The 9 Best Shows in St. Louis This Weekend: August 12 to 14


Lee "Scratch" Perry will perform at Blueberry Hill this Friday. - PRESS PHOTO
  • Press photo
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry will perform at Blueberry Hill this Friday.

This weekend brings dub luminary Lee "Scratch" Perry to Blueberry Hill on Friday night, NYHC legends Madball to Fubar (also Friday) as well as a stop by some guy who calls himself a "beatle" at Busch Stadium on Saturday. Check out our full picks below:


Lee "Scratch" Perry
8 p.m., $25-$30. Blueberry Hill Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd. 314-727-2277.
By Roy Kasten
Like Phil Spector, George Martin and Dr. Dre, Lee "Scratch" Perry harnessed the power and potential of the studio and available technologies with such authority and creativity that after him no one would even think of making records the same way. If he created a bizarre cult of personality with one main bonkers follower (himself), he also helped pioneer sampling and created dub, an experimental and infinitely elastic version of reggae. For starters, his work with the Upsetters, Bob Marley and Junior Murvin (the Clash covered "Police and Thieves" because it's only one of the best singles ever) can still boggle the brain and stone the soul. Perry's current tour celebrates 40 years of the landmark Upsetters' album Super Ape. You'll hear it all in St. Louis – likely with a lot of crazed testifying from Perry.

Madball w/ Homewrecker, Coldside
6 p.m., $15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.
By Andrew Miller
Madballs — miniature versions of gore-damaged, slime-splattered heads — were part of the mid-'80s grotesquerie craze that spawned the Garbage Pail Kids. The toy's ad campaign employed the slogan "Catch them if you dare," which suggested Madballs could turn any sport into a harrowing ordeal. The New York-based band Madball debuted in 1988, near the end of the toy's reign of terror. Agnostic Front-man Roger Miret's younger brother Freddy Cricien heads this crew, which combines positive messages with intimidating intensity. It's an aptly named outfit, because there's nothing pretty about Madball's bludgeoning hardcore or its blistering sets. Catch them if you dare.

Dierks Bentley w/ Randy Houser, Cam, Tucker Beathard
6 p.m. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-9944.
By Roy Kasten
Dierks Bentley has become an unlikely and stunning star, free of buffed-up pretensions and completely at home in the tropes of drinking, cheating and singing with all the sentimentality and skill of a lonesome crooner. He takes a cue from Vince Gill, slicking up bluegrass with mellow pop sheen, and then he leaves that mentor behind. He may look like a beach boy, but even George Strait once wore pookah shells. This Bentley doesn't signify bling — just tradition and certified soul.

w/ Middle Class Fashion, Scarlet Tanager
9 p.m., $10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Christian Schaeffer
For a while there, it was easy to look at Tok as the Festus-bred, stoner-shred brainchild of brothers Matt and Bryan Basler. And while the trio can still melt faces with the best of them, the four volumes of the Gold Dollar Hen House EPs have found that band stretching into power-pop, piano balladry and dirge-y acoustic kiss-offs. The fourth and final EP in the series is being released this weekend, and its six songs find the fabulous Basler boys channeling Badfinger and the Church as readily as Kyuss and vintage Queens of the Stone Age. Two of the city’s more adroit pop bands will open the show, with Middle Class Fashion and Scarlet Tanager leading off a stacked local bill.

Blues at the Arch w/ Phi, Vasti Jackson
5 p.m., free. Kiener Plaza, 100 North 7th St. 314-588-0738.
By Natalie Rao
After more than two years of renovations, the Gateway Arch grounds are finally set to host their first event with a whole new look. The completion of the landmark's $380 million renovation will be celebrated with another piece of history that has strongly shaped St. Louis’ culture: blues music. The National Blues Museum and the CityArchRiver Foundation are collaborating to make the very first Blues at the Arch Concert Series a memorable one.


Animal Children w/ Frontal Lobe and The Saturday Brothers
9 p.m., free. Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, 314-241-2337.
By Nick Horn
The brainchild of drummer, composer and educator Kaleb Kirby, Animal Children released its self-titled debut full-length album last year, but has only played a small smattering of shows around the city. Kirby describes the sound of the group — composed of a revolving cast of some of the city’s best young jazz players — as “a mixture of jazz, rhythm and blues, dope beats, sweaty palms, broken hearts, and broken necks.” Like most contemporary jazz these days, Kirby’s compositions are sprawling labyrinths full of complex harmonies and rapid-fire metric shifts. And, like many of his peers in the contemporary jazz world, Kirby infuses his tunes with the musical vernacular of genres like hip-hop and indie rock to create pieces that — though undeniably heady — are surprisingly easy to listen to.

Mathias and the Pirates w/ Unifyah, Red Zero
8 p.m., $6. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.
By Roy Kasten
If there's any territory that has gone under-explored in hip-hop, it just might be the sea shanty. And that’s just what Mathias and the Pirates attacked on 2013's brilliant Life of the Buzzard, which, yes, opens with "Sea Shanty in D-Minor." It's not a joke and it's not just because this crew sails the outlaw seas of outsider politics. The overall sound of Mathias and the Pirates is both futuristic and old school, with plenty of madcap scratching and adventurous arrangements. And if that weren't enough, the group cut the best St. Louis shout-out since Nelly and the Lunatics' heyday with “#southcityliving.” Everything Mathias and the Pirates do pushes the hip-hop envelope.

Paul McCartney
8 p.m., $19.50-$252.50. Busch Stadium, Broadway & Poplar St., St. Louis, 314-345-9600.
By Kiernan Maletsky
Sir Paul has a reputation as the frivolous Beatle. When he wanted to speak out for those fighting for their civil rights in America in the late '60s, he wrote the pastoral "Blackbird" to comfort and encourage them. And he's spent much of the past half-century perfecting the art of arena sing-alongs. But for all the silliness of his songs and his affable demeanor, Paul McCartney is deadly serious about his performances.


A Benefit Show for Timothy Michael McFarland
7 p.m., free. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.
By Daniel Hill
As Earth Shatters, Hallow Point, Dibiase, Compelled to Destroy and Outcome of Betrayal join together to help raise money for Timothy McFarland, who was injured this past weekend during a shooting outside of Fubar. Admission is free but donations are encouraged — and if you can't make the show, consider donating from home.

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