The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: October 16 to 18

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Lettuce returns to the Pageant this Friday with openers Filibusta.
  • Lettuce returns to the Pageant this Friday with openers Filibusta.

An Israeli surf rock legend, a seminal jam band and the young face of chillwave walk into a — wait, you've heard this one before, haven't you? St. Louis is the biggest small town around, and you won't find a thicker concentration of great art and music for hundreds of miles. Need proof? Here are ten shows that make a case for St. Louis being a music city through and through. The only problem now is coming to terms with what concert you'll inevitably miss out on because you can't make them all.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16

Charlie Megira w/ Bottomfeeders, Bantam Foxes, the Brainstems, Lumpy and the Dumpers
Livery Company
8 p.m. | $7
He is well-dressed, his voice is buttery smooth and he grips a guitar more worn-out than yours. Charlie Megira comes by way of Israel (or is it Germany? Our sources conflict). His classic surf rock, backed by the Bet she'an Valley Hillbillies, comes with dust and scratches, but the execution here is absolutely punk. He often cites Millions of Dead Cops as a major influence — which seems odd, given his accessible and deceptively sweet sound.


Clutch
w/ Corrosion of Conformity, the Shrine
Pop's Nightclub
7 p.m. | $25
Clutch truly broke through in the mid-aughts with "The Mob Goes Wild," a single famed for its music video directed by Bam Margera at the peak of Viva La Bam. The old adage goes "timing is everything," but Clutch clearly has staying power. Its anthemic rock has been featured on The Walking Dead and zombie-killing simulator Left 4 Dead 2. A one hit wonder, this is not.

Lettuce w/ Filibusta
The Pageant
8 p.m. | $25-$27.50
After the release of Outta Here in 2001, Lettuce became responsible for a whole new wave of funk fusion bands in America. Not that the album was an instant classic (though some would say otherwise), but this genre really excels in a live setting, and that debut record helped Lettuce show what many of its early fans already knew: This group has that special sauce and isn't shy about spreading it around.

Toro y Moi w/ Astronauts, etc.
The Ready Room
8 p.m. | $18-$20
At the tender age of 21, Chaz Bundick's own home recordings helped to spurn an entire musical movement. Chillwave was a term coined by someone, somewhere, but at this point the word merely describes an honest blend of indie pop and heady electronic music. Of course, ambient jams are part of the deal with Toro y Moi, but what was once a solo act has grown into a full band with a backline of live drums, guitars and keys. Don't expect a lone moody dude with a laptop or synthesizer.

The We're All Alright Tour w/ Dave Days, Tiffany Alvord, Future Sunsets, Alex Preston, The House On Cliff
Fubar
6:30 p.m. | $15-$60
Before you cock your head like an inquisitive little puppy, that whole "we're all alright" business is no doubt in reference to That '70s Show, at least for marketing purposes. This show is headed off by Dave Days, a certified YouTube celeb with more than 1.5 million subscribers. His chief export is pop-punkifying top-40 pop songs and internet memes, but his latest studio effort is an album of originals titled Pizza Ship. The front cover is a sketchy drawing of the Starship Enterprise with pepperoni and extra cheese. No joke.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17

Failure w/ Local H
The Firebird
$20 | 8 p.m.
That whole "dream of the nineties" we keep talking about? It's mostly referring to a whole decade's worth of bands coming back in full force for reunion shows, tours and new records. In the case of Failure, the band died out around 1997 and came back to life last year with a much anticipated debut at SXSW. Grunge was mostly a blanket term, used to market a swath of bands to the MTV generation, but Failure veered just left of center, taking a more atmospheric approach. This isn't a retread with a band past its prime — Failure just released a brand new album, The Heart Is a Monster, to critical acclaim.

See also: Nineties Alt-Rock Darling Failure Finds New Fans in Today's Kids

Grace Potter w/ Rayland Baxter
The Pageant
8 p.m. | $30-$50
Singer-songwriter Grace Potter seems like more fierce of a band leader without the Nocturnals. Not that she's going out on stage without a backing band, but her bluesy hymns now bring a more rootsy feel with her voice and guitar front and center. Her latest studio record Midnight features the likes of Wayne Coyne (the Flaming Lips), Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age) and many more.

See also: Singer Grace Potter Ditches the “Safety Blanket” of a Band and Issues Solo Debut

Warren G
Pop's Nightclub
7 p.m. | $20-$25
By Daniel Hill
Did you know that Warren Griffin III — better known as rapper/producer Warren G — released a new EP this year? More importantly, did you know that four of its five tracks contain vocals by the late, great Nate Dogg? Regulate... G Funk Era Part II is the sequel to Warren G's 1994 breakout, which contained the duo's smash hit “Regulate” — by all accounts a timeless hip-hop classic. Never mind the fact that Nate Dogg passed away four years ago. The two were close friends and frequent musical partners, and Griffin apparently was sitting on loads of unreleased vocal tracks from the California crooner. The radio dial has assuredly suffered greatly from the lack of that smooth voice ever since his death. Any new music, posthumous or not, should be enthusiastically welcomed.

Waxahatchee w/ Weyes Blood
Off Broadway
8 p.m. | $13-$15
Waxahatchee is clearly the headliner here, but Weyes Blood just released Cardamom Times one week ago. A collection of home recordings done through a 4-track recorder, this new EP brings psychedelic folk informed equally by busy inner city noise and the ambient sounds of nature. Natalie Mering is a standout singer-songwriter and shouldn't be overshadowed by the headlining alt-folk heavy hitter. Being fashionable late is overrated, anyway. 

See also: New York's Weyes Blood Releases Cardamom Times: "It's a Little More My Style"

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18

Joey Bada$$ w/ Denzel Curry, Bishop Nehru, Nyck Caution
The Ready Room
8 p.m. | $27.50-$30
By Daniel Hill
The last time New York's Joey Bada$$ came to St. Louis he had a little bit of trouble with the law. The night before his show, he and fellow rapper Ab-Soul were handcuffed and detained in the parking lot of their hotel on the way to their tour bus. The two were in town as part of the Smoker's Club tour, and Joey was sporting a longsleeve shirt with a large pot leaf on the back — presumably, the police expected to find some contraband. But no illicit substances were found on either man, and the event only served to fuel the fire of the rappers' sets the following night. "There's one thing I don't love about St. Louis,” Joey said onstage, “and that's the fucking police, man. Fuck the police!” The sentiment was met with wild cheers from the crowd.

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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