Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Daniel Durchholz's Top Concerts of 2015

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Daniel Durchholz's Top Concerts of 2015

Article excerpt

We can't see every concert that comes through town, though Lord knows, we try. And we do our best to cover as much as we can, most often using a simple divide-and-conquer strategy. Chances are, if Kevin Johnson reported on a show, I didn't see it, and vice-versa, so there's probably little overlap on our year-end lists. Given that, here are the 2015 shows that I was fortunate enough to see and which thrilled me the most.

1. Tedeschi Trucks Band, March 29 at Peabody Opera House * Backed by a nine-piece band, the husband-and-wife team of guitarist/ vocalist Susan Tedeschi and slide guitar wizard Derek Trucks possessed enough firepower to simply blow the audience through the Peabody's back wall. Instead, they tempered the sheer puissance of the band with grace and nuance, turning in a dynamic performance that set the bar for this year's concerts.

2. Glen Hansard, Nov. 23 at the Pageant * In Hansard's chest still beats the heart of the busker he once was. Several times during his rapturous two-hour concert, the Irish native abandoned the microphone, wandered the stage and even into the audience, singing with an intensity and intimacy that seemed to shrink the near-capacity crowd to a circle of onlookers surrounding a singer on Dublin's Grafton Street.

3. Ry Cooder, Sharon White & Ricky Skaggs, July 20 at the Sheldon * For St. Louis fans of Ry Cooder, just laying eyes on the fabled guitarist should have been enough. If he'd ever played here before, even he doesn't remember when. For this show, Cooder teamed with country and bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs and his wife, country/ gospel singer Sharon White, plus her family band, including 84-year- old patriarch Buck White. The show brought to life country and roots- music songs at least a half-century old but felt like anything but a history lesson.

4. Jason Isbell, Feb. 14 at Peabody Opera House * A few months before his new album, "Something More Than Free," would be released and subsequently top the rock, country and folk charts, Jason Isbell marveled at playing a venue the size of the Peabody. He better get used to it. On this night, songs from his previous effort, "Southeastern" filled the hall with fans of Isbell's songs of desperation, struggle and eventual triumph over personal travails and misadventures.

5. St. Vincent, May 27 at the Pageant * With her edgy, angular music and odd, sometimes robotic, choreographed stage moves, St. Vincent (ne Annie Clark) can sometimes seem icy and distant. …

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