The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: March 25 to 27

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The Who will perform at Scottrade Center this Saturday. - PRESS PHOTO VIA OFFICIAL WEBSITE
  • Press photo via official website
  • The Who will perform at Scottrade Center this Saturday.

Costello: Who's playing in St. Louis this weekend?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: I mean the band playing Scottrade on Saturday. What's the name?
Abbott: Who.
Costello: Right, that's what I'm asking you!
Abbott: Who is playing Scottrade on Saturday.
Costello: Well, what are you askin' me for?
Abbott: I'm not asking, I'm telling you!

....We could, of course, go on and on — but instead you will be spared! Check out our full picks for this weekend's best shows — including, yes, the Who — below.

FRIDAY, MARCH 25

The Blackstar All-Stars' Tribute To David Bowie w/ 7 Shot Screamers, Karate Bikini, Tory Z Starbuck, Giant Monsters on The Horizon, Lonely Mountain String Band, Aquitaine, Eric Hall, Dave Grelle, CaveofswordS
8 p.m., $10. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.
By Christian Schaeffer
Can it be two months already since David Bowie shuffled off this mortal coil and went full-on supernova? The profundity of his influence on modern music was immediately recognized, celebrated and eulogized, both at home and abroad. St. Louis has hosted a handful of Bowie tributes performed by both teenagers in the School of Rock program as well as established bands, but this weekend’s Blackstar All-Stars’ Tribute to David Bowie aligns nearly a dozen local acts in celebration of the Thin White Duke’s ever-changing personae. Look for contributions from everyone from synthesist and noise-wrangler Eric Hall to neo-soul artist Lamar Harris to the recently resurrected 7 Shot Screamers. Make sure to catch Tory Z. Starbuck’s contributions; more than anyone on the bill, Starbuck has internalized and synthesized Bowie’s gifts throughout his decades-long career as a local underground icon.

Eli Paperboy Reed 
9 p.m., $15-$17. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Katie Moulton
From the RFT Music archives: Did Eli "Paperboy" Reed strike a deal with the devil? How else could this Massachusetts native sing like a soulman's screamin' dream, with all the sexy swagger of Wilson Pickett? Anyone familiar with Reed knows his story. The boy from Brookline, Massachusetts, left home after high school, cut his teeth performing with bluesmen in Clarksdale, Mississippi and learned gospel in a church on Chicago's South Side with Mitty Collier, a Chess Records artist-turned-minister. Returning to Boston, Reed hit the scene in 2005 and has drawn comparisons to R&B legends Pickett, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke ever since.

James McMurtry
8 p.m., $22-$27. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900.
By Roy Kasten
From the RFT Music archives: For years, James McMurtry labored behind two long shadows: that of his father, the novelist Larry McMurtry, and that of the Texas songwriting tradition, epitomized by the generation of Townes Van Zandt. He bristled at the comparisons and the obsession with his lyrical prowess, and instead devoted his attention to the electric guitar, which became his secret, obscurely tuned weapon. Then came "Choctaw Bingo" and "We Can't Make It Here," two shotgun-sprayed assaults on modern American depravity and injustice, and McMurtry found himself crowned "the poet of the people."

Old Salt Union w/ Whiskey Shivers, Greg Silsby
9 p.m., $10-$12. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.
By RFT Staff
From the RFT Music archives: The five young men who make up Old Salt Union grew up in Belleville, Illinois, the flashpoint for the '90s alternative-country scene, and they're still growing (plus the band's bassist, Jesse Farrar, is the son of Colonel Ford bassist Dade Farrar, and nephew of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt founder Jay Farrar). Dustin Eiskant, Ryan Murphey, Justin Wallace, John Brighton and Farrar certainly don't play straight-ahead bluegrass, but they don't play country punk, either. Their immediate influences are of their time — Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Devil Makes Three — and their sensibility is lyrical, romantic and loose. If they'll win you over with their harmonies (on any given song just about everybody will sing) and homesick fiddle, they'll get you dancing with their rhythms. This band has got a bright future and a lot of picking parties yet to crash.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26

The Who 
7 p.m., $56.50-$136.50. Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-1888.
By Allison Babka
From the RFT Music archives: Fans in St. Louis are singing "The Kids Are Alright," in anticipation of the Who's 50th anniversary tour stop in town this weekend. The Who released its first single, "I Can't Explain," in 1964, and the group will showcase its five legendary decades of rock during its 50th anniversary tour by performing hits spanning the years. In a press release, vocalist Roger Daltrey said, "This is the beginning of the long goodbye."

Shannon and the Clams
8 p.m., $12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Roy Kasten
Like Southern Culture on the Skids before them, Shannon and the Clams have smudged (if not obliterated) the line between shtick and sincerity, mess and musicianship. The band's surf, rockabilly and obscure soul are all so raucous and uncompromising that the well-reverbed sound becomes poignant in its twisted affections. On its fourth album, Gone By the Dawn, the Oakland, California trio digs for inspiration from the likes of Timi Yuro, Roy Orbison and ELO. What all those sources have in common is a grand, melodramatic pop sensibility, which just happens to be the reason for the existence of Shannon Shaw's voice. She and her band will make you swing and shake, sure; more importantly they will make you feel.

Ares Kingdom w/ Shards of Humanity, ThorHammer, Melursus
9 p.m., $10-$12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.
By Daniel Hill
Kansas City's Ares Kingdom has been playing its version of blackened thrash since 1996 — a full decade prior to the thrash resurgence of the mid-aughts. Safe to say this is now group of bandwagoneers. Over the course of nearly two decades the band has released three EPs and three LPs, including last year's excellent The Unburiable Dead, leaving a wake of blown eardrums and snapped necks behind it.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27

Rick Ross
8 p.m., $55-$75. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.
By Daniel Hill
William Leonard Roberts II has come a long way in the last decade. Since shedding his somewhat regal legal moniker and replacing it with that of real-life reformed cocaine kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross, Roberts has released eight high-charting studio albums and nabbed four Grammy nominations. The corrections-officer-turned-rapper has done so by shrewdly marketing himself as something he isn't — everyone knows Ross' criminal-mastermind mythos is pure fiction, but still they gobble it up. The fact that he doesn't need to ground his backstory in truth actually makes him one of the more interesting rapper-turned-mobster archetypes, enabling him to creatively incorporate whatever fresh fantastical elements he desires into his larger-than-life persona.

Jerkagram w/ Hylidae, Boreal Hills, Hardbody
8 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100.
By Daniel Hill
A marching-snare beat and a chorus of whistles mark the start of Jerkagram's latest, January's Outer Limbs, before the saxophone and trumpet take over. The end result is a long, slow build of a track that would not sound out of place on the soundtrack for Top Gun. It is an interesting beginning for a thoughtful and disarmingly pretty album from the off-kilter LA-based ambient math-rock duo (check the album out here). Suitably weird locals Hylidae, Boreal Hills and Hardbody open; arrive on time or miss out, chump.

Big Mike & The Blue City Allstars
8 p.m., $5. Beale on Broadway, 701 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-7880.
By Roy Kasten
From the RFT Music archives: When you hear Big Mike Aguirre play guitar, you know where he's coming from: the East Side, where the blues isn't for tourists, it's for survivors. Aguirre is a young white man from Belleville, Illinois, and he sounds like he's cut his teeth in every working-class juke joint from Brooklyn to Waterloo. A grinding and slashing Stratocaster player, he not only channels the overdrive of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Luther Allison, but also possesses a lyrical acuity that shows how closely he's listened to Keith Richards and Magic Sam. Whatever shape his blues take, the sound is scrappy and soulful.

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