The Best Concerts in St. Louis This Week, October 19 to 25

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Saturday night's alright for southern rock: Drive-By Truckers returns to St. Louis on October 24 for a show at the Pageant. - PHOTO BY DAVID MCCLISTER
  • Photo by David McClister
  • Saturday night's alright for southern rock: Drive-By Truckers returns to St. Louis on October 24 for a show at the Pageant.
Soul legend Stevie Wonder caps off the week with a show this Sunday at the Scottrade Center. Those looking for a more low-key affair should look into either show at the Sheldon on Tuesday or Wednesday night. Alarm Will Sound continues to stretch the definition of classical music while the Lone Bellow shows American songwriting in pure, undiluted form. Whatever the taste, there are plenty of flavors to pick from every night this week. Read on for our guide to the week ahead: 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19

Radio Shock w/ 3 of 5, Mister Ben, Tubby Tom
The Livery
9 p.m. | $5
By Joseph Hess
New York-native MP Lockwood brings a stockpile of processed patterns through his pet project Radio Shock. The man himself is a stalwart of the East Coast noise and no-wave scene, being the writer and DJ behind the No-Core blog and podcast, respectively. His musical output is an oozing post-punk brain matter put through a steel strainer. The result is pure yet riddled sonic oddities. Think of it as the soundtrack to some odd alien porn (the kind that seems strange even for some exotic planet of cyclops people hundreds of millions of light years away).


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20

Alarm Will Sound
The Sheldon
8 p.m. | $20
By Joseph Hess
Alarm Will Sound is a twenty-piece chamber ensemble specializing in contemporary classical music. From the works of Steve Reich to Aphex Twin and even the Dirty Projectors, the massive group has written and performed a staggering number of arrangements. It has even taken on the great challenge of replicating electronic songs with acoustic instruments — in a live concert setting, no less. On this night, Alarm Will Sound performs five pieces from contemporary composers under the age of 40.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21

The Lone Bellow w/ Anderson East
The Sheldon
8 p.m. | $20-$22
By Christian Schaeffer
It’s hard not to hear the sun rise through your speakers when the Lone Bellow’s “Then Came the Morning” comes on, regardless of the time of day. Such is the presence of Zach Williams’ voice and the harmonic uplift provided by his fellow instrumentalists, guitarist Brian Elmquist and mandolin player Kanene Pipkin. The band’s self-titled debut, produced by Nashville vet Charlie Peacock, introduced it as a well-heeled, vocally driven Americana combo with emotion and harmony to spare. But employing the National’s Aaron Dessner to produce this year’s Then Came the Morning gave the band a spacious, warm palette to push against. The Lone Bellow will find similar warmth in the ideal confines of the Sheldon at this week’s show.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22

Go!Zilla w/ Stone Hen, Whsky Janetor, Kenshiro's
Foam Coffee & Beer
8 p.m. | $5
By Joseph Hess
So let's take a look at this show for what it really is: A garage rock band from Italy is playing a coffee house on Cherokee Street for five bucks. Go!Zilla takes the no-frills approach to poppy, high-energy songs. And while its guitars might sound a little nasty, the tone feels distinct, landing just outside the garden variety jangle that plagues most bands of this ilk. Its latest album, Sinking In Your Sea, shows Go!Zilla embracing heavy grunge leanings while still retaining bright vibes. Arrive on time for Whsky Janetor, St. Louis' leading ladies of weird who bring clandestine chants over distorted ukulele and odd beats. Stone Hen celebrates the release of its latest tape on this night, bringing dark jams burnt to a crisp.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23

Leftöver Crack w/ Days N Daze, All Torn Up!, Life on Mars
Fubar
8 p.m. | $12-$15
By Daniel Hill
If third-wave ska songs about killing cops are your thing, you probably already know all about Leftover Crack. The punk-leaning New York act has been at this since 1998, born out of the ashes of Choking Victim and attracting legions of fans with its extremely left-of-center political views. Police brutality has long been the subject of the band's ire — alongside homophobia, the war on drugs, religion and capitalism in general — so it will be interesting to hear what singer Scott Sturgeon has to say in St. Louis in the wake of last year's Ferguson protests. Safe to say it will not be a glowing review of the state of American policing.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24

Drive-By Truckers w/ Jonathan Tyler
The Pageant
8 p.m. | $25-$27.50
By Rob Patterson
From the RFT Music archives: "I don't think of us as a Southern rock band," says Patterson Hood, the main axle of the Drive-By Truckers. Huh? Isn't this the band that made Southern Rock Opera, a two-CD album about Lynyrd Skynyrd? They boast three guitar players, just like Skynyrd. Hood even hails from 'Bama — and countless reviewers have certainly touted the group as the resurrection of Southern rock. "We're certainly Southern as hell, and the majority of our songs reflect that," Hood says. "And ten seconds on the phone with any of us, and our accents certainly reflect it." (It's true — he talks like he's about to hawk sweet tea at a moment's notice.) "But I don't really necessarily think it's really a relevant term for the music, if for nothing else than there's so much baggage with it that doesn't really apply."

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25

Stevie Wonder
Scottrade Center
8 p.m. | $36.50-$146.50
By Christian Schaeffer
If you’re generally lukewarm about “classic album” concert tours, your fears are not unfounded; while it’s edifying to hear a seminal LP played front to back, the format takes some of the fun out of the normal setlist-guessing. (Plus, wasn’t Bryan Adams’ 30th anniversary tour behind 1985’s Reckless more than a little sad?) Stevie Wonder, though, gets a free pass for his Songs in the Key of Life tour: The double LP remains the clearest document of his astral-soul genius, with singles and deep cuts that cover the breadth of Wonder’s range. He hits on social ills (“Village Ghetto Land”), nostalgia and its dangers (“I Wish” and “Pastime Paradise,” respectively), the reclamation of African-American history (“Black Man”) and more across these seventeen songs. It’s certainly more than enough to fill a concert setlist, and show-goers get the guarantee of hearing Stevie’s most perfect song, the eternal and undeniable “As.” Few albums sound this alive and universal at nearly 40 years old.

Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas and let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week 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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