Elle King / Fancy Hagood @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Tuesday nights in St. Louis, like most nights over the past couple of years, have been pretty boring. Bringing the Drunk (And I Don’t Want to Go Home) Tour to the Pageant on this Tuesday made the world seem right again! If there is one thing Elle King wants you to know, she loves you! And if audience size is an indicator of love, St. Louis loves them some Elle King!

Children of celebrities appear to have a head start on their careers, why not? Most celebrities are connected in some way shape or form. But Elle’s famous father, comedian Rob Schneider, seems to have let her do it on her own terms. Tracing her path over the years shows Elle truly is a self-made woman and that’s OK. It is highly-publicized she began playing in New York clubs and busking at the age of 16. Her stage presence and powerful, polished voice are proof positive she is heading in the right direction.

A talented band called “The Brethren” supports Elle’s unique and varied musical tastes. Amongst the songs are snippets of just about every musical genre you could image. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a cauldron of 50’s doo-wop, blues, rock, Country, psychedelic rock, and soul. King’s resume continues to grow, working with seasoned artists such as Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley. Her duet with Lambert on “Drunk and I Don’t Want to Go Home” has reached platinum status, a very tough feat in today’s music consumption market.

Slowly warming to the St. Louis audience, King begins to share her likes and dislikes with those in attendance. A simple, “this is a song I like” introduces a cover of Charlie Daniels' “Long Haired Country Boy”. An intriguing cover for a thirty-something with New York roots. Later Elle dives deeper into music history with a compelling rendition of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery”. Supported by the perfectly matched harmonies of the show’s opener, Fancy Hagood.

And speaking of Fancy Hagood, “why is this man not a household name?”. I found myself asking this many times during his opening set. Armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a powerful voice, Fancy delivered an attention grabbing 45 minutes of solid. self-penned songs. As he put it, “I was too gay for Nashville and too Nashville for California". In 2021, Hagood released a self-produced album entitled Southern Curiosity. On his website he proudly introduces the album with this quote, “It’s here, it's queer and I'm so damn proud of it!" Hear me now believe me later, this cat is the real deal!

In her younger days Elle was known far and wide as a music industry bad ass. Today she’s still a baddie but a bit tamer, as now she tours with her seven month old son, Lucky. Not one to shy away from a challenge, King bravely throws her new song, “Out Yonder”, in as the second song in a 17-track montage of her career. King’s faith in her opening act is noticed and appreciated, as Fancy plays the part Miranda Lambert on “Drunk”. And as suspected, Hagood nailed Miranda with the dexterity of a seasoned pro!

King caps off the night with the question, “What do you want from me?” The answer is found in her 2016 release, America’s Sweetheart. If you’re looking for America’s sweetheart in Elle King, you better look elsewhere, she ain’t about that life. But if you’re looking for something new to love, you’re gonna love her anyway! A big thanks to the Pageant for always being a most gracious host and to Elle King’s crew for having MTC MAG in da house!

Photos of the show are below:

Fancy Hagood
Elle King
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Elle King / Fancy Hagood @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Elle King / Fancy Hagood @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on March 18, 2022 Rating: 5
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