Here are some highlights of shows coming up in Missoula in the next week.
(Friday, Dec. 27)
Missoula’s very own (self-branded) redneck country band frequently hold stage at the Sunrise Saloon and the Top Hat, which makes sense, given their slick, modern country likely draws in hardcore fans and Carhartt casuals alike.
The group won Best Band in the 2010 Missoula’s Choice Awards, and has since released an album, “Montana,” in 2015 and opened for many country and country-adjacent touring artists at the Wilma (Uncle Kracker) and KettleHouse Amphitheater (Justin Moore) in recent years.
Show at the Top Hat. Music starts at 10:15 p.m. Free admission. Ages 21+
(Saturday, Dec. 28)
The VFW knows Missoulians: they require a heavy dose of hardcore metal to work out some of the attendant stresses built up over a week of having to see one’s family and wear that one nice sweater.
Butte’s Dragged Out are at the top of the bill, fresh off releasing their debut self-titled EP in late November. The five-piece plays an accessible, heavy metal, with twin guitars and throaty (but not overwhelming) vocals from lead singer Michael Smith. Drummer Nate Haines does a nice job riding the line between double-bass mayhem and driving rock fills that keep anyone, even those less inclined toward metal, engaged.
Two Missoula-based duos support, the experimental Low Feet, whose inventive metal grinding is, um, less listenable, but certainly enjoyable for the atonally-inclined.
Tuco, made up of Dave Raba and David L. Johnson (whose been featured many times in the Missoulian for his artwork), supply some sludge-y, garage metal with discernible lyrics.
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Show at the Ole Beck VFW Post 209. Doors at 9 p.m. Music at 9:30. Free admission. Ages 21+
(Monday, Dec. 30)
This new Zootown Arts Community Center is really diversifying the type of touring artist coming through Missoula — not in my many years in Missoula have I ever had the opportunity to check out an award-winning slam poet.
Buddy Wakefield is a full-time poet, author and slam poetry champion, who took up the art after leaving a job at a biomedical firm in 2001. He won back-to-back World Poetry Slam titles in 2004 and 2005 and has since appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. He is also apparently friends with Missoula’s Kaylen Alan Krebsbach, who brought him to Missoula to wrap up his tour promoting the new book of prose, “A Choir of Honest Killers.”
Krebsbach’s band Wilma Laverne Miner will perform with Wakefield, adding their dreamy pop to the proceedings.
The show is at the ZACC, 216 W. Main St. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Though (like all ZACC shows) this event is All Ages, there is a parental warning attached. Via the Facebook event page: “Come exactly as you are. Except babies. Don't bring those. Or children. I promise.”
(Tuesday, Dec. 31)
For the second year in a row now, local groups have been highlighting the city's New Year's Eve offerings. While the Lil Smokies are returning to the Wilma, local funk group Shakewell will once again perform a New Year's Eve show at the Top Hat.
Blake Braley, a five-piece funk and soul band based out of Spokane, will open. The show is 21+ and starts at 10:15 p.m. Tickets cost $5.