Jam veterans Widespread Panic returned to St. Louis on Tuesday night for the first of two shows at Peabody Opera House as part of its fall tour. As a diehard fan of the band for nearly 25 years, I was of course excited to spend some time with them once again in my home city at such an intimate venue.
There may be something you don't know about Dave Rawlings: he's not human, he's a machine. That may speak to the source of his group's name, Dave Rawlings Machine, but it's more like a collection of friends who happen to be within arms' reach.
Chatham County Line is a quartet of southern roots, dressed in finely pressed suits and dingy cowboy boots. They are country gentlemen at their finest, dressed to the nines and playing some of the most lauded bluegrass music today. They returned to St. Louis to play the stage at Off Broadway, showcasing several songs from their new album "Tightrope."
As airborne travelers jetted through the cloudless summer sky, white contrails draped the sunset and slowly faded to pink, as if ripened by the graceful presence of Sweet Baby James.
With over an hour until show time, the floor space in front of the Plush stage was already at a premium, contested by an ever thickening group of the most dedicated fans.
The Firebird opened its doors a little early for the all-ages show Saturday and the ambitiously punctual crowd filled the floors, eager to welcome a night of northwestern hip-hop. Headlined by Seattle's eternally boy-faced Grieves, the night also featured Fearce Vill, with a few guests of his own, and Vancouver's SonReal. The crowd was young and a little inexperienced at concert courtesy but the music prevailed and created a greatly enjoyable night.
Hundreds of fans waited in anticipation, chanting "Flog-ging Mol-ly!" to reel the band onto the stage, their howls elevating at the lowering of the lights until the band appeared and answered with a surge of hammering Irish rock.