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©2017 LUX ROW Distillers, Bardstown, Kentucky.



Escape to the warm waters of Indonesia for an evening at the Saint Louis Science Center as we go on a Journey to the South Pacific. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1 5-7PM $55 General Admission $45 Members 21+ Event Admission includes buffet style dinner, two drink tickets, live entertainment and a screening of the OMNIMAX® film, Journey to the South Pacific.



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OUR CONTRIBUTORS ART: Nathan Parker, Lauren Healey, Ryan McBride, Evan Endicott, Sherry Sparks, courtesy of Sean Coray, Matty Adame, Charlotte Coneybeer, Caroline Hernandez, Mary Lou Olson, Daniel Yaroschevsky, Lisa DeLorenzo Hager, Elena de Soto, Tomas Jasovsky, Jennifer Pallian, Freepik, Paul Gaudriault, Annie Spratt, Davidson Luna,,, Pixel Buddha, Climate KIC TEXT: Lauren Healey, Ryan McBride, Caleb Mansfield, Amin Mohabbat, Matt Longueville, Lindsay Toler DESIGN: Audrey Scherer, Melanie Layer-Gaskell


StL's Definitive Pink Floyd Tribute Band Returns to the Pageant This Holiday Season Give Back Join A Young Friends Group To Support Gateway City Organizations and Network Saint Rita Parlor StL Native, Fashion Designer, & Entrepreneur Neil Bardon Inspired By His Roots

ADVISORY BOARD Douglas Hall Jake Hollander Aaron Park Amin Mohabbat Michael Powell Christopher Holt Patrick Shaw

CONTACT US For advertising and press releases: HELLO@MAXSTL.COM 314 . 256 . 1196 4579 Laclede Ave. Suite 268 St. Louis, MO 63108

7 Hi, I’m MAX

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 22

Seasonal Sips


Handcrafted By Bissinger's

46 48 50

MAX Scene

Amin Mohabbat

Holiday Cocktails




Eat & Be Merry


MAX 10

Festive Meal Prep


Garden Glow


Sean Coray

Light It Up

EP Release Dec. 8

Science Uncorked MAX Scene Brewery Lights MAX Brag


December 2017


Hi, I’m M A X... Growing up in Frankfurt, Germany, is where I discovered my love for dance music. When I first moved to the United States, dance music was a small niche market and not did not have the following it had in Europe. As a high school senior in St. Louis going to the Loop to buy vinyl records, I met a dedicated group of folks who shared a similar love for the music. I went to my first rave in St. Louis, and that’s where I fell in love with the possibilities of creating and bringing great parties to the city. It all started as a hobby and a love for the scene and the people in it — there was no money in it at the time. I wanted to see these DJs play their hearts out in my home city as much as anyone else buying tickets for my shows. What started as a hobby became a full-time dedication to bringing the best shows possible to St. Louis. I was determined to bring in the DJs that only were accepting gigs in the major cities — ­­ St. Louis had the following and dedication to dance music. With sold-out shows, we no longer had to prove ourselves to the agents. St. Louis was on the map and here to stay. At B&W Productions, we aim to bring to St. Louis the same experiences that were previously only reserved for cities like New York, Miami or Las Vegas. I’m proud of St. Louis for supporting dance music like it has over the years. Every dance music act that you can ask for now has a tour stop in St. Louis. Ten years ago, this market was starved, and now we are no longer just a flyover city. December is a big month in dance music for St. Louis. I am most excited about the New Year’s Eve event that we produce at Chase Park Plaza: the New Year’s Eve Ball. The party is a very classy New Year’s event with young professionals and tastemakers of St. Louis and has sold out every year. Illenium is playing Dec. 16 at the Pageant. He is one of the hottest producers and DJs right now and travels with a big production stage. After the show at the Pageant, we’ll be continuing at RYSE hosting Borgeous — if you pace yourself, I will see you there. I am Amin Mohabbat, owner of B&W Productions. I am MAX.


December 2017


@ MaximizeStL We love St. Louis and want to know why you do too. MAX has been found all across the city, from downtown to the Central West End, the Hill and beyond. Use #MaximizeStL and #MAXStL for the chance to have your images shared in the magazine. There are so many great things happening around St. Louis, we can’t fit everything in the print magazine. Check out our website to see what else is going on in our beautiful city.

Aquarium to Maximize StL Union Station

Op-Ed: Pass Bill to Legalize Marijuana in St. Louis

Schwag Celebrates Jimmy Tebeau’s 50th Birthday Oct. 21 10

December 2017



DEC. 17

We’re building St. Louis’s best events calendar based on our founders’ years of experience hosting and promoting some of Missouri’s most memorable parties. Each issue features a list of must-attend events. Consider this our contribution to eradicating FOMO. All info from event webpages.


Arts & Crafts Market Thomas Dunn Learning Center | Noon This ‘Tis the Season Winter Artists Market and Exhibition features craft vendors with jewelry, sculptures, clothing and much more.

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Presented by Old Belleville Historic Luminary Walk Belleville, Illinois | 5 & 6 p.m.

Tribute Fashion Fest | Union Station | 7 p.m. The halls of Union Station will be decked during this “fashion experience,” which will offer a chance to learn about new products and meet beauty professionals.

Take a self-guided tour of historic Belleville, Illinois, beginning at either the Garfield Saloon or the Gustave Koerner House.

Something Crafty This Way Comes - A Dark Arts A-Faire Mad Art Gallery | 11 a.m. Featuring crafts from a multitude of alternative vendors, live performances and food from Capitalist Pig, this event will easily evoke your inner wizard or witch.

Howliday Workout & Party | Museum of the Dog | 1 p.m. Choose one or all three: Attend a Get Fit With Fido class, do doga — dog yoga — or listen in on a nutrition seminar, all with your furry friend at your side.


Harlem Globetrotters | Scottrade Center | 2 & 7 p.m. Performing over 450 live events annually, this exhibition basketball team provides comedic family entertainment and has garnered a social media following of nearly 2 million.


December 2017

This St. Louis-based musician returns to his hometown for two nights to play his acoustic-rooted, horn-accentuated style of Midwestern swing.




The Garden will be ablaze with over one million stunning lights in our new and expanded displays!

Pokey Lafarge| Off Broadway | 8 p.m.

Staples of the indie rock and indie pop music scenes, these performances are sure to bring skinny jeans out in full force.

Visit for tickets and more information! TICK ON S ETS A NOW LE !

New Year's Eve Limo Bus Bar Crawl Wash Ave. & Soulard | 8 p.m. Meet at Lucas Park Grille between 8-10 p.m. to pregame for the limo crawl around Washington Avenue and Soulard.


Portugal. The Man and Vance Joy Peabody Opera House | 7 p.m.

Explore pathways transformed into sensory light tunnels providing an explosion of visual magic. Enjoy signature drinks, s’mores by the fire, and dozens of family photo ops!


Holiday Lights Tour | Anheuser-Busch Brewery Featuring free self-guided walking tours of the brewery, AnheuserBusch also has an ice rink during the holiday season.

4344 Shaw Blvd. • St. Louis, MO 63110

(314) 577-5100 •


Let It Glow

Missouri Botanical Garden Brightens the Holidays with Garden Glow BY CALEB MANSFIELD ART MISOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN

For those familiar with St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden captures audiences year-round with spectacular scenery and beautiful buildings; however, during the holidays, the garden is transformed into a winter wonderland of its own. From Nov. 18-Jan. 1, the garden is lit up with over 1 million LED lights as the Garden Glow helps keep the holidays merry and bright. To get some insight regarding what goes on behind the scenes, we spoke with Nicole Iannazzo and Brian Whitcher from Oak Island Creative, the technology collective behind the project. “The unique thing about the Missouri Botanical Garden compared to other holiday projects is the color combinations they use,” Iannazzo says. For the garden, the traditional reds and greens — though present — aren’t the draw. Instead, according to Iannazzo, it’s the “vibrant blues, cool whites and the purples” that highlight the stunning garden. “The combination of colors we put together really speaks to the garden. We love to play up the assets that they have.” If it weren’t for the garden’s Climatron, the display may be completely different too. “The Climatron is their iconic building. We definitely build around that and create our concept off that focal point. That structure can be seen from the interstate pulling in; it captures the guests’ eyes,” Whitcher says.


December 2017


After ensuring the Climatron grabs your attention, the garden’s holiday lights display is all about customization. From sounds to lighting and visual elements, the Garden Glow is truly distinctive, including its custom six-foot chandelier. “We bring the family-friendly aspect while also bringing the adult aspect,” Whitcher says. “There is custom programming and boards for the show [utilizing] RGB interactive technology. We have two main show elements designed for the audio: One is in a body of water, and the other is in a sound area surrounded by trees.” Aiming to make each event unique, “the orb show is specific to the garden; these kind of pieces are what help differentiate this event from other events,” Iannazzo says. “We want to use the garden as the canvas and highlight that we’re going on our fifth year now.” The Garden Glow truly has become a holiday staple in St. Louis. A family-friendly outing, an event for romantics or just a night out with friends, the Garden Glow is the perfect place to celebrate the holiday season no matter the occasion. Not only can you enjoy spectacular lights and sounds, admission also includes the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show featuring 900 feet of model train tracks.

For more information and tickets, visit


December 2017


Good Will Toward Good Friends

A Young Professional’s Guide to Getting Involved BY RYAN MCBRIDE ART CLIMATE KIC & FREEPIK.COM If you are like me, you see what is going on in our city and you’d

feeling as if you are making a major financial commitment to

like to get involved but don’t quite know where to begin. You

OTSL. It hopefully makes the experience that much more fun,

convince yourself that others are taking care of things or it costs

welcoming and accessible,” says OTSL Director of Marketing

too much money to support the charities and organizations that

and Public Relations Joe Gfaller. “Our young professionals

resonate with you.

events and our young professionals group ... work to achieve that vision.

Especially now, in the season of giving, if this in any way describes you, consider joining or supporting one or more of

“For any art form to thrive, it must continue to build interest

these local Young Friends groups that give young professionals a

and enthusiasm from within each new generation. With the

platform to shine and benefit their town while doing so. Whether significant reductions in arts education in schools, there are they may be nestled in the arts, health and wellness or animal

fewer opportunities to build that kind of enthusiasm at a very

rights, there is a Young Friends group out there for you.

early age. For some, the prime window of time to engage new audiences is shortly after college — when people are still eager to

“I think that young professionals who participate in Opera The-

learn more about the world around them and [are] curious to try

atre of Saint Louis’s Young Friends events enjoy the opportunity

things that may be new to them. We’re delighted to help provide

to experience an opera in the company of other people who

those audiences with the opportunity to try something new —

share similar interests and are of a similar age. … Unlike a lot

and perhaps discover along the way that it may [be] something

of Young Friends groups, we don’t ask young professionals to

they really enjoy.”

become donors first to come to Young Friends events, so you can experience opera for the first time through the program without


December 2017


“For any art form to thrive, it must continue to build interest and enthusiasm from within each new generation.” - Joe Gfaller History Buff Young Friends of Missouri History Museum | Fostering an interest in our region’s past, this group introduces young professionals to other like-minded individuals through educational networking events and offers a chance to go behind the scenes with special-access tours of exhibits as well as the museum’s Library and Research Center.

Kick Cancer Young Friends of Kids With Cancer | When cancer affects children, it takes away part of their childhood that should be spent making friends, goofing off and just being a kid. Friends of Kids with Cancer is there to make sure kids can still have fun in the wake of such a terrible illness.


Green Thumb

Generation Listen STL |

Young Friends of Missouri Botanical Garden |

This Young Friends group of St. Louis Public Radio is reinvigorating the spirit of radio

The Missouri Botanical Garden has long been a fixture of St. Louis and continues to

by telling your story. Stories have the power to change minds and broaden horizons, and

raise awareness and promote sustainability while educating people of all ages about the

this Young Friends group is connecting young people who share this vision.

natural world. Consider attending the garden’s many Young Friends events such as Trivia Night, Tulip Trot or Fest-of-Ale.


December 2017

Enable the Disabled

Operation Opera

Young Friends of St. Louis Arc |

Young Friends of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis |

St. Louis Arc advocates for the welfare of the intellectually and developmentally disabled,

Snobby aristocrats adorned in high societal dress with binoculars in hand may be what

providing services to them and their families to help them lead better lives. The Young

comes to your mind when you think of opera, but it’s far from what you’ll get at the Op-

Friends group allows young professionals the chance to spread the Arc’s mission and

era Theatre of Saint Louis, where the fun, welcoming environment and bold talents will

educate their community on these issues.

prove to you that opera is alive and well in the Gateway City.

Animal House

Pick a Pet

Saint Louis Zoo Young Professionals |

Young Friends of APA Adoption Center |

It’s no secret that St. Louis boasts one of the best zoos in the country, and its group of

If you love animals, the Animal Protective Association is a great organization to support.

young professionals is dedicated to the continued success of the zoo and furthering its

The APA takes in thousands of neglected and abandoned animals every year and places

goal to put animals first while building a strong leadership foundation for generations

them in loving homes. The Young Friends group represents the APA at sponsored events

to come.

and volunteers at the shelter.


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November 5 – January 28, 2018 Members always free. Everyone free on Friday. For ticket information, visit


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Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is co-organized by the Museum Folkwang, Essen; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum. The St. Louis presentation is supported by a grant from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Tokamak Asdex Upgrade Interior 2, Max Planck IPP, Garching 2009 (detail); chromogenic print; 55 3/4 x 59 1/4 inches; Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery © Thomas Struth



Now Open! Free admission

Missouri History Museum Forest Park | (314) 746-4599 |


December 2017

One S. Broadway | St. Louis 314.241.8439 | Monday -Thursday 4P -12A Friday & Saturday 4P - 2A Sunday 4P -11P


Seasonal Sips Get in the Holiday 'Spirit'

Matt Longueville, StL Barkeep

ART TOMAS JASOVSKY ’Tis the season — for booze. Nothing screams, “Time for a

Loufest. The owner of the company, Matt Longueville, won the

cocktail!” more than a house full of family members and awkward

2017 Central West End Cocktail Competition. You can find him

holiday parties. We’ve got you covered here at MAX. We asked our

at Vicia during weekday lunchtime as well as all over town hosting

friends at STLBarkeep to provide you with some delicious and

special events and upstairs at Brennan’s on the weekends. Check

easy-to-execute cocktails to help you navigate the holiday season.

out or @stlbarkeep on Instagram.

STLBarkeep is a local agency that specializes in custom cocktails

Before we start making our cocktails, we need to do some prep

for events and spirit companies. They also offer event planning

work. Don’t worry; it’s actually quite “simple.” Our first two recipes

and execution, which includes bartending services. Most notably,

call for cinnamon simple syrup.

STLBarkeep curates “Fizz and Folly,” the cocktail experience at

Santa’s Sipper

Feliz Navidad

For the first cocktail, we are going to use the Quiet Man 8 Year Old

For the next cocktail, we’re heading south of the border to hang

Irish Whiskey, which is named in honor of an Irish bartender who

with whiskey’s Mexican cousin tequila. This cocktail was designed

saw and heard it all but was true to the code and told no one. The

using the classic Old Fashioned formula but substitutes tequila

Quiet Man 8 Year is by far the best Irish whiskey on the market and

for whiskey, adding cinnamon to the simple syrup and using mole

is bound to turn heads at your holiday party.

bitters instead of aromatic.

Add 2 oz. of the Quiet Man 8 Year Old Irish Whiskey, 1 ounce Big

Add 2 oz. of El Mayor Añejo Tequila, 0.5 oz. cinnamon syrup, orange

O Ginger Liqueur, 0.5 oz. cinnamon syrup and 3 oz. hot apple cider.

peel and mole bitters to a mixing glass. Stir for 30 seconds and strain over

Combine all ingredients in your favorite mug and stir. Garnish with sliced

fresh ice. Garnish with zest of orange.


Cranberry Dubliner (Get it? Like Manhattan but it’s an Irish city.) For this cocktail, we are going to stick with another formula for a classic cocktail: the Manhattan. The classic Manhattan formula is 2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey, 1 oz. sweet vermouth and bitters. We

Cinnamon Simple Syrup

are going to change some ingredients to make it unique. We will go back to the Quiet Man 8 Year Old Whiskey and exchange the sweet vermouth for Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream. This is a fantastic cocktail to enjoy after dinner. Add 2 oz. of the Quiet Man 8 Year Old Irish Whiskey, 1 oz. Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream and four dashes of cranberry bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a coupe glass or over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

16 oz. brown sugar 16 oz. water

New Years Resolution

4 cinnamon sticks

For this recipe, we are going to use Veev, a neutral grain spirit similar to vodka that is infused with acai. Acai berries are a superfood

Add brown sugar and water to a pot.

grown on acai palms in Central and Southern America. Oftentimes,

Set heat on low and stir until sugar

they are compared to blackberries. Veev contains only 65 calories

is diluted, creating syrup. Add four

per ounce, so this is a great cocktail to help you shed those extra

cinnamon sticks and let simmer for 20

holidays pounds without having to give up booze.

minutes. This recipe yields 24 oz. of cinnamon syrup.

Fill a mason jar with ice. Add 2 oz. of Veev, 0.25 oz. of lemon juice and a sprig of rosemary torn apart. Put cap securely on jar and shake for 20 seconds. Top with Topo Chico Mineral Water.


December 2017


Eat & Be Merry

Holiday Cooking Tips From Chef Gian Nicola Colucci BY RYAN MCBRIDE ART CAROLINE HERNANDEZ AND COURTESY OF THE FOUR SEASONS Well, it’s that time of year again — time to gather the family and

remind me of this time of year. Just the smell of cinnamon reminds

friends and create lasting memories with the ones you love. Often-

me of Christmastime.”

times, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, so much so that you can lose touch with what is most import-

The last part of the class will include an Italian classic dessert

ant. But the holiday season grants us the opportunity to take a step

called panettone, a loaf of sweet bread commonly enjoyed during

back and reconnect, and what better way to do that than spending

the holidays. In years past, Colucci has prepared both a chocolate

the day preparing and dining on your very own holiday feast made

flavor as well as a cranberry-orange flavor with a cream made from

with love in your very own kitchen. Nobody knows holiday dinners

mascarpone. He also recommends pairing a hearty dinner with

better than the Four Seasons Cielo Restaurant Executive Chef Gian

prosecco or another sweet, bubbly wine and capping off the night

Nicola Colucci, and this year, he will be leading a class on just that.

with a glass of champagne to add a certain “merriment” to your already merry Christmas. When all is said and done, you will have

“We’re going to build a class around the Christmas dinner and

prepared a veritable banquet fit for any family gathering and learned

bringing the whole family around the table,” Colucci says. “This is

a lot along the way.

something that we do often in Italy.” However, no matter where you hail from, food has the power to bring people together and that’s

“The beautiful part of this kind of cooking class is that at home, we

just what the holidays are for.

are all related — parents, children, cousins — but in this moment, we are not related,” explains the chef. “During the class, strangers

“Traditionally, everywhere in the country that I’ve been I saw a

become friends, and that is the power of food.”

different way of presenting the food,” he says. “But obviously the family-style dinner, presenting all the food on a big table and the

Having grown up on a farm in his home country of Italy, Chef

concept of passing the plate from person to person is the feeling that

Colucci is a firm believer in that power.

we’re trying to achieve.” “That’s really the goal of the course, not only to give everyone more You’ll certainly have a lot of plates to pass once you’re through with

confidence in their cooking skills, but to cook together as friends,”

this class. Over the course of the evening, Chef Colucci will take

he says. “What my family taught me is that it’s more important to

you through each process from beginning to end, starting with the

cook together than to eat together. To cook together is to become

preparation and culminating in dessert, making sure to elaborate

family. You enjoy each other from the beginning to the end; you

on each detail. “I try to teach a little of everything in each course,”

enjoy the food you made together.”

Colucci says. “With the branzino, I teach them knife skills, how to clean, cut and portion the fish. With the turkey, how to brine, how

So come and make some food together with Chef Colucci at the

to prepare and each style of preparation. I like to pass on as much

Four Seasons at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Learn what it takes to

knowledge as I can so the people can take it home and apply it to

cook with those you love, and maybe forge some new friendships in

their own cooking.”

the process, for it is the season of giving and good will toward all people.

Though we’re all free to add our own touches to our holiday dinners, there are definitely some tried and true ways to elicit Christmas cheer. “A lot of red and a lot of gold,” says Colucci. “For me, thinking

For more information, visit

about Christmas, spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg


December 2017

Chef Gian Nicola Colucci



St. Louis’s Ultimate Pink Floyd Tribute Brings Psychedelic Rock Back to the Pageant BY LAUREN HEALEY | ART NATHAN PARKER | LIGHTING EVAN ENDICOTT | MUA KATE CLARK | STYLING DARIN SLYMAN | CLOTHING LINDBERGH | PR JULIE LALLY Of all the great cover bands that call the River City home, perhaps the most iconic is El Monstero: St. Louis’s definitive Pink Floyd tribute band that sells out six nights at the Pageant every December. Featuring some of the most talented musicians in St. Louis, El Monstero continues to reinvent the show year after year. The band began performing in 1999 and has grown into both a holiday and summer tradition for fans of Pink Floyd in St. Louis and the Midwest. El Monstero started as a general classic rock cover band, however; the decision to perform a full show of Pink Floyd songs came organically. “As a four-piece band, we played around town as El Monstero,” says lead vocalist Mark Thomas Quinn. “At the end of our shows, we would add some Pink Floyd songs, which escalated into doing a whole side of ‘Dark Side of the Moon,’ then the whole album. A lot of people were waiting until the end of the show to come in and see that band. At that point, we decided to put on a show of all Pink Floyd songs and see how it went. The show was at Mississippi Nights on Nov. 27, 1999. That show sold out, and we realized we were really onto something.” The following year, El Monstero debuted at the Pageant. “It evolved from one show a year, then two, then three, and now we do six,” Quinn says, adding the band started doing outdoor summer concerts in 2011, but the Pageant remains the band’s “home base.” Flying by the seat of their pants on what started as a “shoestring budget,” Quinn says, “the band got more and more popular,” and the production of the shows evolved. “The production people in town realized, ‘If we want to get our production company involved, this is the hot ticket that everyone wants to see,’ so they kept upping the ante as we went along,” Quinn explains. “Here we are 18 years later, and the show is as good production-wise [including lighting, pyrotechnics and staging] as anything you’re going to see by a national touring act.” To keep the shows fresh after nearly two decades, Quinn says, the band is always pushing the boundaries. “We’re of the age group that when you went to a show, it was a show,” he says. “I always use KISS as an example because when you went to their show, there were flames and stuff blowing up in addition to the music. You were visually stunned by it, and that’s what we want for our audience. People have always had lasers and lights, but we want to hit you over the head with how visually stunning a show can be.” At the Pageant, the nearly three-hour production features mainly the David Gilmour and Roger Waters era of Pink Floyd, featuring songs from the albums “Meddle,” “Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Animals” and “The Wall.” The set list typically contains a few post-Waters numbers and occasionally a song or two from the Syd Barrett days. “I think we’ve had a pretty good hand in helping some songs along that may not have been very big but were great songs, ‘Fearless’ being one of them,” says guitarist and vocalist Jimmy Griffin. “I think of us as curators for their back catalogue. If it were up to me, we’d play more Syd Barrett songs too.” Griffin says backup vocalists Ermine Cannon, Tandra Williams and Coco Soul, who are mainly featured during “Dark Side of the Moon,” are “laser beams of human voices.”


December 2017


From Left Guitarist Bryan Greene of the Wyld Stallyns Keyboardist Bill Reiter of the Urge Lead Vocalist Mark Thomas Quinn of Joe Dirt and Celebration Day Percussionist John Pessoni of the Urge, Stir and Joe Dirt Keyboardist Jake Elking of Buz Saxophonist Dave Farver of Superjam Bassist Kevin Gagnepain of Stir, Whiskey Morning and Joe Dirt Guitarist Jimmy Griffin of the Incurables and Celebration Day Backup Vocalists Ermine Cannon, Tandra Williams and Coco Soul (not pictured) 30

December 2017


“It’s always such a joy to get to sing with the girls,” he says. “If anything’s ever wrong, I know it’s me and not them — they’re just great.” The 30- to 35-song show is an audio, video and tactile experience that complements and enhances the depth of the music of Pink Floyd. Fans can always expect a new stage production with a full cast of characters and special musical guest stars that vary from night to night. Quinn, who also plays rhythm and steel guitar, says the music of Pink Floyd “resonates with people who think of music more cerebrally and intelligently. They don’t just listen to it on the surface but really dig deep and listen to the words, which can operate on so many different levels and take on so many meanings. It really hits people in the heart and the brain; that’s why it’s stood the test of time so much more so than a lot of other classic rock bands.” Griffin, who joined the band in 2006 after being a guest performer the previous two years, says Pink Floyd goes down with “the Beatles and the Stones and that early music that had such an impact on the planet and society. Pink Floyd will be looked at in a couple hundred years the same way we look at Beethoven and Brahms — it’s classical music for a new generation.” “Some of the stuff can get pretty down, pretty dire,” says Griffin, who brings “enthusiasm” to the shows. “A lot of Pink Floyd bands just kind of stand there, much like Pink Floyd does, but I see myself as more of a visual performer. I love it just as much as the audience does, and I think they get that.” Griffin says he is inspired by the connection music offers. “I love looking out and seeing a 14-year-old kid sitting there with his 60-year-old grandfather and digging the same thing,” he says. “Part of me doing these shows is getting to be that 15-year-old kid wanting to step out


December 2017


in front of 2,000 people and play through three Marshall half stacks loud as balls. It’s still being in touch with that kid who wanted to learn how to play guitar.” To prepare for each performance, Griffin says a shot of whiskey or tequila and a cough drop does the trick. “I still get butterflies, but I hate standing around and waiting to play; I’d much rather be out there. I have a little amp upstairs though, and I’ll grab my guitar 15 or 20 minutes before we go on and play for a little while just so I don’t go out there cold.” Meanwhile, Quinn gets into a meditative state and visualizes the show to prepare. “I try to think of every minute of the show before I actually go out and perform,” Quinn says. While production planning starts months in advance, the 12 to 15 band rehearsals don’t begin until after Thanksgiving. “When you’re dealing with eight people in a single band, it’s hard to allot that time for rehearsals, but everybody knows to block out this amount of time this time of year for the shows,” Quinn says. Despite performing in the Lou for nearly two decades, the story behind the band’s name has remained rather shrouded in mystery for many fans. “As I recall,” Quinn begins, “the band Stir — with original El Monstero members Kevin Gagnepain, Andy Schmidt and Brad Booker — had a front-of-house sound guy named Tim

“Pink Floyd will be looked at in a couple hundred years the same way we look at Beethoven and Brahms — it’s classical music for a new generation.” — Jimmy Griffin 34

December 2017

Kresko who’s been running sound for El Monstero since 1999. Tim has a knack for being absurd on the road, and he would go around the dressing rooms and write ‘El Monstero was here’ as kind of a caricature of ‘Kilroy was here.’ Nobody really knew what it meant; it was kind of an inside joke for Tim. So when we formed the band, we used that moniker Tim created. The full name was actually ‘El Monstero y Los Masked Avengers’ but we dropped that last part.” Don’t miss the best psychedelic rock concert this holiday season at the Pageant with shows at 8 p.m. Dec. 2123 and 28-30.

For more information, visit or


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Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy

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December 2017


Going to ‘Church’ With

Saint Rita Parlor ST. LOUIS NATIVE NEIL BARDON FILLS GAPS IN FASHION INDUSTRY BY LAUREN HEALEY ART LAUREN HEALEY In 2013, Florrisant native Neil Bardon founded Saint Rita Parlor, a concept brand offering “an intimate bond between the designer and consumer that [didn’t previously] exist.” Named in honor of his grandmother Rita, who was “extremely religious,” he explains, “She was a saint to me. And parlors are the warmest and most inviting place in your house — an intimate place you share with close friends and family.” Bardon, who is also the brand’s creative director, started the company due to “gaps in the fashion and design industry. … Things are getting churned out so quickly and without any sort of intent more for profit than integrity.” While many designers regurgitate designs season after season, Bardon prefers to take things slowly, creating new eyewear collections as he sees fit. “When [brands create a new line] every six months, it’s not enough time to even think about it, let alone execute it efficiently,” he explains. “It’s important that I have a hand in everything in the brand. It starts with eyewear, and I always do accouterments [including made-to-order clothing and leather items] for each of my collections to show the range of my design strengths as well as tie in the concept and articulate the story and narratives behind the brand.” For his debut collection, Bardon created a clothing collection inspired by the 1940s. “I never studied fashion; I had only admired it from afar and knew what I liked,” he says. “Each one of my collections in succession corresponds with my grandmother’s life. The new collection is the Florissant collection [inspired by the] 1950s, [then the next collection will be] the ’60s, and so on and so forth.” Bardon is not currently producing full production runs of clothing in an effort to focus on eyewear, but he has developed other avenues of creation. By the beginning of 2018, Saint Rita Parlor will be a “fullon” apothecary perfumery. “I launched my signature fragrance last year, and since that went completely crazy in a good way, I created incense, candles and burning papers that all tie into my grandmother and my childhood.” The signature fragrance includes notes of whiskey, tobacco and rose, inspired by his grandmother tending to her rose garden while drinking a whiskey and water and smoking a hand-rolled tobacco cigarette. His second fragrance, called Rita’s Car, “smells exactly like my grandmother’s ’86 Cadillac used to — leather, smoke and musk.”


December 2017


Much of Bardon’s inspiration to create Saint Rita Parlor came from a near-death experience in 2008. “I blacked out at the top of a staircase and went comatose for four or five days,” he says. “I woke up to a room full of people and a priest standing over me in what was a very surreal moment. My grandmother had been staying at my parents’ house that night, and she may have saved my life along with everyone in my family who was praying for me. She was very saint-like in that moment, so I wanted to pay homage to her and her life. If she had not been there that night, I wouldn’t have started this brand.” The most important part of any “artifact,” as Bardon refers to pieces in his collections, is “When you buy something, you want it to stand the test of time and for it to be passed down; that’s the philosophy of my brand. I’m not just a fashion designer. I create things that can visually carry the brand’s narrative. What I’d like to obtain in the future is kind of the level of a modern day Yves Saint Laurent where I can still maintain that classic style but not stick with just one period or era — it adapts with the time and lives in the moment. An exclusive, limited run of ‘artifacts’ is what I’m going for.” Sustainability is key to the brand and Bardon’s lifestyle. “I have one outfit and have been wearing it for several years. When I get holes in anything, I patch them. I try to be sustainable and not focus on how the industry is trying to change people’s minds and tell them what they can and can’t wear or buy. The style I aspire to is very avant-garde in that I want people to look into what I make and not necessarily get the whole picture but want to seek it out for themselves. That’s why there’s no ‘about’ section on the website.” Bardon says music paved the way for his interest in fashion. “My friends’ older brothers and my dad got me into music at a young age,” he says. “That really shaped me from the time I was in third grade and showed up in a Grateful Dead T-shirt with a pocket chain wallet and long hair, and everyone in my school didn’t know what to make of it. I’ve always been kind of a nonconformist.” Saint Rita Parlor is a labor of love that Bardon undertakes alone. “I’m at home shipping orders, printing labels and doing inventory; every day is a different job,” he explains. “I don’t have to hire a creative director, a private designer, a PR person, a marketing person or a sales rep; I do all that myself.” As for what the future may hold for Saint Rita Parlor, Bardon says, “The cool thing about the future is that it’s always changing and never certain.” For more information, visit


December 2017


Sean Coray Will 'Find A Way' EP Release Show Dec. 8 at the Stage at KDHX BY LAUREN HEALEY ART COURTESY OF SEAN CORAY Singer-songwriter Sean Coray has overcome a lifetime of adversity

see my color, they expect me to come off singing some R&B or

to become the man he is today. “My real mom never really wanted

something, but when you actually hear my music, it’s the opposite

me, so a different family took me in when I was younger,” he says.

of what you’d expect.”

“I bounced around a lot as a kid, and I grew up feeling like I didn’t belong. But I don’t like to sound sappy; everybody goes through

Coray has written about 60 songs, “but they’re not all finished,”


he says. “Sometimes, I’ll come up with something and sit on it and come back to it a few years later.”

Coray draws inspiration from his desire to simply do something good with his life. “Maybe there’s someone out there who’s strug-

Despite his evident talents, the musician has never studied music

gling or growing up rough like I did and sees me succeed or even

theory. “I’ve always just played by ear, taught myself and learned

just playing at some café, and that may give him hope,” he says.

from the people I’ve played with,” he says. “I know that more than

“When you’re doing something that you love and makes you happy,

one note makes a chord, and then I just build from there.”

you’re putting out good energy into the world.” Coray spent about a year and a half in California pursuing his Most of Coray’s songs focus on love because “that’s what I hope

dream, but family and fate drew him back to the Midwest. “Cali-

to find someday.” While some of his lyrics come from personal

fornia was a cool moment but I went out there with a certain game

experience, others are merely wishful thinking. “I have a song

plan, and life doesn’t always work out like that,” he says. “Califor-

called ‘Good Girl,’ which talks about how you find a girl and you

nia’s expensive, so I ended up sleeping in truck stops and Wal-Mart

ask her out. In the song, that guy’s been outgoing his entire life, so

parking lots and crashing on musician friends’ couches. I started to

it’s about me in that I wish I could be that guy rather than the guy

have doubts, and my grandma was sick too, so I decided it was best

who’s super shy.”

to come back.”

Planning to become a musician since he could comprehend what

Although Coray would love to tour the country or open for John

he was hearing, he says, “My adopted parents were into old-school

Mayer in front of thousands of people, his ultimate goal is to simply

music, and they used to play a lot of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke,

get by while pursuing his dream. “I feel like society’s version of

Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles,” which inspired

success has become pretty jaded over the years,” he says. “In all

his lifelong dream.

honesty, if I’m just able to pay my bills with my music, then I would be happy.”

Although Coray began singing when he was 8 years old, he only picked up a guitar in the past seven years. “A friend of mine told

Help Coray make his dreams come true by checking out his “Find

me I needed to learn an instrument because the moment you do,

A Way” EP Release Show at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at the Stage

it creates demand for you and allows you to write your own songs,

at KDHX.

opening up other avenues.” For more information, visit John Mayer is currently Coray’s biggest influence, but he listens to a bit of everything. “Jazz, blues, country, folk — I take all of that and mix it in with my style,” he explains. “A lot of times when people 42

December 2017






Holiday Tradition Treat Your Sweet Tooth at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s BY LAUREN HEALEY & RYAN MCBRIDE ART COURTESY OF HANDCRAFTED BY BISSINGER'S


Chocolate has always been synonymous with the holiday season, and Bissinger’s has long been synonymous with St. Louis. So now that the season is upon us, it stands to reason that you should head over to Handcrafted by Bissinger’s to take advantage of your sweet tooth and the sweet teeth of everyone on your nice list this year. Bissinger’s Chief Chocolatier Dave Owens can tell you just how chocolate and the season of giving go hand in hand. And don’t miss the MAX Toys For Tots event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s in the Central West End.


December 2017




Why is chocolate a quintessential holiday gift?

Tell me about the history of Bissinger’s.

I think it really comes down to tradition. One of the greatest

The history of the name and the family goes back to the

gifts you can give to someone is an assortment of chocolates.

mid-1600s when the Bissinger factory was awarded the crest

What we find is that people really tie those traditions back to

of “Confiseur Imperial” to the court of King Louis XIV. We

memories of the past when they were small children and their

still use that crest today on our boxes and on the website; it has

parents or grandparents were gifting them with chocolate for

real roots in history. The family came to the U.S. in 1845 and

the holidays. Our biggest time of the year is the holiday season

set up shop in Cincinnati. Karl Bissinger came to St. Louis in

when everyone is giving gifts to their families, friends and

1927 and set up shop in the Central West End.

business associates, so when people think about what to give, they think about those traditions.

How has Bissinger’s evolved in St. Louis? We started as a single confectionary shop, Karl Bissinger’s

Are there certain types of chocolate that pair best with certain types of wine?

French Confections, and over the decades, became a mainstay

It’s certainly subjective to each person’s palette, but I find

that perfect piece of chocolate or that perfect gift that conveyed

wine that is either fruit-forward or has a bit of residual sugar

the way you felt about a person. That has gone on for the last

pairs best with chocolate. Wine that is super dry causes the

90 years, but we have evolved during that time in that now we

chocolate to become kind of acrid or astringent and clash with

have catalogs all over the country so people who were maybe

one another. With wine pairings, the goal is for the two parts to

from St. Louis originally have the ability to buy our chocolate

come together and be better than they were individually; one

and ship it anywhere in the country. That was a big step in our

and one should make three. We produce a lot of different types

evolution as was the number of stores over time. Right now,

of chocolate, and often they are chocolate and something-type

we have three shops: Plaza Frontenac, our production facility

conceptions so we ask, “Is that a dark chocolate, milk chocolate

at 1600 N. Broadway and finally we have Handcrafted, which

raspberry creme or is that a dark chocolate bar with blood

is the evolution of that original Central West End store. Since

orange and rosemary?” So when our creations are chocolate

its inception, it was about being a cafe, wine bar and dessert

plus [something], that has a big influence on what it’s paired

lounge, so with Handcrafted, we took that to another level,

with. When we talk about those complementary flavors, if I

offering more food, more wine, more desserts and more of an

wanted a wine with a little more blueberry, I’d pair it with some

interactive experience for the consumer. It’s a fun space where

chocolate covered blueberries, or maybe it has notes of cherry,

you can sample a number of different wines and pair those

and I’ll pair it with our Tart Cherry & Cocoa Nib Crisp bar.

with any number of chocolate samples and find what appeals to

in the community as a go-to place for people when they wanted

your palette.

Do certain chocolates pair well with more savory foods? Chocolate has an origin of being savory; it was used originally

Why is Toys For Tots in line with the Bissinger’s brand?

by the Aztecs as a beverage that was very savory and had chilies

Bissinger’s has always been a part of the St. Louis community,

and spices as part of the ingredient list, so it lends itself to a lot

and I think that the Toys For Tots program is just that as well:

of savory recipes. We’ve produced many things over time where

It’s part of our community and gives back to people in need.

it’s used really more as an ingredient, not as a sweet. We’re us-

There’s a good synergy there in how we feel about the St. Louis

ing it for the cacao — the ground-up chocolate itself, not nec-

area and how good it’s been to the Bissinger’s brand as well as

essarily the sugar — so we’ll end up using a darker chocolate.

Toys For Tots and how good they’ve been to St. Louis.

I just did a dinner with a restaurant here in town and we used ground chocolate as a crust for some lamb. As an ingredient, it pairs well with a lot of different foods.


December 2017




Science Uncorked Hosted by the Saint Louis Science Center, this event featured over 70 wine and spirit tastings, small plates, science demonstrations and live music.


December 2017




Anheuser-Busch Holiday Lights The Anheuser-Busch Brewery displays thousands of holiday lights in its historic setting each year from mid-November through the end of December.


December 2017


Enjoy the ultimate evening out. Then stay the night.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” - JUDY GARLAND "Meet Me In St. Louis"



Overnight stay and 2 party tickets. Book at



On sale at

Ring in the new year at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch with the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party, featuring Dr. Zhivegas and Groovethang. The celebration starts at 8:00 PM on December 31, 2017, and runs until 1:00 AM. Enjoy a full dinner buffet, open bar, Champagne toast, party favors and confetti drop at midnight. To book or for more information, visit or call 800 233 1234.



HYATT REGENCY ST. LOUIS AT THE ARCH 315 Chestnut Street St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 63102


December 2017

Ultimate New Year’s Eve package available at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch only. Room package must be prepaid at time of booking and deposit is non-refundable after 12/14/2017. Party only tickets non-refundable. Must be at least 21 years of age or older to purchase tickets and attend the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party. Guests must provide valid photo identification at check-in. Wristbands are required for admission to party and all guests must be present to receive wristbands at check-in. The trademarks HYATT®, Hyatt Regency® and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2017 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

December 2017  
December 2017