Highly Suspect | 11.13.16

Our singer friend was a bit sullen and moody, but he was also keeping something a bit hidden.


Delmar Hall, St. Louis

It’s always a bit of a wonder to me as to where and when I’ll end up. Being largely a fan of metal and blues, the idea of seeing a couple of modern rock bands unfamiliar to me was, needless to say, surprising.

Growing older and crossing the shady side of 40 makes one a bit more conspicuous at shows for the younger generation, though Highly Suspect’s crowd didn’t seem to have more than a decade of youth on me.

This was my first trip to Joe Edwards’ new venture, Delmar Hall, and it was easy to see why this place was opened. It was also easy to lament the lack of a trolley to take us right to it. If only someone would step up to the plate for that.

Moments after my arrival, Slothrust took the stage for the requisite tuning up. Instead launching into their new hit single, they began with a nice mellow jam. Then they started to warm up and became comfortable in their own skin. It wasn’t long until we saw Slothrust for the fuzzed-out wackadoodles they are, and it was glorious—but that wasn’t all, not by a long shot.

They could have stopped by being a retro fuzz rock band and been a very good draw. For them, though, that would’ve been a cop out. As they continued, I always wondered what they would do next. That’s the mark of a great concert for me. Their vibrant mixture of Cream and Violent Femmes was a wonder to behold in a live setting.

Next up: the band everyone, including my companions, was there to see, Highly Suspect. As Edith Keeler said in City on the Edge of Forever, a lie is terrible way to say hello. So is a jersey foul. The lead singer came out in a Blues jersey with his own first name on the back—but hey, at least acknowledging our Midwestern existence—but the Blues were playing in their home opener. Feelings were mixed.

For lack of a better term, the suspects played hipster rock. Our singer friend was a bit sullen and moody, but he was also keeping something a bit hidden. As though he had a dagger in his pocket for when things got too rough, he pulled out his amazing guitar chops. It was a jaw-dropping moment.

As for, Highly Suspect, there is no denying either of these two inescapable facts:

  1. This music is not for me, as it falls outside my personal tastes.
  2. They go full on and put on a great show. | Nik Cameron

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