story and photos by Johnny Pelhank
If you’re not out enjoying every beautiful fall evening Saint Louis throws at you, you’re really missing out. It’s a time to hit the streets and finally go to all the spots you’ve been meaning to and enjoy the true beauty of Midwest culture.
On this late summer night on Cherokee street we find ourselves at a show full of music accompanied by electric visuals including the music video work of Mike Roth. With the success of his birthday show, Apollo 16 last year, Mike took it upon himself to make this an annual show. Take a great bar with enough space to throw an intimate show and a lineup of some of the greatest talent Saint Louis knows, and Apollo 17 is born.
Me and my co-exister Greg, got there a little early and we talked to Mike for a bit. As we talked at the bar, behind us on the wall played all of Mikes latest music videos on a large screen. One of the videos that played he said no one had ever seen before, and he didn’t plan on releasing it either. This was a video he had done with the local artist Tef Poe. Tef is known for his activism in the community after the Mike Brown incidents in 2014, and creating positive music to boot. And the music video fit his style perfectly. We picked our jaws off the floor after watching it and Mike explained the story behind it. And since he’s not releasing it I’m not exactly sure if its ok to talk about, but this video was so damn good! It’s a shame. Mike told us it was about the understanding of the white perspective on the black communities and specifically points out some crazy real events that happen right here in St. Louis. It presented messages of the nearsightedness point of view white people still see and the need to educate so these racist traditions finally come to an end. I got all of this from just video too. There was no sound playing at the time. The music that was playing, boomed from the basement stage beneath us where DJ Hood Bunny was warming up the crowd between sets. On the bill was Bloom, MBz Live, Hello JiZoo, Tonina Saputo and Mad Keys.
A full of a collection of hip hop artists curated by the Mike Roth AKA Louis Quatorze. In its second coming this show is a milestone for local hip hop artists. I’m still just coming down from last years show that had performances by Najii Person, Less, J’Demul and Mvstermind.
As we finished exchanging stories at the bar we were made aware that Bloom was about to go on. Bloom, who recently became a mother, hadn’t performed since having her baby and everyone was really looking forward to her performance.
Everyone rushed downstairs. Bloom took the stage in a studded black dress looking completely sexy. She gave a very powerful performance to make any working mother feel her passion and love and make any guy feel bad for not giving it enough. She sings from her heart and soul and you can tell she was born to do this.
The next noteworthy artist was Hello JiZoo. He started off slow bringing out his acoustic and right as he’s ready to turn it up, DJ Hood Bunny is nowhere to be found! JiZoo had the crowd chanting for the beat as DJ Hood Bunny came running through the back entrance. He was back on it with no delay. He didn’t miss a beat. With tantalizing lyrics and an energy that got the crowded basement moving despite the rising temperatures, JiZoos performance was one to talk about. You can tell he creates from the heart and is passionate about his music and his life. Accompanied by a full band and his girl singing by his side, JiZoo entertained to the fullest.
Apollo 17 was another success this year. And with the host working so closely with the hip hop community it’s no wonder how he’s able to pull together a lineup of amazing Midwest talent.
All congratulations to Mike for making this show happen. And a happy birthday is due as well. I can’t wait for Apollo 18.
Mike Roth- www.louisquatorze.org
Hello JiZoo – http://www.goodvibesdealer.com/
MBZ live – www.Reverbnation.com/iammbz
Tonina Saputo – https://www.iamtonina.com
Mad Keys – https://itsmadkeys.com