If you have yet to hear of Jensen McRae, then you are in for a treat. You have been missing out on one of the most brilliant new talents to grace the clubs and venues of her home of Southern California. The 25-year-old pop singer-songwriter had the opportunity of a lifetime to open for an international touring sensation. McRae was hand-picked by Dermot Kennedy and his team to be added to Kennedy’s regular lineup for their stop in Los Angeles. (A show that normally consists of the Irish crooner and musician Kevin Garrett.) The Youtube Theater was in for quite the treat.
As the first line of lyrics came through McRae’s lips, an actual gasp went out across the Theater. The audience was spellbound by her warm vocals and the depth of emotion in her voice. We were particularly big fans of the goth feel of her collared, striped, and moody ensemble. Check out our (unedited) selects below.
On 4/20, Kansas City, Missouri hosted its inaugural cannabis and music festival experience on the grounds at the future home of the Smokey River Entertainment District. The venue, which is located just off 291 Highway in River Bend, Missouri, built a mecca for cannabis, its fans, and supporters to celebrate the yearly event. Berner is the infamous owner of the cannabis brand Cookies, so he was especially excited to help celebrate legalization in Missouri. In fact, he stopped to tell the crowd how incredible it was multiple times.
A particularly wonderful moment for me was when he included “Pass Me the Green” in his setlist. This feels like a no-brainer, based on the subject matter, but it still wasn’t an expectation. In the song, he rhymes:
Hopped out the game for a minute But I’m back now My bitch take trips out of state She from Sac Town
Directly following Berner was the indelible Joey Bada$$, who came out and immediately said he was happy to be in Missouri. The crowd lost their minds completely when he correctly identified the state, because that is a very rare thing. The name “Kansas City” leads many performers to believe that they are in Kansas. Bada$$ earned any respect he was lacking in that moment, and the crowd settled in to an absolutely phenomenal performance as he built the energy for the king himself, Wiz Khalifa.
And this crowd? Beautiful, calm, happy. All set with food trucks surrounding the stage space, and a cannabis village accessible to 21+ attendees. What a beautiful experience for the city, and a great way to kick off legalization in Missouri.
Last night was one for the books. As the sun set on Kansas City, Missouri’s first 4/20 with legalized marijuana, a crowd sprawled out over acres of land at the future site of the Smokey River Entertainment District got to bask in a new glow. Wiz Khalifa headlined the inaugural 420Fest, performing for thousands with the distant glow of car headlights from 291 Highway lighting the backdrop. Smoke filled the air, with the delicious scent from the food truck bay wafting over the attendees. It was a certain type of bliss, and Wiz was the ultimate soundtrack.
Joey Pintozzi, president of the event sponsor Besa Hospitality Group, is particularly excited about what the event means for Missouri at this time. “This is going to be an amazing event, on a special day, marking the beginning of a new era for Missouri during a historic time in our state.”
420Fest hosted a cannabis village area for attendees over the age of 21. Rows and rows of vendors – both local and those who drove in from an array of different states – brought us their own unique cannabis experiences. A stage brought us speeches on equity from lawmakers, nonprofit leads, entrepreneurs, and those who were formerly incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes. We also got to glimpse Mike Tyson and Ric Flair, as well as glass artists, edible extraordinaires, and so much more. The event aimed to normalize and celebrate the cannabis lifestyle, with a portion of the proceeds going toward equity in the space.
On Thursday, March 16th, Colony House brought their Cannonballers Tour to The Truman in Kansas City, Missouri. Pop trio Little Image opened the event, bringing the energy up high enough that the crowd was jumping up and down in unison halfway through the set. For a mid-week show in the midwest (in the snow, mind you), that was enough to have me convinced that even the opener has some lasting power.
Colony House took the stage to a warmed-up crowd, many of whom seemed to genuinely know every word of their music. From the first chords of “Landlocked Surf Rock” through the honest lyricism in “Learning How to Love,” and through on into “Man on the Run,” the crowd was 100% engaged in the performance. (Not even the building blizzard seemed to bring them down.) Fan favorite “One of Those Days” felt a bit anthemic, as the crowd came together in vulnerability and a sense of togetherness.
The 22-song set list was to die for at best, and inspiring at worst. About midway through the event, they did an endearing rendition of Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit,” a song it seems the crowd – aside from just myself – will never quite tire of. Nostalgic surf rock favorite “You Know It” was the perfectly placed last performed track, allowing the band to assure us that they will be back again.
Storied indie trio Bandits On The Run was passing through Kansas City last weekend, with a flurry of notable performances scheduled for Folk Alliance. But that wasn’t all they had up their sleeves. On Friday, February 3rd, they brought their instruments to the effing candle co. storefront in Midtown for a night that cute crowd would not forget.
Though capacity was limited inside the storefront, the energy was palpable from outside on the chilly streets of the city. effing candle co. owner Byrdie Hanson donated proceeds of period products and monetary donations to a local women’s shelter, for which she put together goodie bags as well. The candle company’s commitment to humor is matched only by its commitments to both sustainability and civil rights.
In front of a rainbow-tinged front window, this folk group garnered smiles all around. Plus the Bandits made time to hang out with their fans afterward, identifying their favorite candle scents and enjoying time with new friends. It was a night of pure magic, where everyone was lifted up, and we were honored to be in attendance.
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.”