Best Concert of the Past Year

Seoul Taco’s Tenth Anniversary Block Party

Staff Pick

It seems unlikely that any part of 2021 will feel as hopeful and freeing as the month of June did. After fifteen months of COVID-19 misery, vaccinations were going steadily into people’s arms, case rates were plummeting and, crucially, the delta variant had yet to rear its ugly head. For the first time in a long time, it seemed like things were going to be alright, that a sense of normalcy was just around the corner. It was against this backdrop that St. Louis’ beloved Seoul Taco decided to throw the concert of the year, celebrating its decade of existence with a jam-packed block party in the Grove. Local luminaries DJ Vthom, Loop Rat, Mvstermind and Mai Lee filled the roster for the summer evening, with a Secret Walls live graffiti battle rounding out the pre-headliner festivities. And oh man, that headliner. Initially, it was announced that we’d be treated to a performance by Ghostface Killah, but two days before the event the Wu-Tang legend was swapped out for fellow New York rap god Busta Rhymes, marking the first time he’d been to St. Louis in more than a decade. During his set — only his second performance in front of a crowd since the pandemic began — the storm that had been threatening the festivities all day loomed in the distance behind the stage, accenting the show with flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder throughout. At one point, the timing was such that Busta instructed the assembled crowd to “make some noise,” then said “I can’t hear you,” and then, “I said make some motherfucking noise!” as lightning suddenly clapped across the sky. Suffice it to say, the whole damn crowd lost their minds at that point in fear of incurring the wrath of the superhuman deity on the stage. It was a purely magical event, and a time of great hope — though in retrospect, perhaps we should have paid a bit more attention to the decidedly ominous nature of what was coming at us on the horizon. —Daniel Hill
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