This weekend was one for the books. A massive crowd gathered at The Truman in Kansas City, Missouri to enjoy a sold-out show featuring CVBZ and Teddy Swims. We happened upon the artist and his band during their Bonnaroo set this summer, and have been singing their praises ever since. His powerhouse vocals and humble nature, and everyone’s massive musical talent, are endearing as hell.
The band walked in at the start, followed by the charming lead singer. He was propped on two crutches, with two bare feet wrapped in athletic tape. You could tell the crowd was confused, but everyone’s attention was immediately drawn to the energy of the band.
After singing a bit, he addressed his bare feet, the clear elephant in the room. He told us that he sustained an injury while on a tour stop in Las Vegas. Instead of getting his ankle checked out, he chose to favor his leg and limp in the coming days. Today, however, a trip to urgent care revealed that, because he did not seek medical care for this first injury, he now had two sprained ankles. While he spent a few songs on his feet, there was a loveseat conveniently located by the microphone and a pile of water bottles for him to enjoy as he entertained the crowd.
His set included a few lively covers, “Broke,” the sultry “Two Moods” and crowd favorites “Simple Things” and “Bed on Fire.”
On September 23rd, Lizzy McAlpine and Carol Ades took the stage at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia. Photographer Jay Lindblad was on-hand to experience the magic of the evening. He was enamored by the vocal nuances of each artist, who displayed live performance tactics that would indicate music industry experience far beyond their years. The mood of the evening was blissful despite the “sad girl” ambiance, and we got some snapshots to prove it.
On Friday, September 23rd, the rock aficionados of Kansas City fled to the Midland Theatre in search of a beauty they hadn’t witnessed in years. The Gaslight Anthem recently announced their full-time status together again after a 4-year tour hiatus. Just two weeks into this leg of the tour, they almost immediately had to cancel a show. It had been scheduled earlier in the week in Denver, and openers Tigers Jaw were able to finagle a last-minute headlining set for all ticketholders to the original show to attend in addition to the reschedule.
While they didn’t want to postpone the show altogether, lead singer Brian Fallon had to keep himself and the fans safe and encourage his healing while he dealt with some form of sickness. (Not Covid, but he was a big congested.) Fallon had quite a bit to say about the fan reaction to that decision, which was entirely supported by his empathetic – and emphatic – fans in the heart of America. He even took time during the set to explain that – while he wasn’t at 100% quite yet – he was doing his absolute best on stage because he missed this crowd in this particular city.
Whether it was pandering or not, his stories were sincere, the joy on everyone’s faces was moving, and the night was a blissful continuance of a band we have all come to know and love.
The evening of September 15th was a night to remember. Idles made a special appearance at the historic Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, and brought some high energy with them. Photographer Anthony Mulcahy nabbed some action shots for us to enjoy.
Who was a band or artist you played on repeat in your adolescence? Were you band or genre-loyal in your teens? Did you cling to lyrics, composition, or a specific type of energy to help inspire you and get you through the insanity of high school? Chances are, many millennials are getting into their feels thinking about emo and emo-adjacent music right now. A genre known for hosting nasally voices, lyrics that utilize a person’s entire vocabulary, titles that are longer than most novels, and theatrics that harkened a bit of darkness. While Panic! at The Disco absolutely belongs in this genre, lead singer (and now solo artist) Brendon Urie’s voice didn’t quite belong in the “nasally” category, as was the case for a handful of others who dominated the genre in the aughts.
2006 brought us “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” an edgy track that immediately caught my attention, with a music video that utilized more stage makeup than a three-ring circus. In the words of Blades of Glory’s Chazz Michael Michaels, “it’s provocative.” Emo kids rejoiced as they saw themselves–their hair, at the very least–in the music videos and performances that ensued over the years from Panic. Even with the band’s evolution – from a band to a (mostly) solo act, with phenomenal cohorts, session musicians, and tour players, and as they’ve dipped their toes into different genres and sounds – their fanbase has held strong.
February of 2019 was the last time Urie made an appearance in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Aside from a less crowded atmosphere on the evening of September 13th, the crowd was no less invigorated and was loud enough to cause a visceral reaction from the entertainer multiple times. He looked shocked, he noted that he was impressed, and the pure joy on his face could be felt all the way “in the back back back back.”
Panic! at The Disco has always done its best to incorporate a wide range of tracks from various titles in every single one of their shows. While the Viva Las Vengeance tour was pretty meticulously planned – from pyrotechnics to sound effects, lighting and confetti – there is still wiggle room for a variety of songs to be interspersed depending on the date. Our stop seemed particularly magical, as the crowd sang along to the following tracks.
The tour itself – as high energy and incredible as the performance has been – has experienced some setbacks over the first few weeks. As most may know by now, two dates were postponed because of Covid, and the night after they were in Kansas City, there was a small fire incident on stage in Minnesota. And still, Brendon moves on with the energy and enthusiasm that we have come to know and love him for.
There’s something magical that happens when you get a trio of powerhouse female musicians together. When they all take their enthusiasm for their art and tour together, it can be an invigorating experience. Photographer Christie McMenamin captured shimmering moments from the final night of the Wild Hearts Tour in Central Park, featuring Julien Baker, Angel Olsen, and Sharon Van Etten.