2013 Fall Music Guide

Clock wise from left: Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile performs at the Sheldon Concert Hall on Oct. 16; The Icelandic sensation Sigur Ros performs at the Fox Theater Oct. 1; The Killers perform Sunday, Sept. 8 at Lou Fest in Forest Park.

By Daniel Durchholz, Special to the Jewish Light

For once, summer concert-going in St. Louis didn’t come with an automatic case of heat stroke –- a most welcome change. There are still a handful of outdoor festivals and amphitheater shows to take in, but once things move inside, this year’s slate of fall concerts schedule will bring – meteorology aside – plenty of heat all by itself. Before we get into the full schedule – and, as ever, check the individual websites cited for more information and updates – let’s take a look at a few special concerts of note.

• Loufest, Sept. 7-8 in Forest Park: Though it had established itself as an August staple, this year, the two-day festival moves to the Sept. side of the Labor Day Weekend. This year’s edition of Loufest promises to be bigger and better than ever. Wilco and the Killers are Saturday and Sunday’s headliners, respectively, but both days’ bills are packed with high-profile acts such as the National, Alabama Shakes, Jim James, Coutryard Hounds (that’s the two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks not named Natalie Maines), as well as up-and-comers Icona Pop, Robert DeLong, St. Louis’ own Kentucky Knife Fight and much, much more.

• Sigur Ros, Oct. 1 at the Fox Theater: Recently named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “Greatest Live Acts Right Now,” the Icelandic band’s shows mostly defy description. How do they get such rich orchestral sounds out of so few pieces? How does singer Jonsi maintain that beautiful falsetto voice? And what they heck are their songs – often sung in a made-up language – about, anyway? See Sigur Ros and you’ll be sufficiently blown away to render such questions moot.

•   Nine Inch Nails on Oct. 1 at Chaifetz Arena: How unfortunate – and downright maddening – is it that two of the most notable concerts of the season are on the same night? Industrial-rock veteran Trent Reznor and his group turned in a crushingly brutal but brilliant set at this year’s Lollapalooza. A new album, “Hesitation Marks” is about to be released. Anticipation for it and NIN’s tour are high.

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• Chris Thile, Oct. 16 at the Sheldon: The mandolin virtuoso is a genius – at least the MacAurthur Foundation says so: It gave Thile one of its “genius grants” in 2012. But most who hear him play would agree. The Grammy Award winner was a member of the bluegrass trio Nickel Creek and currently splits his time between the uber-ecclectic Punch Brothers, various side projects and solo efforts, of which his classical album “Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1” is the latest.

• Justin Timberlake on Nov. 19 at Scottrade Center: With his chart-topping hits, a burgeoning acting career and a number of “Saturday Night Live” performances so good he could pretty much own the show if he didn’t have better things to do, Timberlake just may be the most versatile performer of his generation – to say nothing of his bringing sexy back. Seriously, how can you resist the guy?

Besides Loufest, another big music festival on the horizon is the Big Muddy Blues Festival (Aug. 31-Sept. 1 on Laclede’s Landing). Entertainment on three stages runs from early afternoon throughout the evening – surely enough time to both give you the blues and cure them. Main-stage acts include the Reverend Horton Heat, David Clayton-Thomas (of Blood, Sweat & Tears fame), Anthony Gomes, Walter Trout, Billy Peek, Jeremiah Johnson Band with the Sliders, Bible Belt Sinners, Funky Dragons featuring Robert Jordan, David Dee & the Hot Tracks and the venerable Big George Brock. (bigmuddybluesfestival.com)

Music may not be the first item on the menu of the annual Taste of St. Louis (Sept. 27-29 at Soldiers Memorial), but the event’s sonic sommelier must have been working overtime this year. One of the headliners is St. Louis native Pokey LaFarge who, on the heels of his recent self-titled album, has risen to the level of national – and even international – touring act. He recently gave our city a shout-out during his appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman.” Other Taste headliners include steel guitar sensation (and one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”) Robert Randolph and the Family Band and reggae/rock/pop band the Samples. (tastestl.com)

Meanwhile, Soulard Oktoberfest (Oct. 11-12 in – where else? – Soulard) continues its venerable tradition of beer, food, beer, music…and beer. Musical acts – most of them of the polka persuasion, including the Polka Floyd Show, The Dorfrockers, Copper Box, Chikeria, Polkanauts, Austrian Express, the Soulard Blues Band, Deutschmeister Brass Band, the Wendl Band and Dave Hylla’s Good Times Band. (soulardoktoberfest.com)

As for other musical fun to be had in the great outdoors, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater is winding up its season with shows by country stars Mirand Lambert and Dierks Bentley (Sept. 6); the hard rock “Carnival of Madness” tour, featuring Shinedown, Papa Roach, Skillet, In This Moment and We As Human (Sept. 7); metal mavens Iron Maiden and Megadeth (Sept. 8); a multi-band alt-rock bill including Imagine Dragons, the Neighborhood and Cage the Elephant, among others (Sept. 14); and country charttopper Jason Aldean (Sept. 20). (livenation.com)

Heading indoors, Generation Y’s own Frank Sinatra – Michael Buble – appears at Scottrade Center on (Sept. 14). Rapper Drake appears there on (Oct. 8), followed by the now-that-we’re-back-together-you-can’t-make-us-go-away tour – um, not it’s official name – of the Eagles. After that, it’s pop sensations Pink on Nov. 11 and Beyonce on Dec. 14. (scottradecenter.net)

Chaifetz Arena’s dance card is pretty full with “Ho Hey” singers The Lumineers (Oct. 4); electronic-music act Pretty Lights (Oct. 11); country acts Florida Georgia Line (Nov. 1) and Lady Antebellum (Nov. 9); and teen fave Selena Gomez (Nov. 27). (thechaifetzarena.com)

There’s also plenty going on in the area’s theater-sized venues this fall. The Fabulous Fox sports shows by R&B singer/actress Fantasia (Sept. 13); hip-hop artists J. Cole and Wale (Sept. 19); jazz/pop thrush Diana Krall (Sept. 27); PBS perennials Celtic Thunder (Oct. 26); jazz pianist/vocalist and actor Harry Connick, Jr. (Oct. 27); alt-rockers Paramore (Oct. 30); and country acts Alabama (Nov. 8-9) and Hunter Hayes (Nov. 14). (fabulousfox.com)

The Sheldon Concert Hall’s fall season is its characteristically eclectic once again. Look for banjo virtuosos Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn (Sept. 20); bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys (Sept. 28); singer/songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (who will perform onstage together (Oct. 4); jazz scions the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Oct. 5); innovative chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound (Oct. 9); progressive bluegrass pioneer David Grisman Folk Jazz Trio (Oct. 11); Latin-jazz artist William Cepeda (Oct. 18); soulful vocalist Oleta Adams (Nov. 3); veteran singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones (Nov. 8); singer and actress Audra McDonald (Nov. 15); and reclusive – till now, anyway – country/folk singer Iris DeMent (Nov. 22).

There’s only one band – Barenaked Ladies (Oct. 11) – currently on the schedule at the Peabody Opera House (peabodyoperahouse.com).

Other theater shows include the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Oct. 18), Celtic Festival feat. the John Whelan Band (Oct. 19) and Jim Brickman (Dec. 4) at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center (touhill.org); Judy Collins (Oct. 12) and AnDa Union (Oct. 20) at Washington University’s Edison Theater (edison.wustl.edu); a slate of classic rock artists including Jonathan Edwards & John Ford Coley (Sept. 14), Canned Heat (Sept. 22), Gypsy (Oct. 5), Pavlov’s Dog (Oct. 19) and the Ides of March featuring Jim Peterik (Nov. 8) at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville (wildeytheatre.com); and perennials Lynn Anderson (Oct. 18) and Frankie Avalon (Oct. 19) at Lindenwood University’s Bezemes Family Theatre (lindenwood.edu/center).

Continuing to earn its reputation as one of the best and most successful clubs in the world, The Pageant has a lineup that’s tough to top. Among the many acts booked there in the coming months are acclaimed singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams (Sept. 8); contemporary jazz/R&B artist Will Downing (Sept. 14); punk rock veterans Rancid (Sept. 16); the Mickey Hart Band featuring the drummer, late – ahem – of the Grateful Dead (Sept. 17); alt-rockers AFI (Sept. 18) and Vampire Weekend (Sept. 24); electronic dance music act Bassnectar (Sept. 29); latter-day psychedelic rockers Tame Impala (Oct. 8); extraordinary Americana artists Patty Griffin (Oct. 14) and Neko Case (Oct. 20); and Desaparecidos, featuring Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst (Oct. 24). (thepageant.com)

There are great sounds from across the musical spectrum to be heard at the Old Rock House, whose schedule include JD Souther (Sept. 5); Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (Sept. 8); Blitzen Trapper (Sept. 18); David Bromberg (Sept. 20); Billy Bragg (Sept. 22); Over the Rhine (Sept. 25); Marc Cohn (Sept. 26); California Guitar Trio (Oct. 1); Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Oct. 6); The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Oct. 8); The James Hunter Six (Oct. 10); Adrian Legg (Oct. 15); Bill Callahan (Oct. 16); The Lone Bellow (Nov. 5); and Vienna Teng (Dec. 5). (oldrockhouse.com)

Featuring mostly alternative-country, roots-rock and folk-rock acts, the calendar at Off Broadway is filled with the likes of Amanda Shires (Sept. 3); Slobberbone (Sept. 7); Centro-matic (Sept. 22); Laura Viers (Sept. 24); Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion (Oct. 10); The Del-Lords (Oct. 18); M. Doughty (Oct. 26); Okkervil River (Nov. 3); Basia Bulat (Nov. 8); and the Randy Rogers Band (Nov. 13). (offbroadwaystl.com)

The Firebird specializes in an eclectic array of alternative rock. On the schedule there you’ll find Scott H. Biram (Sept. 15); Best Coast (Sept. 16); Against Me! (Sept. 19); Glenn Tillbrook (Oct. 8); Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (Oct. 12); Senses Fail (Oct. 13); ZZ Ward (Oct. 14); Built to Spill (Oct. 20); Voodoo Glow Skulls (Oct. 23); Deer Tick (Nov. 3); Tim Kasher (Nov. 14); Joe Pug (Nov. 16); Less Than Jake (Nov. 17); and Green River Ordinance (Nov. 21). (firebirdstl.com)

The Luminary Center for the Arts, meanwhile, has moved into its new space, but thus far, there’s only one show on its schedule: Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Dec. 14). (theluminaryarts.com)

Other club shows of note include Luther Dickinson (Sept. 5), Dread Zeppelin (Sept. 7), Pat Travers Band (Sept. 8), Chuck Berry (Sept. 18), Dar Williams (Sept. 20), Cody ChesnuTT (Sept. 27), Jon McLaughlin (Sept. 28) and Sarah Jarosz (Oct. 4) at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room (blueberryhill.com); David Wax Museum (Sept. 21) Stephen Kellogg (Oct. 12) at The Demo (thedemostl.com); Mobb Deep (Sept. 19) and DJ Shadow (Sept. 25) at 2720 Cherokee (2720cherokee.com); The Acacia Strain (Sept. 9), Andrew W.K. (Sept. 20), Supersuckers (Sept. 27), Angry Samoans (Oct. 13), and Agent Orange (Oct. 24) at Fubar (fubarstl.com); Ben Sollee (Sept. 22) at the Gramophone (thegramophonelive.com); Hanni El Katib (Sept. 28) at Plush (plushstl.com). Look for more great sounds across the river at Pops (popsrocks.com), and at Lola (welovelola.com) and Cicero’s (ciceros-stl.com).

Among the area’s casinos, only River City Casino has posted a substantial schedule of musical acts. It includes Stephen Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Sept. 17), Night Ranger (Sept. 20), Jamey Johnson (Oct. 5), Air Supply (Oct. 19) and Sara Evans (Nov. 14). (rivercity.com)

For more specialized sounds, you can find full lineups of blues acts – local, regional, and national – at in the South Broadway triangle of blues bars – BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups (bbsjazzbluessoups.com), Broadway Oyster Bar (broadwayoysterbar.com) and Beale on Broadway (bealeonbroadway.com) as well as at Blues City Deli (bluescitydeli.com).

The folk-music shows scheduled for The Focal Point include Spencer Bohren (Sept. 13); Brian McNeill (Sept. 14); Battlefield Band (Sept. 15); Sarah McQuaid (Sept. 27); Ed Miller (Sept. 29); Amy Lord and Calum Martin (Oct. 4); Geyer Street Sheiks (Oct. 6); Michael Smith (Oct. 12); Lou and Peter Berryman (Oct. 18); ilyAIMY (Oct. 19); Three Pints Gone (Oct. 25); Cathy and Dave Barton-Para (Oct. 26); and John Batdorf with James Lee Stanley (Oct. 27). (thefocalpoint.org)

And last, but certainly not least, look for a host of national jazz acts – Yellowjackets (Sept. 25-29); Laurence Hobgood Quintet featuring Ernie Watts (Oct. 4-5); Lou Donaldson Quartet (Oct. 9-12); Donald Harrison Quintet (Oct. 23-26); Ann Hampton Callaway (Nov. 6-9); Regina Carter Quartet (Nov. 20-23); Jeremy Davenport (Nov. 29-30); Pat Martino Trio (Dec. 4-7) and John & Bucky Pizzarelli (Dec. 18-21) – performing at Jazz at the Bistro (jazzstl.org).

Happy listening! 

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