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Best Bets: Forest Park Balloon Race, Post Malone, the National, Pearl Jam and more

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Balloon Glow kicks off Forest Park Balloon Race

Tom Caton's crew stabilizes his balloon representing Maryville University on Sept. 17, 2021, at the Great Forest Park Balloon Glow in Forest Park.

Here are a few of our staff picks for things to do Sept. 16-22.


Christopher Cross

When 8 p.m. Sept. 16 • Where The Factory, 17105 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield • How much $49-$69 • More info

Christopher Cross’ 40th anniversary tour was set to sail in 2020, but it’s never too late for a good time. Cross released his debut album in 1979 and instantly shot to fame with hits such as “Sailing” and “Ride Like the Wind.” By Kevin C. Johnson

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World, Charly Bliss

When 8 p.m. Sept. 16 • Where The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard • How much $40-$55 • More info

Alt-rock band Jimmy Eat World hits the Pageant stage this weekend. Its latest album is “Surviving" (2019). “Something Loud” is the band's new single, a precursor to what’s next. By Kevin C. Johnson

Blue Oyster Cult, Mark Farner, Head East

When 7 p.m. Sept. 16 • Where Family Arena, 2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles • How much $30-$75 • More info

Blue Oyster Cult arrives this weekend with classic rock tunes including “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” “Burnin’ for You,” “Godzilla,” “Astronomy,” “I Love the Night” and “Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll.” The band debuted in 1972. By Kevin C. Johnson

Great Forest Park Balloon Race

When Balloon glow 5-9 p.m. Sept. 16, with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.; festival and race 1-4:45 p.m. Sept. 17 • Where Central Fields, Forest Park • How much Free • More info

The world’s oldest free hot-air balloon event celebrates 50 years. On Sept. 16, balloons will light up Central Fields for the Balloon Glow. On Sept. 17, enjoy food and activities on the ground before more than 50 balloons take to the skies in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. We’re hoping for optimal conditions; the 2019 race was called off because of excessive wind, and the 2020 race didn’t happen because of the pandemic. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

'Strange Familiars'

When Sept. 16-Oct. 29 with reception 6-9 p.m. Sept. 16; hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday) • Where Craft Alliance, Staenberg Gallery, 5080 Delmar Boulevard • How much Free • More info

In a colorful exhibition of both strange and familiar soft sculptures, Frankie Toan installs a "queer garden" that images a playful associations between humans and environment. The Denver-based artist is interested in family, plants, ecosystems, queerness and their interconnectedness. An exhibition tour with deputy director Jennifer Scanlan is 5:30 p.m. Sept. 22; call 314-725-1177, ext. 323. By Jane Henderson

‘Monumentale: The Bronzes’

When Sept. 16-Feb. 5; hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday (closed Monday-Wednesday) • Where Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Boulevard • How much Free • More info 314-754-1850;

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation presents a retrospective of artist Barbara Chase-Riboud, whose career from the 1950s to today has been “fundamentally global and transhistorical, with influences ranging from Italian Baroque architecture to West African bronze making,” the museum says. The exhibition features about 50 sculptures, along with 20 works on paper and even poetry. By Jane Henderson


Bokyung Byun

When 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 • Where 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Boulevard, University City • How much $39 • More info 314-567-5566;

St. Louis Classical Guitar presents Korean guitarist Bokyung Byun, one of the most exciting and impressive talents on the scene today. A winner of numerous prestigious competitions, Byun often stretches the boundaries of the standard repertoire by also featuring some contemporary material in her concerts. You’d expect nothing less from someone continually pushing the art form forward. By Daniel Durchholz

Post Malone

When 8 p.m. Sept. 17 • Where Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Avenue • How much $56-$226 • More info

Rapper-singer Post Malone played Enterprise Center for one of the St. Louis area’s last big shows before the pandemic. He returns with Roddy Ricch for his "Twelve Carat Tour," which accompanies “Twelve Carat Toothache.” The album features Doja Cat, the Weeknd, Roddy Ricch, Gunna, Fleet Foxes and others. By Kevin C. Johnson


When 6 p.m. Sept. 17 • Where Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights • How much $24-$179 • More info

$uicideboy$ quickly sold out the Factory in 2021, and it was one of the new venue’s biggest shows of its inaugural year. Moving up quickly, the band returns for a show at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Its latest album is “Sing Me a Lullabye, My Sweet Temptation.” The tour includes Ski Mask the Slump God, $not, Code Orange, Knocked Loose, Maxo Kream, DJ Scheme. By Kevin C. Johnson

The National, Indigo Sparke

When 8 p.m. Sept. 17 • Where St. Louis Music Park, 750 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights • How much $34-$69 • More info

The National, which released “I Am Easy to Find” in 2019, is back on the road. "The last couple years have given us ample time for reflection and rejuvenation," the band said in a statement. "Summer 2022 is a time for reunion." The National’s new song is “Weird Goodbyes” featuring Bon Iver. By Kevin C. Johnson

Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival

When Noon Sept. 17 • Where Gore and Allen avenues, downtown Webster Groves • How much Free • More info

The Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival is back with acts on two stages. The Webster University Stage includes the WGHS Jazz Band (noon), Jazz Docs (1:30 p.m.), Webster University Faculty Jazz Ensemble (3:15 p.m.), Matt “The Rattlesnake” Lesch Band (5 p.m.), Bach to the Future (6:45 p.m.) and Marquise Knox (8:30 p.m.). The Sunset Hill Subarru Stage features Aubory Bugg (noon), Blues City Swing (1:15 p.m.), Walter Parks (3 p.m.), Harvey Lockhart and the Collective (4:45 p.m.), Donna Herula (6:30 p.m.) and the Erin Bode Group (8:30 p.m.). By Kevin C. Johnson

SLSO Opening Weekend

When 8 p.m. Sept. 17, 3 p.m. Sept. 18 • Where Powell Hall, 534 Grand Boulevard • How much $15-$115 • More info 314-534-1700;

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2022-23 Powell Hall concerts with a program reflective of its theme for the season: “Music without boundaries.” Led by music director Stéphane Denève, the orchestra drops in on the Bohemian countryside with Dvořák’s 8th Symphony, various Mediterranean ports with Jacques Ibert’s “Escales,” and Haiti with guest composer and vocalist Nathalie Joachim, performing her own “Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti). By Daniel Durchholz

Smooth Jazz on Land

When 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 (Boney James, Peter White & Vincent Ingala, Eric Marienthal & Friends), 1 p.m. Sept. 18 (Jonathan Butler, R ‘n' R, Eric Darius, Rebecca Jade) • Where The Factory, 17105 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield • How much $49-$99 • More info

Hot on the heels of the George Benson concert at the Factory, more jazz is on the way with a pair of Smooth Jazz on Land shows with artists such as Boney James, Jonathan Butler, Rick Braun and Richard Elliot. By Kevin C. Johnson 

St. Louis Renaissance Festival

Lord Santiago duels with a knight in a joust performance at the St. Louis Renaissance Festival in 2019. 

St. Louis Renaissance Festival

When Weekends Sept. 17-Oct. 24 • Where Rotary Park, Wentzville • How much $11.95-$17.95, free for children under 4 • More info

For more than 20 years, the St. Louis Renaissance Festival has brought live armored jousting, more than 100 artisan shops, food, live entertainment, family activities and crafts to Wentzville’s Rotary Park, which is transformed into a 16th-century French village called Petit Lyon. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

'Animal Super Powers'

When Sept. 17-Jan. 16; hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday • Where Magic House, 516 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood • How much Free with $12.50 admission • More info

Marvel over larger-than-life Lego sculptures by Sean Kenney, who brings his "Animal Super Powers" exhibition to the Magic House. Budding artists, engineers, zoologists and biologists can learn the science behind creatures that have evolved to possess their own “super powers.” By Valerie Schremp Hahn


Msgr. James T. Telthorst Memorial Concert

When 2:30 p.m. Sept. 18 • Where Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Boulevard • How much $17-$25 • More info 314-533-7662;

The first offering of the Cathedral Concerts 2022-23 season at its Basilica home base is a remembrance of Msgr. James T. Telthorst, who served as the rector there from 1991 to 2002 and was a central figure in the creation of the concert series in 1993. Tenor Scott Kennebeck, organist John Powel Walsh and flutist Madeline Moylan perform works by Bach, Bernstein, Mendelssohn, Telemann and Bizet as well as some of Telthorst’s favorite hymns, including D. McCargill’s “Servant Song” and John Foley’s “Take Lord Receive.” By Daniel Durchholz

American Aquarium, Mike McClure

When 8 p.m. Sept. 18 • Where Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard • How much $20-$25 • More info

Alt-country band Aquarium American’s ninth album is the new, stripped-down “Chicamacomico." “When these massive life changes happen we feel like we are the only ones facing these problems," the band's BJ Barham said in a statement. "I hope this album serves as a salve to anyone who has experienced this sort of loss over the last few years.” By Kevin C. Johnson

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

When 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 • Where Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Avenue • How much $121-$953 • More info

Pearl Jam’s concert at Enterprise Center has been a long time coming. It was the first major act to halt touring as the pandemic took over. Now, 2½ years later, Pearl Jam makes its way to St. Louis to give its “Gigaton” album the show it deserves. Pluralone is also on the bill. By Kevin C. Johnson


Javier Zamora

When 7 p.m. Sept. 20 • Where Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road • How much Free; proof of COVID-19 vaccination required • More info;

In his new, already heralded memoir, “Solito,” poet Javier Zamora recounts his migration as a child from El Salvador. He arrived in the U.S. in 1999 after two months of hiding, desert hiking and capture at the border. By Jane Henderson


Buzz Bissinger

When 7 p.m. Sept 21 • Where Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road • How much Free; proof of COVID-19 vaccination required • More info

The author of "Friday Night Lights" returns to football as a game with meaning and impact beyond full-body tackles. In "The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II," Buzz Bissinger focuses on star college players whose lives were changed, or ended, when they had to serve in WWII. By Jane Henderson

Alice in Chains, Breaking Benjamin, Bush, Plush

When 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21 • When Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights • How much $18-$119 • More info

While on the road with Breaking Benjamin and Bush, Alice is Chains has a treat for fans: a remastered, reissued 30th anniversary version of its 1992 album, “Dirt.” It was the band’s second major album and the last recorded with founding members Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Starrr and Layne Staley. By Kevin C. Johnson

Regina Carter

When 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 23-24, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25 • Where Ferring Jazz Bistro, 3536 Washington Boulevard • How much $37-$42 • More info

Master violinist clearly had something to say with her new album. “Swing States: Harmony in the Battleground” is a politically charged collection of songs recorded with the Regina Carter Freedom Band featuring Jon Baptiste, John Daversa, Alexis Cuadrado, Kabir Sehgal and Harvey Mason. By Kevin C. Johnson


Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

When 8 p.m. Sept. 22 • Where The Factory, 17105 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield • How much $39.50-$49.50 • More info

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue is back with a new album, “Lifted.” The funk, soul and R&B artist calls it “the closest we’ve ever gotten to bottling up the live show and putting it on record.” The album is the act’s second release for Blue Note Records. By Kevin C. Johnson

Banned Comic Books

When 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22 • Where Central Library auditorium, 1301 Olive Street • How much Free • More info;

With glimpses of nudity now being challenged in school library books and texts removed from shelves, comics authors offer their own perspectives on the worrying trend. Included are Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Craft ("New Kid"), Phoebe Gloeckner ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl") and ACLU Missouri lawyer Molly Carney. Moderating the discussion is Rebecca Wanzo of Washington University ("The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging"). By Jane Henderson

Cirque Italia Water Circus

When Sept. 22-Oct. 2; performance times vary • Where St. Louis Galleria parking lot, 1155 Galleria Parkway, Richmond Heights • How much $10-$50 • More info

The entertainers and daredevils of Cirque Italia’s Water Circus travel with a tent, of course, but also with a unique stage that holds 35,000 gallons of water. Curtains of rain and fountain jets crisscross in sync to the fluid moves of trapeze artists and BMX riders. Mermaids and dinosaurs also join the act. Manuel Rebecchi, founder of Cirque Italia, is the nephew of Moira Orfei, known as the queen of the Italian circus. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

'Something Rotten!'

When Sept. 22-Oct. 15; performance times vary • Where The Marcelle, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive • How much $20-$30 • More info 314-534-1111;

New Line Theatre presents "Something Rotten!," the Broadway hit set in the 16th century about two brothers who create the world's first musical. Directed by New Line artistic director Scott Miller. By Calvin Wilson

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