Home Editor's Picks Rival Sons Keep Getting Better | Darkfighter Tour | St. Louis | June 14, 2023

Rival Sons Keep Getting Better | Darkfighter Tour | St. Louis | June 14, 2023

by Carrie Zukoski

Rival Sons came on strong and did not stop wooing the crowd with their 70s-inspired, rollicking, bluesy-grunge style of rock ’n’ roll. Every fan at St. Louis’ The Pageant Wednesday night swooned throughout Rival Sons’ 2-hour set and rightfully so. 

“Take my body and do your worst,” Jay Buchanan crooned “Do Your Worst” with his husky, yet velvety vocals while gesturing seductively in his three-piece red flared suit. 

Touring to support their just released (June 2) seventh album, Darkfighter, the Long Beach-based, Grammy-nominated band performed five songs from the album including “Darkfighter, “Mirrors,” and “Guillotine.” 

Each member of the four-piece powerhouse (five when touring) works cohesively with one another while being given room and time to shine on their own (drum solo on “Open My Eyes” and guitar solo on “Face of Light”). Most notable are the dashingly quaffed Scott Holiday on guitar and the driving drums of a mohawked Mike Miley. And while bassist Dave Beste is less flashy than the others on stage he is the glue that holds the songs together. 

The Austin-based The Black Angles performed their heavy, psychedelic-tinged rock amid a darkened, strobe-lit stage for 45 minutes. Reliant on the steady drums of Stephanie Bailey, songs such as “The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven,” reminiscent of Bauhaus, and “A Walk on the Outside” take the listener on wild trips into another stratosphere. Vocalist Alex Maas kept his baseball hat lowered with not much more than his silhouette seen few glimpses through the flashing lights, which added to the atmospheric sounds.

L.A.-based Starcrawler opened the night with a 30-minute set infused with a non-stop in-your-face mixture of rock, punk, grunge, and glam. Lead singer, 24-year-old Arrow de Wilde barely stood still, flailing her lanky body and mop of blonde hair while belting out fuzzy, fast-paced songs such as “Goodtime Girl,” and “Roadkill.” And while de Wilde did say to the crowd it was their first time performing in St. Louis, it’s their second as they performed exactly 10 months prior at Off Broadway (at least according to setlist.fm). Gritty, opulent, and quirky (a plastic poodle stood atop the Magnatone amp), the 5-member band (that includes brothers) will take your breath away with their sheer energy and drive. 

The night ended a little after 11 p.m. and nearly four hours of disparate music that blended well together for a powerful playlist.

All photos from the concert https://bit.ly/RivalSons23cz 

Rival Sons setlist


The Black Angels setlist



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In my work life, I help nonprofits and small businesses with media and public relations. In my what I love to do life, you can typically find me photographing either wild horses or concerts.

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