2013 saw the return of several bands that had not ventured into the Eastern part of Missouri for some time.
Soundgarden returned for the first time since 1992, Muse brought their arena rock back for the first time since 2005, and Nine Inch Nails played one of their first shows since 2008. I’m going to keep this list short and sweet, though, and make this list my top five shows in the year the world entered its teens.
- Nine Inch Nails at Chaifetz Arena | This show in general was my favorite of the year. Explosions in the Sky made for an incredible opener, though few in the crowd truly appreciated that. Once Trent Reznor took to the stage, it was an all-immersive explosion of the senses. Goosebump moment: Backup singers Lisa Fischer and Sharlotte Gibson forgoing the recorded screams of “The Wretched” for live ones.
- Father John Misty at Bonnaroo | Joshua Tillman, aka Father John Misty, came to St. Louis multiple times throughout the year, but the standout show for me came at Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival. Tillman combines a charisma and confidence that makes everyone swoon with folk music that harkens to his days drumming for Fleet Foxes, with the exception that he has more fun.
- Justin Timberlake at Scottrade Center | It had been 10 years since Justin Timberlake was in St. Louis. Now 32 years old, Timberlake most certainly has aged like a fine, pop wine. While other pop stars of his era have faded and disappeared, JT had a full band (the Tennessee Kids) and a stage that disconnected into pieces, transporting across arena floors. Not too shabby.
- The Flaming Lips at Beale Street Music Festival | This is no surprise to anyone who has seen the band. Wayne Coyne & Co. didn’t appear in St. Louis this year. Their headlining set at the Beale Street Music Festival brought enough black and silver confetti that I was still digging it out of my mud boots when I pulled them out for the first snow of the year seven months later. In support of the Lips’ 13th release, The Terror, this show was lacking in the usual bright and happy version of the band we have seen in the past.
- Björk at Bonnaroo | Because…Björk. Before the show began, an announcement was made that pictures were not to be allowed; of course, because this was a festival, it was completely impossible to enforce. However, the thought that we weren’t supposed to shoot perhaps caused more to simply watch the show and bathe in the Icelandic singer-songwriter’s heavy Euro-dance party that contained moments of tranquility in songs like “Joga” and the softness/explosions of “Mutual Core.”