The 3 Best Shows in St. Louis This Week: May 2 to 8

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Pedro the Lion will perform at the Old Rock House on Thursday, May 2. - RYAN RUSSELL
  • RYAN RUSSELL
  • Pedro the Lion will perform at the Old Rock House on Thursday, May 2.
Each week we bring you our picks for the best shows of the next seven days! To submit your show for consideration, click here. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

Pedro the Lion
8 p.m. Thursday, May 2. The Old Rock House, 1200 South Seventh Street. $20. 314-588-0505.
With the scratchy, muted, synthesized opening of Pedro the Lion’s 2019 return, the vaunted indie-rock band, still led by the ever-fallen-from-grace David Bazan, seems to be playing it coy. The reticence doesn’t last. Phoenix is among Bazan’s most emotionally rewarding collections. The sound and spirit are taut and punchy, even with all of Bazan’s aching nostalgia for yellow bikes, Circle K sodas and the idea of a God who gives a damn. You may find lines like “the weight of the world is bearing down on me like biblical weather” a touch portentous, but the harrowing rasp in Bazan’s voice, like Springsteen at the end of a five-hour show, can still make you a believer.
Out of the Studio: The eccentric knob-twiddler John Vanderslice has been making brilliant records in his San Francisco-situated Tiny Telephone joint for over two decades. His opening set offers the chance to make those weird and fetching sounds stick on stage.
—Roy Kasten



Eels
8 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard. $40. 314-726-6161.
As the solitary force behind Eels for more than two decades, Mark Oliver Everett made use of both his prodigious musical talent and his wry, wrinkled worldview to create everything from nailbomb alt-rock to delicate balladry set to the plinks of a toy piano. And despite its literary-theory-referencing title, his latest album The Deconstruction is less a formal exegesis on communication than a varied collection from a songwriter who can use the bruises and calluses of heartbreak as melodic grist. Longtime fans and critics are divided over whether The Deconstruction mines any new terrain for Everett, but the rest of us can soak in the fractured beauty of his wheezy symphonies and bittersweet songcraft.
Isn’t He Grand: Robert Ellis, who has been touring behind his self-explanatory new album Texas Piano Man, opens the show only a few weeks after his headlining set at Off Broadway.
—Christian Schaeffer

Sniper 66
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway. $5. 314-328-2309.
Spikey-haired drunk punks, take note: The no-frills ’90s streetpunk peddled by the likes of Beer City Records and typified by bands like the Casualties is coming into fully studded fashion again. There’s no other way to explain the popularity of bands like Austin’s Sniper 66, which deal ably in that four-chord, drum-driven, gravel-voiced sound of yore. Anthemic choruses, gang vocals and lyrics critical of “the system” are the order of the day, and Sniper 66 serves them up hot and sans garnish (before spiking the plate to the floor, of course). Recommended for fans of plaid pants and unnecessary zippers.
Oi to the World: Like-minded St. Louis act Bastard Squad, whose sound is not unlike the headliner, will offer support alongside the power-pop-infected work of STL punk supergroup the Uppers and the metal-damaged hardcore punk of Lysergik Acid, making for a night of music sure to get the people moshing like it’s 1996.
—Daniel Hill
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