Aesop Rock & Rob Sonic @ The Pageant | 01.10.17

 (Bryan J. Sutter)

Indie rap legend Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic and DJ Zone performed to a sold out crowd at Delmar Hall in Saint Louis, Missouri on January 10th, 2017.

For many years, St. Louis has a pretty low reputation for live music. Historic venues like Mississippi Nights and The Hi-Pointe closed, and many of the remaining venues did one thing or another to tarnish the city’s reputation. Saint Louis, by the mid-2000s, was a very boring and uninteresting place to be. If you wanted to go to a “good” show, you often had to travel to Columbia or Chicago. It wasn’t until around 2010 that Saint Louis started to once again become a great place for live music, and a few hard working promoters busted their asses and lost a lot of money proving to bands and agencies that we were a city worth routing a tour through.

It is no surprise that Pagan Productions, which books the newly opened Delmar Hall and sister venues The Pageant and The Duck Room, would be the ones to bring Aesop Rock to St. Louis. Pagan Productions now employs Robert McClimans, a local music promoter that has helped many awesome shows happen in St. Louis over the last decade. When I knew him as the house promoter at The Firebird, Aesop Rock always seemed like something he wanted to do. I believe he got close a few times, but for one reason or another it never happened.

These days, hard for me to be surprised by a show announcement, but hearing that Aesop Rock was finally coming here was the first time in a very long time that the words following “JUST ANNOUNCED” impressed and excited me.

Touring behind his 2016 release The Impossible Kid, Aesop Rock put on a memorable show for the packed crowd. With longtime collaborator Rob Sonic and DJ Zone backing him up, there was barely a moment where one’s attention would begin to divert from the stage. While I personally haven’t spent enough time with the record to have a thoughtful opinion, the first few listens definitely caught my attention. There’s something for the kid that heard about him on Pitchfork as well as for the old school backpacker with a museum quality collection of indie rap LPs.

For someone that has spent countless hours photographing live music, I’m always stoked to walk away from a show that was well worth the wait.

See more photos from Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic’s performance at Delmar Hall by clicking here or by checking out the gallery below.

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