live from st. louis
live from st. louis
After dark, stages come to life around town
By Eric Berger
St. Louis has a rich musical tradition. The most famous example is Chuck Berry performing “Johnny B. Goode” and doing his legendary duck walk. But the past decade has reinvigorated the music scene citywide with massive venue renovations, giving visitors more options for live entertainment.
Take your seats
Check the marquee at Stifel Theatre to see who’s playing during your visit. The 3,100-seat venue features classic red curtains and walls that seem to vibrate with gold. The acoustics are similarly stunning at the venue, which has played host to Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, and more recently, Thom Yorke, Earth Wind & Fire, comedian Jim Jeffries and musicals such as The Sound of Music.
all that jazz
In the Grand Center Arts District, Jazz St. Louis, now one of the largest jazz centers in the country, features a 220-seat listening room known for its pure commitment to music. The layout allows fans to sit close to the musicians, and a separate lounge lets fans watch a stream of the performance for free. The classic giant saxophone sign still hangs at the entrance, and jazz greats like Joshua Redman, Freddy Cole and Pat Martino still hang out.
The Grandel Theatre, which opened as a church in 1884, does sacrilegious things like host live jazz seven nights a week. That takes place in its Dark Room, while the larger space inside the Romanesque Revival structure hosts a mix of local and touring acts such as folk musician Todd Snider and Disney’s “Frozen Jr.,” based on the wildly popular film.
You can’t have an honest conversation about the Grand Center Arts District without mentioning the Sheldon Concert Hall, which is classy like 1912 (the year it opened) and hip like powerhouse chamber music group Alarm Will Sound. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has brought fans old and young to Powell Hall by performing Mozart one night and the music of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the next.
Once you have stopped by the Chuck Berry statue, step inside Blueberry Hill for a show in its intimate Duck Room or walk down the street to The Pageant, a state-of-the-art venue in every sense. You can take in popular acts such as Chelsea Handler and Lake Street Dive.
If you can summon the energy following shows at any of these venues, do the duck walk down to Broadway Oyster Bar, open until 3 a.m. The Cajun-style juke joint typically has more horns in the house than the running of the bulls.