The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: May 15-17


They Might Be Giants returns to St. Louis tonight at the Pageant. No openers this time, so arrive at 9 p.m. for the full show. - PHOTO BY DOMINIC NEITZ
  • Photo by Dominic Neitz
  • They Might Be Giants returns to St. Louis tonight at the Pageant. No openers this time, so arrive at 9 p.m. for the full show.

You might think this week couldn't get any better, what with Bob Dylan on Monday, a surprise show by Kimya Dawson on Wednesday and Rush's 40th anniversary show last night. But as you can see in our guide for the weekend ahead, the hits keep coming.

Read on for the lowdown on the best shows Friday through Sunday.


Anti-Flag w/ The Homeless Gospel Choir, War On Women, Antithought Friday, May 15 Fubar 8 p.m. | $18-$20 Maybe Anti-Flag lost some punk-cred after cruising the Warped Tour circuit, but let's face it: the band turned more kids onto the genre by not masking itself in obscurity. This past August, Anti-Flag turned international attention toward the events in Ferguson by getting a Belgian crowd to chant "hands up, don't shoot!"

Atmosphere w/ B Dolan, deM atlaS, DJ Adatrak Friday, May 15 The Pageant 8 p.m. | $25-$27.50 Since the late '80s, Atmosphere has been that hip-hop group that most people who aren't exactly hip (pun intended) to the genre cite when wanting to look subversive. The accolades are well deserved, although Atmosphere has managed to steer clear of the mainstream -- for better and/or worse.

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY Friday, May 15, and Saturday, May 16 Powell Symphony Hall 7:30 p.m. | $40-$80 Conductor Arnie Roth first brought Distant Worlds to St. Louis in 2012. The two-day event featured selections from the legendary Final Fantasy video game series, along with performances from Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu. He won't be returning, but Final Fantasy XI composer Naoshi Mizuta will be in attendance with VIP tickets granting a once-in-a-lifetime meet-and-greet. If this show isn't your particular gaming flavor, catch the symphony playing music from the Legend of Zelda series later this year.

IM5 w/ Bailey McConnell, The Weekend Riot, The House on Cliff, Hosted by Sam Pottoroff Friday, May 15 The Ready Room 6:30 p.m. | $20 The IM5 website shows Cole, Dana and Gabe gazing off into the wild yonder. I wonder what Dana is thinking? He's so deep. This is the latest American boy band export for the internet age, and the music ain't half bad either.


Alex Cunningham Cassette Release Show w/ Ghost Ice, Lobster Saturday, May 16 The Luminary 8 p.m. | $5 Whether he performs as one-third of the Vernacular String Trio or courts massive ambient noise with sound artist Jake Leech, Alex Cunningham brings a stark and visceral approach to the violin. See him sear through the strings and take home his debut album released exclusively on cassette tape by local label Close/Far Recordings.

Matt Townsend & The Wonder Of The World w/ Pretty Little Empire, Letter To Memphis Saturday, May 16 The Demo 8:30 p.m. | $10 If past RFT Music Awards are any indication, Pretty Little Empire and Letter To Memphis are both longtime favorites by our readers, with the latter up for yet another award this year. Without giving away too much about Matt Townsend, the local openers should be reason enough to throw down a ten-spot on a Friday night.

Powder Mill w/ Matt Poss Saturday, May 16 Off Broadway 9 p.m. | $10 This Missouri group brings a rundown country slop that aims to hit that sweet spot between garage rock and backwoods folk. Like an old tape of self-recorded Americana found after years rotting in a beer-soaked basement, Powder Mill brings the right kind of rickety songs -- both pretty and ugly in all the right ways.

They Might Be Giants Saturday, May 16 The Pageant 9 p.m. | $25-$32 By Daniel Hill Stop what you are doing right now, pull out your phone and call the following number: 844-387-6962. Like what you hear? Welcome to They Might Be Giants' relaunched "Dial-A-Song" service, where each week you can listen to a brand new TMBG track. John Flansburgh and John Linnell first launched the quirky experiment in 1983, placing a mysterious ad in the back of New York's Village Voice and recording songs as the outgoing message of their home answering machine. The old number was active through 2006, pumping hundreds of free tunes into the ears of eager fans in an age before MP3 downloads ruled the industry. This January, the band revived the effort, and it remains just as silly and fun as ever.


Jenny Lewis w/ Nikki Lane Sunday, May 17 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | $22-$25 By Roy Kasten From a review from the RFT Music archives: She walked out in an ensemble that surely disappointed the overdressed shabby-chicsters that crushed onto the floor: jeans, T-shirt with sleeves rolled up and garlands in her red hair. "See Fernando" started the set with slicing lap steel from Farmer Dave, chunky rhythm guitar from Rice and utility percussion from Danielle Haim. Lewis' voice, supple and more muscular than usually recognized, was enough to fill up the room, but her band is more than just back up. They know how to move with her, whether on the fierce and funny "Charging Sky" or the omnichord-driven "You Are What You Love" (both from Rabbit Fur Coat); they know how to lift her as well.

Viking Moses w/ Jesse Edmister Sunday, May 17 Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center 8 p.m. | $5 Baltimore native Brendon Massei crafts deep American folk music through a warped lens. Everything here feels bent or broken but still in use; Massei's voice howls over guitar drones that crack and shift in major ways. Melodies creep out from under cyclical sounds, bring a sense of forward movement -- a graduation of the classic singer-songwriter into something mystical but still discernible.

Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one post. Peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas, and let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this weekend in the comments below. To be considered for coverage in RFT Music, submit show info online or drop us a line anytime.


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