On Tuesday, October 8th, The Bacon Brothers took the stage at The Folly in downtown Kansas City, MO to a well-mannered and vibrant audience. (Even the couple dressed like bacon added a certain je ne sais quoi. For those of you wondering, yes, this would be Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael, who have been making gorgeous Americana music since 1995. So, yes, your head has been under a rock and it’s time to jam out. These men have got some chops, and they’re wonderfully entertaining.
I sometimes think back to how often I made my family listen to the Do You Feel and Hello, Good Friend albums on repeat during my teen years. I was angsty, and it made for good road trip music. And over the years, I’ve been nostalgic for those albums as The Rocket Summer has continue to release ace albums that inspire human connection on several unique levels. I was so happy to head out and support Bryce Avary during The Rocket Summer’s stop in Kansas City to play The Riot Room on October 8th.
I ended the most beautiful autumn evening belting out songs I sang twelve, thirteen years ago. Songs that made me feel like I was invincible, like I had to leave Kansas City to find myself. Like Kansas City had ever been a small town in any way. And here, I found myself singing this song in the same city, the city I have chosen to reside in during my adult years, the city that has brought me so much abundance and revelations about myself. Sure, I spent my time on both coasts, but I value this city. So I might not agree with the exact sentiment of the song, but the sense of adventure it invokes is a tale as old as time.
Between crowd pleasers like “Break It Out”, “Hold On”, “Do You Feel”, “So Much Love”, “Tell Me Something Good”, and more, Avary sprinkled his newer tracks, all of which boast the same, smart writing, intense percussion, and incredible amounts of emotion. “Morning Light”, “Shatter Us”, and “Wannalife” brought out some of Avary’s most recent art, an album we have been swimming in since August. Bryce Avary’s voice is all the instrument you need. Witness that in any number of his songs, his robust vocal ability truly captivating any audience, large or small. But his is some of the most elevated lyrical writing I have ever heard, and he consistently impresses with unique and vibrant instrumentals.
Throughout the extended set — Avary stayed for a proper encore, stretching his performance past the official curfew and reveling in the way the crowd had made him feel that evening — the energy and events that inspired each specific song were so ridiculously palpable. A night like this, surrounded by an intimate crowd in a small venue in the heart of America, that’s the kind of night that lives on. His music impacted my life majorly, and I’d be a fool to think I was the only one.
On Monday, October 7th, we escaped the ever-more-frigid midwestern air to enjoy some of the oughts’ most incredible emo tracks. The Early November was performing at The Rino in North Kansas City, MO, and — as big-time fans for over a decade — you bet we were there, surrounded by a room full of people who all had the same nostalgia while singing. In support was Have Mercy. Highlights below.
This time of year doesn’t often come with epic, robustly-arranged tracks that could serve as intense ballads in our lives. And that’s absolutely fine in most cases, but when we first put our ears on rock musician Jeremy Elliot‘s debut release “The Depp End”, we realized that this was a hole in our 2019 repertoire that previously needed to be filled.
This is the type of song that makes you wonder what Elliot’s voice has been hiding away doing all this time, and also marvel at his attention to detail and affinity for providing goosebump-inducing melodies to his audience. Big, bold, and beautiful.
Next Tuesday, October 8th, join us at the intimate Folly Theater in Kansas City as we welcome The Bacon Brothers on their latest tour, The Shaky Ground Tour. The Philadelphia-based genre-bending collective — comprised of Michael Bacon, Kevin Bacon, Paul Guzzone, Tim Quick, Frank Vilardi, and Joe Mennonna — has been lending their talent to the advancing Americana scene for decades. Though the two namesakes of the act have been making music together for most of their lives, they began to record music with this project in 1995.
So, if you haven’t heard of them yet, then your head is officially under a rock.
The perfect news in all of this? They have been touring pretty heavily as of late and — though originally they were only to come as close as Des Moines to the actual heart of America — added us to the tour a little later in the game, which made our hearts absolutely swoon.
Their latest single “Play!” that was released earlier this summer received critical acclaim and served as the backdrop to hot summer nights at the tail end of our warm months. Just enough of a boogie flare wraps itself in a warm embrace around such a beautiful chord progression, and we’re just so excited to see this one performed live.
Take an evening off and visit these Grammy-nominated musicians on Tuesday evening, October 8th. Tickets are available here.
See you on Tuesday! In the meantime, keep up with the brothers here!