This Week's Best Live Music: February 22 to 28


Voivod will perform at the Firebid this Sunday. - PRESS PHOTO
  • Press photo
  • Voivod will perform at the Firebid this Sunday.

We are officially out of the dregs of winter (at least, 70 degrees in February sure makes it seem that way), and in keeping with the weather, the list of shows on the horizon is heating up. Dropkick Murphys make their annual jaunt through town on Tuesday — this tour is their twenty-year anniversary as a band, so expect hits from all across their career. Steve Aoki comes to Ameristar on Saturday to throw cake everywhere (presumably). Metal rippers Voivod top a jam-packed lineup at Firebird on Sunday. See below for our full list:


The Karaoke Underground
w/ Math Patrol
9 p.m., $5. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226.
By Daniel Hill
Like karaoke, but hate every Top-40 song that has every existed (as well as your parents, the system, etc.)? You are in luck! The Karaoke Underground is a sing-a-long experience for the punx, with hundreds of songs spanning the likes of "Bikini Kill, Black Flag, Modest Mouse, the Misfits, Cat Power, the Pixies, Dead Kennedys, Sleater-Kinney, Pavement, Joy Division, Fugazi, Guided By Voices and many more," according to its official website. An excellent excuse to get drunk and scream indoors!


Dropkick Murphys 20 Year Anniversary Show w/ Tiger Army, Darkbuster
8 p.m., $32.50-$35. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.
By Jeff Niesel
Last week, Quincy, Massachusetts-based Irish punk band Dropkick Murphys kicked off its twentieth anniversary tour with two shows at the House of Blues in Cleveland, where there’s a green room, a kick-ass sound system and attendants in the bathrooms. On Tuesday, February 23, that tour will take the group to the Pageant — recently rated by Pollstar as the seventh best venue in the world. The guys have certainly come a long way from their humble roots. Early on, the band played basement parties as it cut its musical teeth at DIY venues in the Northeast. Read more in this recent article.


Rayland Baxter 
8 p.m., $10-$12. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.
By Roy Kasten
Hardcore Dylanologists know Bucky Baxter as a major player for the Never Ending Tour; the steel guitarist defined the sound of Dylan's mid-'90s dream team, still regarded as among the post-gospel bard's very best bands. Rayland Baxter had no opinion on the matter. He was still in grade school when his father was touring the world. The son's turn came a decade later, with a debut album that set course for Townes Van Zandt-esque folk-blues and last year's stormier, moodier Imaginary Man. Baxter has a pungent but warm tenor, a healthy obsession with Beatles-inspired harmonies, and a witty, sui generis way with emotional truths that more than recalls the songwriting of his father's paymaster. Baxter's career has just begun, but he's already scored tours with everyone from Kacey Musgraves and Boz Scaggs to the Head and the Heart and Shakey Graves.


Dark Star Orchestra 
8 p.m., $25-$30. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.
By Kiernan Maletsky
From the RFT Music archives: Grateful Dead tribute Dark Star Orchestra has collected a road record rivaling that of its hero, performing thousands of shows in the decade-plus since it started. This Thursday, the seven-piece will make a stop at the Pageant. DSO has survived on a deep knowledge of the Dead's catalogue and a penchant for just enough improvisation to keep the spirit of the thing alive.


Never Shout Never w/ Metro Station
8 p.m., $20. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.
By Jeff Niesel
Alternative indie pop-rock band Never Shout Never (a.k.a. songwriter Christofer Drew and his fellow bandmates) has released more than 100 songs in the relatively short time that it has been a band. Last year, Drew delved into his back catalog and picked out a few fan favorites to re-record for Recycled Youth. A "re-imagining of nine previously released songs but recorded with entirely new styles and instrumentation to make them unique once again,” the album was the first installment of what Drew, whose wispy, high-pitched voice can silence a noisy crowd of punk rockers, has said will be a regular series. “We’ve been playing the music for so long, and we wanted to do something that was different and fun and kinda quirky,” Drew says. “We wanted to get back to our roots a little bit and get back to the folky vibe. We just have so many old songs, and we love them all and we still play them live.”


Steve Aoki w/ Basscrooks, DJ Jwin, DJ SlantE
9 p.m., $25. Ameristar Casino, 1 Ameristar Blvd., St. Charles, 636-949-7777.
By Liz Ohanesian
From the RFT Music archives: Steve Aoki is no stranger to big productions. Back in 2009, when he landed his second Coachella gig, he wanted more than the standard DJ booth. He bought rafts and Supersoakers and hit up thrift stores to get brightly colored fabric that he and his pals could turn into cloaks. Then he commissioned an artist to make large boxes that lit up. "I spent more money than my guarantee," Aoki recalls. But the expense worked out for the DJ. Photos of him riding a raft above the crowd made it into press coverage of the event and spread online. Kanye West mentioned the raft to Aoki. It's fair to say that this event helped catapult Aoki into the upper echelons of EDM superstardom.


Voivod w/ Vektor, Eight Bells, Black Fast
8 p.m., $22-$25. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.
By Daniel Hill
For more than 30 years, Canada's Voivod has been pushing the limits of metal to strange and increasingly interesting places. Founded as a speed-metal act in 1982, the band has come to incorporate elements of thrash and progressive metal in the decades since, forming a blistering brew that is pleasing to head-bangers and music scholars alike. Along for the ride on this tour is Tempe, Arizona's Vektor, which honestly couldn't be a better fit. Formed in 2003 as part of the New Wave of Thrash Metal, Vektor combines light-speed riffs and impressive technicality with unconventional arrangements in a manner that would make its Canadian granddad band proud — there's no doubt that the former was a big influence on the latter. Rounding out the bill is Portland experimental rock act Eight Bells and local metal masters Black Fast, assuring a ripper of a show from start to finish.

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