Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre Celebrated 30 Years and a Return to Live Shows With El Monstero Saturday Night

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

 

–by Robert Shaw

–Photos by Keith Brake

 

Saturday night’s opening show for the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater was an amazing way to open the facilities return to live music. One of St. Louis’ greatest venues for live music did not disappoint. Employees were friendly and helpful as always. The show featured two of St, Louis’ top cover bands (El Monstero, 20 years together and The Schwag, together an amazing 30 years). Neither band disappointed. The Schwag opened the show covering The Grateful Dead. Their set got the crowd into a rocking mood featuring fine musicianship and outstanding vocals.

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

As evening gave way to nightfall the crowd hummed with excitement. This was my first El Monstero show, being a huge Pink Floyd fan, I anxiously awaited what I had heard was a show that is unmatched by anyone other than Dave Gilmore and Pink Floyd, itself. I was not to be disappointed.

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

The band took to the stage with a roar of audience approval. Then the magic began. An epic light show and surreal images flashed and ran behind the music giving the effect of a full-on Pink Floyd show.

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

I am almost positive Roger Waters and Dave Gilmore weren’t performing at the show Saturday night. While I jest, the quality of the music was as good as I have ever heard. While I must admit, when Rogers and Gilmore were playing together, I was either too broke or working and never saw the two of them play together live. I own all of Floyd’s albums, and have had since the 70s.

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

Here are just a few of the evening’s highlights. The song “Young Lust” brought out the El Monstero dancers, who were featured throughout the evening and added to the visual appeal and kinetic energy of the show. A rendition of “Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2”, complete with a giant headmaster glaring out at the crowd and yelling at the laddie behind the shed and was introduced by a helicopter fly-over. “Comfortably Numb”, “Have a Cigar”, “Money”, and “Us and Them” were spot on. “Wish You Were Here” featured photos of folks who had passed and was presented as a tribute to a band members father, a moment of reflection in a so full of energy and activity that if you blinked you missed an element of entertainment.

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

Even with my history of listening to Pink Floyd, when I closed my eyes and simply listened to El Monstero I literally couldn’t tell the difference in the music. If El Monstero isn’t the nation’s best Pink Floyd cover band you couldn’t prove it by me.

El Monstero performing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saturday to open for live shows again Photo by Keith Brake/KBP Studios

Congratulations on 30 years of great shows goes out to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. My thanks go out to all the excellent musicians and outstanding workers who made Saturday night a memorable event for this old rocker.

El Monstero Setlist:

Coming Back to Life

Welcome to the Machine

Another Brick in the Wall Pt.1

The Happiest Days of Our Lives

Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2

Empty Spaces

Young Lust

Echoes – Set the Controls

Take It Back

Shine on You Crazy Diamond – Pts 1-5

Have A Cigar

Astronomy Domine

Wish You Were Here

Fearless

The Nile Song

Hey You

Not Now John

Run Like Hell

Dark Side of the Moon

ENCORE:

Learning to Fly

Free Four

Comfortably Numb

5 thoughts on “Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre Celebrated 30 Years and a Return to Live Shows With El Monstero Saturday Night

  • July 28, 2021 at 2:16 pm
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    Hi, me and my husband attended the concert that night and we have gone too many of their concerts. They are honestly the best there is and always put on a fantastic show. I am wondering if you know who thought of the whole butterfly theme of the night? I am asking because my husband recently lost his mom in June of 2020 and she would come to the El monstero concerts with us and since her passing we feel we always get a sign from her through butterflies wherever we go and when we came that night and we saw the Cocoon on the big screen and then changed into a butterfly we felt that was a sign that she was there with us, it was so strange how the rest of the evening continued to have a butterfly theme. It meant the world to us and we will never forget that night!! Thank you, Rebecca Hoffman

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  • July 28, 2021 at 2:52 pm
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    Rebecca, I saw an interview a day or two before the show where Kevin (bassist) said the concert theme was rebirth. A nod to coming back to live music and community after last year, and he mentioned how they do the tributes always (summer show) to those we’ve lost, too. I’m sorry for you guys’ loss and am sure she was with you there, as my daddy was with me!

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  • July 28, 2021 at 4:30 pm
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    Oh I see, yes I can see that! Definitely rebirth from what we all experienced last year!! Thank you so much!! Yes, I agree! We love the tributes! We came to one of the El monstero concerts and my mother-in-law was there with us and she sent in a photo of my dad who passed away and 2001 and I didn’t know that she did that and when I saw his picture up there it was definitely an emotional moment so my husband sent in a photo of his mom to be shown at this concert that we just went to but unfortunately it wasn’t shown on the big screen, my husband thinks it had something to do with I’m not sending it through jpeg through email he thinks he sent it in too soon, right when they announced sending in photos so we were a little bummed not to see her photo up there but when we saw all the butterflies we felt she was definitely there with us!!

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  • July 28, 2021 at 10:43 pm
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    My step daughter saw your requests for pictures of loved ones and sent in her dad’s pic, my late husband. He loved Pink Floyd so much and that song, Wish You Were Here, has come to mean a lot in our family. I didn’t know she had done that but my nephew happened to be at the concert and was filming that song and he was so shocked to see his Uncle Mike front and center on the big screen. He posted the video on Facebook and tagged the family so we all got to see it. What a wonderful surprise. I’m very sorry for the loss of your father as well.

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  • July 31, 2021 at 11:35 pm
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    My wife and I first experienced El Monstero at the Gilloiz theater in Springfield, Mo. four years ago. We were hooked. They’re not just a cover band, they make that music come alive through their own talent.
    Since then we have seen them twice in Springfield and at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. We were set to see their show on March 14th 2020 in Springfield and March 13th, the state practically shut down. That sucked. So imagine our glee and excitement when we watched them perform last weekend!! Wouldn’t of missed for the world!!!

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