Three To See

Here are just three of the great original St. Louis bands that play around town on a regular basis. Check these three out as soon as you get a chance.

Gunrunner: Gunrunner is a great three-piece band from Illinois. With just guitar, bass, and drums, the band has a larger-than-life sound that is sure to catch people’s attention right from the start. The band starts their sets on a strong note; it’s the same effect as a shotgun being fired in the club. Along with the unique guitar sound mixed with a tortured-sounding vocal style, the band’s live show is nothing short of impressive. The three members manage to bring a tremendous amount of energy to the stage while still connecting with the audience. As a result, it’s easy to get the feeling that you’re attending a private party, because the group is so personable with the audience and doesn’t mind taking requests from fans. While fans of indie rock may be pleased to know that this band exists, the group is well worth checking out for anyone who enjoys great guitar playing and satisfying live shows.

Bunnygrunt: Bunnygrunt is a three-piece pop band that has recently hopped back into the local music scene after being away for a while. If you missed them the first time around when they played in St. Louis throughout the ’90s, they are well worth seeing today. Drummer Karen Stephens and guitarist Matt Harnish do a great job of trading off on lead vocals as they play through a set of short, simple, yet catchy songs that have great melodies and solid drum parts. The band’s smooth and melodic sound is painfully addictive and it’s easy to be hooked after watching them for even a half-hour. All three of the band members are fun to watch; they come across like they really enjoy what they’re doing. My first experience seeing this band was when I was working on the set of a Double Helix program back in 1994 and the band did a live performance on The Show, which featured bad technical problems and the vocals could not be heard. The frustrated band walked off the set during their interview following the performance. I was actually impressed; even without the vocals, they sounded great.

Modern Day Zero:
Modern Day Zero used to perform under the name Mesh STL. This summer was the band’s fifth performance at Pointfest, but it was only my first time seeing MDZ; it’s fair to say they were quite impressive. The band brought a tremendous amount of energy and volume to the outdoor stage during the hottest part of the summer day as kids stood sweating and cheering the band on. The group has a solid sound with great electric guitar hooks that are sure to hold anyone’s attention. The 35-minute show was lively the entire time, and despite being animated on stage, the group members made sure the music remained solid and tight. Modern Day Zero easily proved that they are worthy of having back for a sixth performance at Pointfest, but in the meantime, they’re also worth seeing at any local club.

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