PHOTOS: Pretty Little Empire CD Release, The Union Electric 7″ Release

Last Saturday, an enthusiastic crop of St. Louis music fans were treated to a trio of bands that represent the finest our city has to offer. Last to Show First to Go jump started the evening in proper fashion (I arrived too late to catch their set, unfortunately, but I liked what I heard from those who didn’t miss out).

Enter Tim Rakel of The Union Electric, who stepped on stage with UE’s Mic Boshans on drums (one drum), and Grace Basement’s Kevin Buckley on fiddle. Employing his rich baritone and a small megaphone, Rakel read a selection from a Samuel Beckett novel with accompaniment from Boshans and Buckley. The group’s latest 7″ effort was based on Beckett’s work, and the set that followed Rakel’s intro revealed a band whose performance experience, deft lyricism, and ever-expanding song catalog are keeping pace with recent increased exposure. In short, The Union Electric is killing it right now.

Finally came Justin Johnson, expertly coiffed and donning a robin’s egg blue button-up, along with Sean McElroy, Will Godfred, Evan O’Neal, and David Beeman (of née and Native Sound). Pretty Little Empire tore into a set of mostly new material, acquainting the audience with songs from the new album – members of the crowd had already managed to memorize some of the tracks from past live shows. The guys sang hard. We danced like crazy. Late into the night, a sweat-soaked Johnson led his troops back onstage for the encore, which ended with an old favorite. “YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL!!!” the audience screamed back at Pretty Little Empire. A near-perfect show.







Full Pretty Little Empire photo set available here.







Full set of The Union Electric photos here.

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