To round out the month of September – and to unofficially prepare the city for BEY DAY (October 1) – Bishop Briggs and MisterWives brought The Don’t Look Down Tour to Grinder’s in The Crossroads. On a beautiful evening, against the backdrop of a watercolor sunset, Bishop Briggs brought her quintessential high-octane energy to the stage.
With added block visuals and sharp, dominating lighting, her moody vocals swayed the audience into a fiery mood. She rounded out the 16-song set with the notorious hit “River” before whispering a humbled (and cute) “Thank you” to the audience. As she breathed heavily through her bows, her beaming smile could not be contained.
Photo highlights below.
Setlist Art of Survival Wild Horses Cherry on Top MY SHINE Baby JEKYLL & HIDE Baggage High Water TATTOOED ON MY HEART / superhuman Reborn Hallowed Ground White Flag / Hi Lo (Hollow) Take Me to Church (Hozier cover) Bad Revolution River
On the Eve of BeyDay in Kansas City, MisterWives and Bishop Briggs brought the girl power to one of the most iconic stages in the city with The Don’t Look Down Tour. Tucked away into The Crossroads District sits Grinders KC, a mulch-floored, sunset ceiling-ed venue that is perfect this time of year. Misterwives headlined, regaling the crowd with some of our nostalgic favorites peppered in among their latest, admittedly more introspective, releases. Their stage performance of “SUPERBLOOM” was the most magical moment of the show for me, as we all gazed up in appreciation at an almost-full moon over the stage.
MisterWives’ music reminds us to get in touch with who we really are. Vocalist Mandy Lee endlessly captivates with her ethereal vocals and enigmatic energy. The chemistry between Etienne Bowler (drums), William Hehir (bass), Mike Murphy (sax/keys), and Marc Campbell (guitar) is really fun to watch, as they dance around each other and stay in communication throughout the show.
The band has been through some growing pains in recent years, effectively losing their keyboardist Jesse Blum, experiencing relationship woes between band members, and label drama. But that hasn’t stopped them yet, and those facts show no signs of slowing them down. MisterWives – now more than ever – present as a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to watch their magic continue to expand minds for many years to come.
Setlist Out of Your Mind Dagger Where Do We Go From Here? / rock bottom All the Same Why Why Why Sideways Trip Around The Sun Silver Lining Trigger Pull Too Late Ultraviolet SUPERBLOOM Our Own House Reflections Other Side End of My Rope Nosebleeds
If you happened to leave the show without a smile on your face, I can only assume you are battling some horrendously painful ailment at the moment, and for that, I give you space.
Tuesday night was one for the ages at Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO. In an unexpectedly beautiful way, 3 Doors Down helped us celebrate the end of summer with a full rendition of their 2003 debut album The Better Life, as well as other favorites. 20 years of pure joy filled the outdoor venue, coupled with stunning light design and a refreshing breeze that made everything feel like an actual dream.
Since 1990 – give or take a few years here and there – Candlebox (updated lineup: Kevin Martin, Adam Kury, Brian Quinn, Island Styles, BJ Kerwin) has been lighting the stage with its endearing (and enduring) brand of Pacific Northwest grunge rock. Consistently, they’ve brought heavy-hitting sets to dedicated crowds with hints of glam metal and blues in tow.
What the band has not always conveyed in their performance, is a sense of nostalgia or wide-spanning appreciation. Citing the pandemic – and other circumstances over the years – lead singer Kevin Martin took things a little slower, leaving space for reflection during their set at Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO on Wednesday, September 6.
Martin told us about his flawed and wonderful immigrant grandmother and his incredible parents – including a wonderful anecdote about a cradle-robbing father. He later took time to appreciate the people he – and we all – have lost too soon. Grief is a tricky bitch, and we have all been touched by it over the years. A sense of true empathy fell like a blanket over the Theater, on what was – admittedly – one of the most temperate and enjoyable evenings of the summer. (Despite the additional quilt of smog over us, brought down from the fires in Canada. Oops.)
Setlist Don’t You Change Blossom No Sense Elegante Arrow Mothers Dream He Calls Home Cover Me Far Behind You
With COVID cases on the rise (despite what your local news might omit from its reports), photographers were not allowed a wide variety of angles to shoot from. However, the energy and the wild abandon are palpable through our Candlebox highlights, below.
When we heard Yellowcard was bringing in the big guns for their Pier 17 show in New York City, we knew we had to be a part of it. After six years away from touring, the east coast got to celebrate with the band as they honored 20 years of Ocean Avenue — a street many Brooklynites are familiar with. (Yes, we know many places have streets called “Ocean Avenue,” but we choose to claim it when we can.)
Joined by pop punk heavyweights Mayday Parade and Story of the Year, Yellowcard captivated the city crowd with their talent on stage all evening, as the lights slowly dimmed over the city. Their musicianship re-ignited a purity and interest – a spark – in music that had been feeling a little murky lately.
What an unbelievable experience, what a beautiful night.
Setlist Way Away Breathing Lights and Sounds Believe Rough Landing, Holly Fighting Five Becomes Four Holly Wood Died One Year, Six Months Hang You Up (with Derek Sanders) Empty Apartment Play Video Childhood Eyes Light Up the Sky Always Summer Awakening Back Home Encore: With You Around Only One Ocean Avenue
Rachel Burns knows passion. She knows intensity, appreciation, humor, and life. Her music has reached a unicorn “pop-soul-cabaret” genre-bending classification, relatably inspired by her everyday life. As a mother of two and cancer survivor, she could just as easily sing the blues — and most likely very beautifully. Instead, she takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to her art, the culmination of which comes to a head with her new EP release, What a Nasty Woman.
From the very first staccato notes of “Mansplainin'” – which any female-identifying human can probably identify with – through the weight of “Triple D’s” (pun intended), and through to the fade-out of wild-west inspired “Sundown Of The Macho Man,” you are in for a damn treat. Burns has brought just as much sass to her sound as she has talent, and these songs will have you revving up for the weekend the right way. (HELLO to her amped-up version of “All Shook Up”!)
“I like to empower people to empower other people. I’d like to uplift us all with this project,” Burns shares. “When I would dress up as Wonder Woman, I held up a giant sign that said, ‘Time to bust out the golden lasso of truth’ in glitter. Wonder Woman’s superpower was telling the truth. The truth is really powerful; it can break down all kinds of barriers, and I think that’s the kernel of a lot of my music: Truth telling. We’re going to laugh, dance, and be real – and not pussyfoot around anything!”
And pussyfoot she does not. Double entendres like the reference to fingers as “flacid, flimsy” and “soft, limp” in “Tiny Hands” and the entirety of “Triple D’s” are scattered across the 6-track EP, adding just as much joy and giggle to the aftermath of your listen as inspiration and empowerment. Her impressive vocal range is displayed to perfection on What a Nasty Woman, from the soft disposition of “Pollyanna’s Lament” to the deep, guttural performance of “Tiny Hands” and beyond. With nostalgic instrumentation that sets the stage for her theatrical, all-encompassing songs, you may just find yourself with an earworm or two.