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Amy Burger

I think everyone who lived through the '80s can agree that there was no shortage of loud, longhaired rock bands dominating the radio and MTV. Amid the plethora of spandex-clad arena rockers like Mötley Crüe, Poison, Ratt and Bon Jovi, however, one band stood apart.

This is the summer of Jack White. The 39-year-old guitar virtuoso, singer, songwriter, producer and all-around Renaissance man has been nearly inescapable since the June release of his second solo album, "Lazaretto."

If the size and enthusiasm of the crowd at the first Summer Gras festival at Old Rock House was any indication, this will become a popular annual event. Billed as a "celebration of the music and food of New Orleans," Summer Gras lived up to its name with a variety of New Orleans-based and NOLA-inspired local bands split between the indoor venue and a large outdoor stage.

Freaky skies bearing evening thunderstorms inched across St. Louis Saturday, the summer solstice, and perhaps Mother Nature's special way of welcoming the psychedelic blues rock of Chris Robinson Brotherhood on their stop at the Pageant.

Australian guitar virtuoso John Butler stopped at the Pageant on Wednesday night, along with bassist Byron Luiters and drummer/percussionist Grant Gerathy, who round out the John Butler Trio. Butler, a former busker from the small city of Fremantle in Perth, Australia, is touring in support of his band's recently released sixth album, "Flesh & Blood."

Reggae music can be somewhat polarizing – people tend to either really love it or really don't. For those who do – myself included – Bob Marley is generally regarded as the Godfather of reggae, and certainly the most widely known and celebrated reggae artist outside of Jamaica. Marley's songs have endured the test of time and continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

As far as this Broadway fan is concerned, it doesn't get much better than classic Andrew Lloyd Weber, except maybe when he's paired with lyricist Tim Rice. Their very first collaboration, the exuberant classic "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," returned to the Fox last night for a two week run, directed and choreographed by Tony® Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler. 

The brainchild of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, the Wanee Music Festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary this year, with ABB headlining two nights. Nearly 30,000 fans flocked to the bucolic Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla. to camp out amongst the stately trees dripping with Spanish moss and enjoy three days of live music with more than 30 bands.

At the age of 66, Grateful Dead founding member, guitarist and singer/songwriter Bob Weir is enjoying a bit of a Renaissance.

Another Mardi Gras has come and gone, but the heart and soul of New Orleans was alive and well inside the Pageant last night as legendary funk/jazz fusion band, Galactic, provided a taste of its native Bourbon Street sound.

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