Didn’t it just figure that St. Louis’ Mardi Gras would mean a usual 20-minute drive to Mississippi Nights turns into an hour and twenty—meaning we missed the first (and from what we heard, amazing) psychedelic act, Voyager One. Shit. We’ll catch them next time.
The next up was Elefant, touring on their new Black Magic Show CD. The especially pretty lead singer, Diego, worked the crowd, and everyone was fairly receptive to his Bowie-esque vocals (despite a British accent that seemed to come and go) and the 1980s electronic pop sound of this throwback band. Diego has mastered the I want you staredown seduction that had the girls squealing and quite a few boys looking a tad uncomfortable. The first time playing their new single, “Lolita,” live, the band got a good response.
But we were there for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
The real show began with Peter taking the helm with the beautiful acoustic number, “Faultline,” followed by “Shuffle Your Feet,” and “Aint No Easy Way,” before the band joined, plugged in and went full-on. The evening was peppered with a nice mix of tunes from their new CD, Howl, as well as old favorites including “Love Burns,” “Red Eyes and Tears,” (fucking awesome!), and “High/Low” (their first encore song).
While we’re not sure what the trigger was (yet we don’t necessarily disagree), Peter’s first announcement from the stage was, “Fuck the US Government. Fuck the CIA. Was that too political? You can handle that, right?”
Guitarist/singer, Robert Breen was sick that evening, but until he said something, no one noticed. There are no two voices in alternative rock today that better complement each other than Robert and Peter. This set showed off their individual talents better than previous tours, too, with instrument switches to piano and trombone.
“I was in Nashville last night and I caught my death,” said Robert, apologizing before Peter took over with a solo of the B-side, “Awaken.” “Alright,” Robert continued, “I’m gonna do one more and that’s gonna kill me. The drugs are gonna be kicking in. No joke.” He then thanked St. Louis for the biggest, most responsive crowd he’d ever seen and stepped off the stage with the band.
Everyone wondered if Peter would come back to play an encore. He did, in fact, soon reappear for a gorgeous rendition of “Feel it Now.” And then, surprise! Robert was back for the last encore songs, “Heart + Soul” and “Open Invitation.” The show did not disappoint and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club remain the coolest thing in town on any night—even during Mardi Gras.
Photo by David McCrindle, from the blackrebelmotorcycle.com website