St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on May 6, 2018 · C02
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · C02

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Sunday, May 6, 2018
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C02
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C2  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH M 2  SUNDAY  05.06.2018 A&E ON OUR RADAR AMY BERTRAND Features editor  abertrand@post-dispatch.com  314-340-8284 GABE HARTWIG A&E editor  ghartwig@post-dispatch.com  314-340-8353 JANE HENDERSON book editor  jhenderson@post-dispatch.com  314-340-8107 DONNA BISCHOFF A&E advertising  dbischo @post-dispatch.com  314-340-8529 GET YOUR EVENT LISTED events.stltoday.com  stltoday.com/pr TICKET TRACKER Find more concert announcements. stltoday.com/blender NEW ON DVD GET MORE AT STLTODAY.COM/GO NEW IN THEATERS MOVIES Coming Tuesday  “Dayveon”; “It’s Not Yet Dark”; “Fifty Shades Freed”; “Finding Oscar”; “Human Flow” Coming May 15  “Black Panther”; “Submergence” TELEVISION Coming Tuesday  “Ackley Bridge,” Series 1; “Bunnicula,” Season 1; “Dear White People,” Season 1; “Police Woman,” Season 4; “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” Season 4 THE AMBASSADOR metrotix.com  Alexander O’Neal , Sunday, canceled, refunds at point of purchase. CHESTERFIELD AMPHITHEATER ticketmaster.com  Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Los Lobos, Greyhounds , 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12, $55-$85.  Randy Rogers Band, Casey Donahew , 7 p.m. Aug. 24, $25-$45. DELMAR HALL ticketmaster.com  The Cadillac Three , 8 p.m. June 7, $20-$25.  Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band , 8 p.m. July 5, $20-$25.  Theory of a Deadman , 8 p.m. July 25, $28-$30.  Cafe Tacvba’s Niu Güeis Tour 2018 with Ruen Brothers , 8 p.m. Oct. 6, $35-$40. DUCK ROOM AT BLUEBERRY HILL ticketmaster.com  Kim Richey , 8 p.m. Aug. 3, $20-$25.  River Whyless , 8 p.m. Aug. 22, $15. HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER livenation.com  “Monsters and Mummies” with El Monstero, Here Come the Mummies , 7 p.m. Aug. 11, $20-$55,  ’90s House Party with Vanilla Ice, Naughty By Nature, Coolio, Tone Loc, Montell Jordan, Rob Base, All-4-One and Young MC , 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8, $20$149 with $10 lawn tickets the fi rst week of sales, on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. OFF BROADWAY etix.com  Open Highway Music Festival with Old 97’s , 8 p.m. Aug. 2, $30-$40.  Screaming Females, Kitten Forever , 8 p.m. Sept. 30, $12-$14. OLD ROCK HOUSE metrotix.com  Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts , 8 p.m. July 7, $10.  SIMO , 8 p.m. July 15, $12. THE PAGEANT ticketmaster.com  Monica , postponed to Aug. 18, tickets for the May 13 show may be used.  Bullet For My Valentine , 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, $32.50-$35. PEABODY OPERA HOUSE ticketmaster.com  Carol Burnett’s “An Evening of Laughter and Refl ection,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, $65$175. THE READY ROOM ticketfl y.com  PJ Morton, Tish Haynes Keys , 6:30 p.m. June 24, $35$40. RYSE NIGHTCLUB ticketmaster.com  DJ Pauly D , 9 p.m. July 28, sold out. SCOTTRADE CENTER ticketmaster.com  Bonnie Raitt is no longer on the bill for James Taylor ’s May 21 show. SHELDON CONCERT HALL & ART GALLERIES metrotix.com  Melissa Etheridge , 8 p.m. June 28, $65$125. OUR FAVORITE THINGS Great food, performers venues and more — it’s all in the 2018 edition of e Go! List. stltoday.com/thegolist BLADES OF GLORY Look sharp: Ax-throwing venues o er an edgy new alternative to darts. stltoday.com/go THEATRICAL MILESTONE In a new millennium, the Muny tried new things onstage — and in the air. stltoday.com/muny100 “Godard Mon Amour”  R  1:47  Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”) directed this comedy- drama about an episode in the life of fi lmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. In French with subtitles. (Boston Herald) “Overboard”  PG-13  1:52  A debauched Mexican billionaire falls o his yacht, wakes with amnesia and is convinced by the woman who cleans his boat that he’s her working-class husband in this reboot of the 1987 Goldie Hawn- Kurt Russell comedy. With Eugenio Derbez as the Russell character and Anna Faris in Hawn’s role. Not reviewed . (Los Angeles Times) “Sweet Country”  R  1:53  Warwick Thornton directed this crime drama set in the Australian Outback. With Sam Neill and Bryan Brown. (Washington Post) “Tully” ½  R  1:36  Charlize Theron is terrifi c in this comedy-drama about a frazzled mom who gets much-needed help from a night nanny (Mackenzie Davis). Directed by Jason Reitman (“Up In the Air”). (Calvin Wilson) Charlize Theron in “Tully” BY SONIA RAO Washington Post Christina Aguilera sat in a swivel chair alongside fellow judges Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton when “The Voice” premiered in April 2011. Though the concept of a televised singing competition was nothing new — at that point, “American Idol” had already been on Fox for almost nine years — the NBC series immediately hooked viewers with its dramatic blind auditions and battle rounds. All four judges came to the show as established names, but now those names regularly made for water cooler conversation. It sounds like a great gig, right? Aguilera would say otherwise. In a Billboard interview published Thursday, the singer referred to the show as a “churning hamster wheel.” It was an “energy sucker,” she said, and she spent her six seasons as a judge “longing for freedom.” She scrunched up her face when asked whether she would ever return, adding that she would prefer to discuss “positive things.” Aguilera’s career had hit something of a plateau in 2010 — by pop superstar standards, anyway. The electronic- tinged “Bionic,” her sixth album overall, met with mixed reviews that summer. While her vocals remained strong, some listeners wondered whether she felt a need to imitate Lady Gaga. A planned Bionic Tour never came to be, as she felt she didn’t have enough time to plan a satisfactory show between promoting the album and “Burlesque,” a critically panned movie musical that also starred Cher. Then, in February 2011, Aguilera flubbed the lyrics to the national anthem while singing at the Super Bowl. A week later, she almost fell onstage at the Grammys while performing a tribute to Aretha Franklin. That March, she was detained for public intoxication. The singer needed a career boost, and “The Voice” seemed like the answer. But that changed. Aguilera told Billboard that the show soon strayed from what she signed up for in the first season. “You realize it’s not about music,” she said. “It’s about making good TV moments and massaging a story. I didn’t get into this business to be a television show host and to be given all these (rules). Especially as a female: You can’t wear this, can’t say that. I would find myself on that show desperately trying to express myself through clothing or makeup or hair. It was my only kind of outlet.” (The Washington Post approached NBC for comment.) Aguilera isn’t alone in her criticism of “The Voice.” Fellow judge Levine has been known to speak up about its failings, particularly in reference to how the winners’ record deals don’t always help their careers. He said as much in a 2015 interview with Howard Stern: “When the baton is passed post-‘Voice,’ there’s some problems. People take over after we do this great job of building these people up on the show. There’s some real issues there.” He quickly clarified that he blamed the record labels, not NBC or the winners. “The show ends, and they’re like, ‘OK, they don’t matter to me anymore,’ ” Levine said of how record labels treat the singers. “This is how they feel on the other end. I don’t understand why they don’t care. That’s what drives me absolutely bonkers. And then it makes me feel defeated on my end, because there’s really not much I can do.” With all this in mind, it’s fitting that Aguilera named her upcoming album “Liberation.” Her first since 2012’s commercially unsuccessful “Lotus,” the album leans toward R&B and hip-hop. The singer seems poised for yet another comeback, one that will include her first tour in years. ‘ e Voice’ revived Aguilera’s career, but she longed to move on BY KEVIN C. JOHNSON St. Louis Post-Dispatch U2 fi nally made it back to St. Louis on Friday night for a much welcomed show seven months after the crushing cancellation of “The Joshua Tree Tour 2017” tour stop in St. Louis. Scheduled at the Dome at the America’s Center in September, the show possibly would have been the biggest of 2017 before it was pulled. Friday, it was the “Experience + Innocence Tour 2018” at Scottrade Center in only its second tour date after opening May 2 in Tulsa, Okla. And though U2 had nothing to make up for as it relates to St. Louis, the return to the city, as soon as it was and so early in the new tour’s run, felt nearly deliberate though it surely wasn’t. The “Experience + Innocence Tour” is the companion piece to 2015’s “Innocence + Experience Tour,” which also failed to play St. Louis, meaning the new tour was essentially the second part of a double feature with the fi rst part missing. It didn’t matter much as “Experience + Innocence,” which comes on the heels of the late 2017 album “Songs of Experience,” holds its own. At one point, frontman Bono even asked who needs innocence when you have experience. For over two hours of the spectacularly sprawling show, the band’s Bono (the real Greatest Showman), the Edge (guitar), Adam Clayton (bass) and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums) delivered music with a message, something the Irish act has always done, with none of its social and political consciousness diminished. Before the show even started, a plethora of messages — “Nowhere on Earth do women have as many opportunities as men,” “Don’t shoot,” “Refugees welcome,” “Herstory,” “Give peace a chance,” “Vote,” “None of us are equal until all of us are equal” — were displayed on screen. Many of the messages would play out later during new song “Get Out of Your Own Way.” You know going into a U2 concert that the Irishmen want to make America and its homeland great again, only under their defi nition. Footage of neo-Nazis was shown during “Staring at the Sun,” a song Bono said was about stubbornness and political blindness, while footage from women and minority marches accompanied “Pride (In the Name of Love), which closed with a photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The band, this deep into its career, is still delivering unmatched extravaganzas that set the bar for what a concert experience can be. (This tour came with a concert app designed for the show, but why watch all this through your phone?) During the thrill ride, U2 mixed new “Songs of Experience” songs such as “Love is All We Have Left,” “The Blackout,” “Lights of Home” (the night’s fi rst three songs) with older songs such as “Elevation,” “Beautiful Day,” “Desire,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and even rare oldie “Acrobat” from “Achtung Baby,” a super treat for fans (Bono talked into some sort of face fi lter thing that made his face devilish just before the song). Noticeably absent from the show were any songs from “The Joshua Tree.” It’s reasonable to assume after touring for fi ve months on a trek dedicated mostly to that album there was no need to revisit it on the current tour. But wouldn’t it have been an amazing if U2 had, just for St. Louis, thrown the city one “Joshua Tree” branch in acknowledgement of what the city missed out on last year? Bono didn’t mention the cancellation, though it would have been another nice touch if he had acknowledged it. The tour is marked by its innovative stage design by Es Devlin, on full display from the top of the show. The centerpiece of the design is a dazzling video wall — a wide, two-sided panel that ran down the center of the arena fl oor complete with a mobile walkway leading to a small satellite stage. The video wall allowed for incredible set pieces augmented by sensational animation, imagery and live footage including a bit in which Bono hovered over the arena fl oor like an apparition during “Until the End of the World.” Despite the big moments, and there were many, the small ones carried just as much punch. The band huddled near each other on the satellite stage, with Bono in stark white makeup, for songs including “Elevation,” “Vertigo” and “Desire.” Cylinder light fi xtures, which resembled scaled- down versions of those on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ last tour, blanketed the stage during “City of Blinding Lights.” The band gave a nod to Kendrick Lamar, seen briefl y via animation, on “American Soul” featuring an American fl ag backdrop. At the top of the encore, Bono suggested the only way to solve a problem is to reach out to those you normally wouldn’t want to sit across, agree to disagree, then fi nd the one thing important enough to agree on. Those words led to “One” and “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way,” before Bono had some quiet time during fi nal song “13 (There is a Light),” sending a large light bulb swinging through the air before he quietly walked o stage. Kevin C. Johnson  314-340-8191 Pop music critic @kevincjohnson on Twitter kjohnson@post-dispatch.com U2 delivers unmatched extravaganza during concert at Scottrade Center PHOTO BY JON GITCHOFF U2 performs Friday night at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. CONCERT REVIEW

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