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The Blender

Post Malone falls hard for St. Louis, and other top local music stories

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Under normal circumstances, a Post Malone concert might barely warrant a mention in a year-end recap of St. Louis’ top music stories.

But it was anything but normal when the rapper stepped into an uncovered hole onstage Sept. 17 at Enterprise Center and fell hard, halting the show while he received medical attention for bruised ribs.

The Post-Dispatch was the first of many outlets around the world to report on the incident, and my coverage was widely referenced. It was my biggest story all year — pageviews, reader engagement, social media shares — and eclipsed my review of a tour-opening show by the Chicks at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

Months after the incident, people are commenting daily on my Instagram video from the Post Malone show, as though it happened last night.

I’m hoping his effects from the fall aren’t long lasting and that his next St. Louis concert is less eventful.

Here are some of the year’s other top St. Louis music stories.

Reba McEntire at Enterprise Center

Reba McEntire performs at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022.

Concerts are back

Post Malone was just one of many, many artists to come to town. For the first full year since 2019, we were able to attend concerts without restrictions.

Oh, what a feeling. Folks were anxious to get back out to concerts, which were in abundance.

A few of the shows: Tyler, the Creator; Pitbull; Olivia Rodrigo; Elton John; Snoop Dogg; Giveon; Carrie Underwood; H.E.R.; Wu-Tang Clan; Louis Tomlinson; Alicia Keys; Pearl Jam; Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe; Reba McEntire; Chris Brown and Lil Baby; Panic! At the Disco; Pusha T; the Eagles; the Who; Mary J. Blige; Tom Jones; Maxwell; 5 Seconds of Summer; Daryl Hall; Moonchild; Twenty One Pilots; Paramore; Rob Zombie; Michael Bublé; Bonnie Raitt; Machine Gun Kelly; Maren Morris; Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo; Backstreet Boys; Lil Durk; Smashing Pumpkins; Suzanne Vega; Alabama; Tim McGraw; George Benson; Kenny Chesney; Kraftwerk; Ledisi; the Lumineers; the Cult; the Chicks; Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire; Billy Strings; Bon Iver; Yola; Odesza; Femi Kuti; Maverick City Music; Willie Nelson; Dead and Co.; Avett Brothers; the Manhattan Transfer; New Kids on the Block; Master P; Miranda Lambert; Parliament-Funkadelic; New Edition; Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight; Morgan Wallen; Luke Bryan; Eric Church; Tank and the Bangas; Leon Bridges; Imagine Dragons; Cécile McLorin Salvant; Darius Rucker; PJ Morton; Tool; Glass Animals; Bon Jovi; Journey; Baby Keem; the Flaming Lips; and Kaleo.

Even Shaq came through to DJ at St. Louis Mardi Gras.

Along with major shows, there were major cancellations, among them Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Rage Against the Machine.

Festival vibes

Day two of Music at the Intersection

Gary Clark Jr. performs Sept. 11, 2022, at Music at the Intersection. 

Music at the Intersection returned Sept. 10-11 for a second year, which means St. Louis once again has a major, bona fide, multigenre music festival. The Grand Center festival featured Gary Clark Jr., Erykah Badu, Hiatus Kaiyote, Buddy Guy, Robert Glasper Jr., and many other national and St. Louis acts. About 8,000 patrons attended over two days. The festival returns Sept. 9-10.

We learned about a festival that will debut in 2023, just a couple of weeks before Music at the Intersection. Evolution Festival is scheduled for Aug. 26-27 in Forest Park, the former home of LouFest. (The new festival is not related to LouFest.) Evolution Festival organizers describe it as a “new, elevated music festival experience.” Details are expected in early 2023.

Twangfest returned to Off Broadway, Open Highway Music Festival returned to Chesterfield Amphitheater, Pointfest returned to Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre and the Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival was in downtown Webster Groves. Though there’s still no SLUM Fest.

The Confluence Festival took over World Wide Technology Raceway in June. The new event, which blended music, motorsports and technology, was a component of the Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series, also new at the Madison raceway. St. Louis singers were given a global spotlight, including Kennedy Holmes, Brian Owens, Keyon Harrold, Shedrick Mitchell, Jean Baylor, Tim Dugger, River Kittens, the Steve Ewing Band, Dr. Zhivegas, Joe Dirt & the Dirty Boys, Marquise Knox, Saint Boogie Brass Band, DJ Mahf, Red and Black Brass Band, Lamar Harris, Michael B. Whit, Malena Smith and FanFare. Organizers from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Muny, Jazz St. Louis and the Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries collaborated to present the entertainment lineup.

The Mighty Pines

The Mighty Pines

St. Louis band the Mighty Pines curated its own festival, PinesFest, in October at the Big Top. Acts included River Kittens, Dave Grelle’s Playadors, Red and Black Brass Band, and Brian Owens. Also at the Big Top, Black and queer music festival WerQfest returned, making a big move up from its previous homes and booking national talent for the first time.

The Hawthorn grand opening party

Mvstermind performs during the grand opening of the Hawthorn, a new event space and concert hall, in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.

Venue check-in

The Hawthorn opened Nov. 3 at 2231 Washington Avenue in downtown west. Mvstermind (director of musical experience for St. Louis City SC) and DJ Mahf played at the grand opening event. Marathon Live, a management company based in Nashville, Tennessee, is behind the concert and event venue, named for the Missouri state flower.

Central Stage

Central Stage

That same night, concert and comedy venue Central Stage opened at 3524 Washington Boulevard in Grand Center. The space formerly was the Stage at KDHX. Central Stage is owned and operated by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation and programmed by Jamo Presents and Mid Coast Media.

Two new venues we warmed up to nicely in 2021, St. Louis Music Park and the Factory, both celebrated one-year anniversaries after opening on the same day in July 2021. Sophie’s Artist Lounge in Grand Center, the city’s coolest new spot, also celebrated its first anniversary.

Blueberry Hill turns 50 in the Loop

Joe Edwards shows off his sequins in front of his daughters Hope and Christine Edwards, right, while talking with entertainment reporter Ja’Quis Hardin as Edwards arrives at Blueberry Hill to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a party in the Delmar Loop on Thursday Sept. 8, 2022.

In September, Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop celebrated 50 years in business. Owner Joe Edwards rolled out a blue carpet for the festivities. The venue was home to 209 Chuck Berry concerts, along with shows by Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Alanis Morissette, the Lumineers, Nelly and more.

The space formerly known as 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center got new life in February as the Golden Record, with a Brass Band Blowout featuring the Red & Black Brass Band, Saint Boogie Brass Band and Funky Butt Brass Band. The space had been closed since 2019 but was used occasionally for community events.

Open Concept in the Grove made itself over in November for a soccer-themed pop-up known as Believe Bar, with a heavy “Ted Lasso” influence. While its look and feel changed, the one-price concept remains.

Believe Bar at Open Concept

Believe Bar at Open Concept features a locker room with character names and numbers from "Ted Lasso."

The Garage

The Garage

The Garage has been bringing more honky-tonk to downtown since opening in September with the band Tanglefoot. The club is at 750 South Fourth Street, on the same block as the Honky Tonk STL. Brothers Ryan and Jeremy Binkley own and operate both venues.

The Ready Room promised a summer return in the space formerly known as Atomic Cowboy in the Grove but wasn’t able to deliver because of permit issues. Here’s hoping things work out in 2023.

The Ready Room (formerly Atomic Cowboy)

The Ready Room, reopening in the former Atomic Cowboy space

Just for laughs

Nikki Glaser, herself

Comedian Nikki Glaser is photographed on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at her St. Louis home. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

St. Louis comedian Nikki Glaser’s busy year included her debut HBO comedy special, “Good Clean Filth”; a second and final season of hosting “FBoy Island,” a reality dating series, on HBO Max; and a first season of her reality series, “Welcome Home, Nikki Glaser?,” on E! Her big year culminates with a New Year’s Eve show at Stifel Theatre.

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Chris Redd returned to his birth city in August to film “Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?” at the Grandel. His debut stand-up special landed in November on HBO Max and was executive produced by Conan O’Brien.

The Flyover Music Festival returned bigger than ever for its fifth year — so big that it had to move its biggest show, by Sarah Silverman, out of the Grove and into Stifel Theatre. The festival took place in November.

Guy Torry at Funny Bone St. Charles

Guy Torry performs at the Funny Bone in St. Charles on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

Guy Torry and Reginald Hudlin joined forces to produce the Prime Video documentary series “Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy.” And Chris Rock and Kevin Hart performed at Stifel Theatre and Enterprise Center, respectively.

Jo Koy at Stifel Theatre

Jo Koy performs at Stifel Theatre in St. Louis as part of his "Funny Is Funny World Tour" on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.

Other comedians who came to town included Chelsea Handler, Jo Koy, Mike Epps, John Mulaney, Sebastian Maniscalco, Luenell, Adele Givens, Fortune Feimster, Justin Willman, Damon Wayans Jr., Maria Bamford, D.L. Hughley, Tim Allen, Donnell Rawlings, Hasan Minhaj, Taylor Tomlinson, Michael Yo and Jess Hilarious. Jay Leno canceled his show at the Fox Theatre after his burn incident.

Will O'Donnell

Will O'Donnell

Will O’Donnell was the winner of the St. Louis’ Funniest Person competition at Helium Comedy Club.

People

NandoSTL at City Foundry STL

NandoSTL performs at City Foundry STL in St. Louis on Friday, May 21, 2021. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Alton rock band Pioneer Salesman won a contest to open for Bon Jovi in April at Enterprise Center. Nando STL competed in a virtual competition with a slot on T-Pain’s record label as the prize; he finished in second place but was given a deal with T-Pain anyway.

Thanks to viral TikTok popularity with her “Coffee Covers” series, Alexandra Kay landed multiple dates opening for Tim McGraw, including a show in April at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

Devon Allman brought his Allman Family Revival back to town with a show in December at the Factory. And Old Salt Union is taking a break from touring, performing and recording until further notice.

Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson released new music with “Hi-Fi Drive By” and landed in the top 10 of Billboard’s blues albums charts, as he always does.

Other St. Louis acts to release new music include Big Boss Vette, Joanna Serenko, Sir Eddie C, Terry Rogers, River Kittens, Mai Lee, Cara Louise, Falling Fences, Earthworms, WhoisTimonthy, James Biko, Dylan Triplett, Emily Wallace, Monkh, Lakes the Voice, Hard Bop Messengers, Alysha, Latoya Sharen, Brookroyal, Scooter Brown, Emanuel Harrold, Ryan Marquez, Katarra, Paige Alyssa, the Gold Giraffe, T-Dubb-O, Bo Dean, Roland Johnson, and Hills.

Chingy jumped back on the “Millennium Tour: Turned Up,” which came Oct. 23 to Chaifetz Arena with Bow Wow, Mario, Keri Hilson, Lloyd and others.

Smino

Smino

Producer Metro Boomin, a St. Louis native, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with his “Heroes & Villains” album. Smino released his third album, “Luv 4 Rent,” which is his best effort yet. SZA, born in St. Louis, wore a Blues jersey on the cover of her new album, “S.O.S.,” and fans here flipped out.

SZA "SOS"

SZA "SOS"

Noted jazz musician Victor Goines stepped in to replace Gene Dobbs Bradford as president and CEO of Jazz St. Louis in September. Alonzo Townsend started booking the Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s Dark Room in March.

DJ Alexis Tucci, self-proclaimed “Queen of the Gays,” DJ’d around the world and landed a piece on the “Today” show website. Osunlade, who also spins around the world, finally had an album release party for “Spectrum” at home at Takashima Record Bar.

Hip-hop artist KVtheWriter is working on a documentary about the life of her grandmother, former Missouri state Rep. Betty Thompson.

Nelly’s second album, “Nellyville,” turned 20 in June. Willie Moore Jr., aka Pretty Willie, also saw his debut album, “Enter the Life of Suella,” turn 20 in March.

Odds and ends

St. Louis music label FarFetched closed up shop after 10 years. The label was started by Damon Davis in his basement on Iowa Avenue. The FarFetched roster over the years has included Tonina, 18andCounting, Katarra, CaveofswordS, Scrub, Adult Fur, Ackurate, Black James, Abnormal, Mathias & the Pirates, Blank Generation, Hands and Feet, Jesse Gannon, Owen Ragland, Golden Curls and Scripts N Screwz (Davis’ hip-hop act).

Record Store Day returned, and multiple St. Louis businesses took part.

Author RJ Smith released a new biography, “Chuck Berry: An American Life.” He said he wrote the book because there weren’t enough books out there about the rock ’n’ roll pioneer.

Actress Jenifer Lewis returns to Webster University for book tour

Actress Jenifer Lewis reacts to the audience applauding as she takes the stage on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at Webster University's Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts in Webster Groves. Photo by Jordan Opp, jopp@post-dispatch.com

Kinloch’s own Jenifer Lewis of “Black-ish” returned to her old stomping grounds at Webster University as part of the actor-singer’s book tour for “Walking in My Joy: In These Streets.”

Goodbyes

Montez Coleman

Montez Coleman

Popular St. Louis-area drummer Montez Coleman, who achieved worldwide acclaim with Roy Hargrove, died in January.

Legendary blues man Rudy “Silvercloud” Coleman died in December. Rapper Hills (John Hill) and producer DT (Darion Tolbert), both of St. Louis hip-hop record label Audacity Music Group, both died in December. Veteran soul man Roland Johnson died in November. Veteran jazz aritsts Jeanne Trevor and Dave Venn died in October. D.H. Peligro of the Dead Kennedys and Red Hot Chili Peppers died in October as well. Concert producer, record label owner and restauranteur Orlando Watson died in April.

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