The 9 Best Shows in St. Louis This Weekend: June 17 to 19

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Sleepy Kitty will again perform at this year's RFT Music Showcase on Saturday. - PHOTO BY STEVE TRUESDELL
  • Photo by Steve Truesdell
  • Sleepy Kitty will again perform at this year's RFT Music Showcase on Saturday.

This is a big weekend for us here at RFT Music — this Saturday we will converge on the Grove for the 2016 RFT Music showcase, an annual music event featuring performances by St. Louis' best musicians. Wristbands are only $10 and provide access to all nine venues for the event, which will run from noon until the early morning hours of Sunday. With more than 90 acts performing this year, the event is officially the biggest all-local music festival in St. Louis history, and we're pretty damn proud of that.

But believe it or not, there is still more music happening this weekened as well! Check out our full picks, including Anti-Nowhere League, Too Short and Alley Ghost, below.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17


Too Short
9 p.m., $20-$35. The Marquee Restaurant & Lounge, 1911 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-436-8889.
By Daniel Hill
While it is true that Too Short's best years are likely behind him — almost 30 years behind him, in fact, if you consider 1989's Life Is... to be his most notable work. And it may well be, considering the album helped to pioneer the West Coast rap sound that would go on to dominate the airwaves in the early '90s. But nostalgia act or no, Too Short is a legend in the hip-hop world, and his appearance in town demands any true head's attention.

Samantha Fish
8 p.m., $12-$15. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.
By Roy Kasten
Kansas City native Samantha Fish is part of a vanguard of female blues artists whose guitar attack is as impressive as their vocal punch. On the tensile strength of last year's Wild Heart, Fish may have put herself at the most deeply-cutting edge of that movement. Working with a band of lightning greasers (including guitarist Lightnin Malcolm and just-as appropriately named drummer Brady Blade), Fish transforms the elemental Hill Country juke-joint style with classic-rock hooks, Southern soul and all the pyrotechnics of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Best of all, her songwriting matches the snarling force of the music. Fish doesn't rock the blues by rote; she does it by instinct and craft.

Music at the Intersection 
5 p.m., free. Strauss Park, Washington & N. Grand boulevards, St. Louis.
By Daniel Hill
Music at the Intersection, the free concert series that takes over Grand Center each summer, pays tribute to the late Prince this weekend with a funk- and soul-heavy lineup that includes Fresh Heir, Good for the Soul, DJ Mahf, DJ Makossa, M.M.E., Nato Caliph, Hazard to Ya Booty, DJ Siniman, Paige Alyssa, Theresa Payne and Andrew Franklin and the Sugar Kings. Come on down and give the Purple One his due.

Alley Ghost w/ Maximum Effort, The Brainstems
8 p.m., free. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Daniel Hill
The spirit of Bob Reuter's music is kept alive through his bandmates and friends, who continue to perform as Alley Ghost. Though the frontman and songwriter passed away, his extended Big Muddy Records family refuses to let his art be forgotten. Alley Ghost shows are few and far between nowadays, and each has a tendency to turn into a wild time. You'd be wise to attend.

Black Mountain
8 p.m., $15-$18. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.
By Ryan Wasoba
Some may use prefixes such as "progressive" or "stoner" to describe the music unleashed by Black Mountain. But the Vancouver quintet is, above all else, a rock band. Its list of influences (Zeppelin, Floyd, Sabbath) reads like the required listening from School of Rock, and any track in its catalog would make for a bitchin' level on Guitar Hero.

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

Anti Nowhere League
8 p.m., $15. The Crack Fox, 1114 Olive St., St. Louis. 314-621-6900.
By Daniel Hill
That English punk rockers Anti-Nowhere League are playing St. Louis at all is quite a coup — when news of the show hit the internet there was more than a few shocked reactions. The fact that the band is playing at a venue so unlikely as the Crack Fox is remarkable as well — there are surely more than a few venues in town that are green with jealousy this weekend. Catch a legendary band in a small-scale setting or make excuses for the rest of your life about why you missed out.

RFT Music Showcase 2016
12 p.m., $10. The Grove, Manchester Blvd and S. Boyle Ave. 
By Daniel Hill
Call us biased — we'll admit, we are — but we think this is the best of the best music event of the whole weekend. This year's showcase features more than 90 musical acts across nine venues in the Grove, all for a scant $10. The performers include St. Louis' best and brightest, and this year's event ranks as the biggest all-local music festival in St. Louis history. Need more reasons to go? Here's a list of ten really good ones! Check out the complete lineup and schedule here.

Blackwater '64 w/ Ravenhill, Various Hands
8 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.
By Christian Schaeffer
The sounds of modern rock radio get filtered through the polite yearnings of modest young men on Blackwater '64's debut EP. Absent is the overblown bravado or dude-rock posturing that clouds so much guitar-driven rock music — singer and guitarist Ben Martsolf doesn't achieve profundity in his lyrics, but his full-throated delivery on a song like opening track "Dancing With Your Ghost" evinces a palpable ache. Opening the EP with a ballad is a ballsy move, especially one that features some back-and-forth with guest vocalist Amy Snyder; in the leadoff spot, it forecasts some romantic drama that isn't all that present on the rest of the six-song program. But the song does tip the band's hand a bit — it likes to employ moody dynamics without sacrificing the beat.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19


Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards
7 p.m., $35-$55. Ambassador, 9800 Halls Ferry Road, North St. Louis County, 314-869-9090.
By J. Konkel
Nostalgia is a tricky proposition for touring musicians: Too little of it, and you're likely to alienate longtime fans; too much of it, and you're likely to be dismissed as irrelevant. Certainly nostalgic is the Temptations Review, headed by Dennis Edwards, who served as lead singer for the Temptations after David Ruffin's dismissal from the band in the late '60s. Much of Edwards and company's live set consists of hits from his stint in the Tempts — "Wish It Would Rain," "Cloud Nine," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Psychedelic Shack" among them. And of course they throw in the obligatory "My Girl," despite the fact that Edwards wasn't in the band when it was recorded. Nostalgia, it seems, has little regard for historical accuracy.


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