Top Three Concerts of 2011, via I Went To A Show

Welcome to our annual Top Shows series. We asked local musicians, media folk, and our fearless readers to submit their top 3 concerts of 2011. The only requirement for these submissions was that the show must have happened in 2011. With this unifying detail you can read about the diverse shows that St. Louisans get to attend.
I Went To A Show


Jaime Lees is a music writer.
She likes rock and roll.
And poodles.

Sex Robots, Bunnygrunt, Bassamp & Dano at El Lenador – 10/24/2011
I’ve probably seen Bunnygrunt hundreds of times (like, literally) and I’m always happy about it each dang time. Bunnygrunt is one of my favorite bands ever, but on this night I was at El Lenador to see the Sex Robots. And I’ll tell you what, I was ready to chuck a full can of Stag at the Grunt. Get off the stage, jerks! Me want Sex Bots! I was super excited about the show that whole day. Well, really, that whole month. Like, bring me a fainting couch excited. Beatlemania excited. It was gross.

So, Sex Robots played. And they were great. They were better than ever. Yes, I say that every time, but every time it’s still true. I rarely feel as blissful as I do in the middle of a Sex Robots show. We all sang along all night, my insane level of worship was validated and people who hadn’t seen them before became instant fans. If at all possible, I beg you: see this band. Amazing.

Tennis System at Firebird – 9/25/2011
A friend in DC sent me a link to this DC/LA band who were playing St. Louis because he thought that I’d like them. I almost didn’t even check them out, but then peeped their website and their biography read: “If My Bloody Valentine & Sonic Youth had a baby with The Kinks it would be named Tennis System.” I though, “Pfft! They freakin’ wish!” and then I listened – mostly of out spite – just to prove them wrong in my own mind. But I’ll be damned if that bio wasn’t spot on.

The band was scheduled to play at Pig Slop, but that got all messed up and the Firebird was kind enough to add them to their schedule on the same night as Sleepy Sun. Their sound was thick but inviting. Strong, but pretty. Wide and yet somehow contained. The new record (Teenagers) is great, but the band is even better live. And the more I listen the more I’m convinced that they might be my favorite discovery of 2011.

The LIVERS, Bunnygrunt and DJ Lil’ Daddy Reba McEntire (Eric Hall) at El Lenador – 2/11/2011
This shit was my birthday show! And it really was my favorite show of the year. These three are my favorites (that’s why I asked them to play at my party, duh) and they provided non-stop awesome all night. The lovely Johnny Vegas let me have the show at El Lenador and provided Warm Jets USA’s Jason Hutto as an extra bartender. Thank goodness for that, because my damn birthday show was crowded all night with both friends and strangers. (And they were thirsty. Very, very thirsty.)

I’ve already covered how much I love Bunnygrunt, but they gave this show a little extra: playing all dressed up in their finest sparkles, boas, leather and shorty shorts. And they learned The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” and played it for me! I might have cried a little. The LIVERS haven’t played out much lately, but when they do it’s always amazing. This A/V combo rock show must be seen to be believed. The guys in the band are my friends and they made me a special birthday video. Heart explosions, I tell ya. And DJ Lil’ Daddy Reba McEntire kept the party bumpin’ between bands and late into the night. His mash-up jammers are mind-blowing and he got all the pretty girls to dance. Many “Oh, shiiiit! This is my cut!” moments happened. I wanted it to go on forever.