberbone, boom-chick and catchy as the Old 97's, and unfurl cinematic twang in a way that recalls vintage Whiskeytown. What started out as a bar band has become one of our finest storytelling ensembles; as with the best rock & rollers, the stories are as much in the sound as in the songs.
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings Sunday, March 2, 8 p.m. w/ Valerine June @ The Pageant - $25-$27.50 By Roy Kasten A polestar for Daptone records as well as an unbelievably moving comeback story, Sharon Jones didn't just beat cancer this year; she sent it back to hell and then kicked off a world tour with barely a break until summer. Released in January of this year, her sixth official album with the Dap-Kings Give the People What They Want does exactly that, but on her own terms. Of course the arrangements survey '60s and '70s funk, and of course it features Jones' indomitable howl, but it's also Jones' most political and personal work -- conscious of history and of the present moment, and held together by a groove so deep your heart and feet will never touch bottom.
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 submit show info online any time to be considered for inclusion on these lists.
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