lo moon @ the riot room

lo moon @ the riot room

I had the pleasure of seeing Lo Moon for a second time on Sunday, January 8th at the Riot Room. Lo Moon was in Kansas City last year at Buzz Under the Stars 2017, as well as opening for Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness in Music Alley for a smaller show during the warm summer months. A second time around, Lo Moon shined in the intimate setting at The Riot Room. The trio’s energy was in full effect, bringing a soulful and wondrous vibe to the room that isn’t often found in this space.

The band has gained quite a following after their iconic first single “Loveless” was released in September 2016. This was a proven fact as The Riot Room was packed with loyal fans. Lead singer Matt Lowell also professed “We love Kansas City” to the audience, which had every measure of sincerity.

And honestly, how could you not love a city that breaks new music? Take a peek here.

Keep up with Lo Moon here.

billie eilish @ recordBar

billie eilish @ recordBar

Following a gloomy week in Kansas City, April 4 brought crisp and clear weather – and a sold-out show by L.A.’s Billie Eilish at recordBar in support of her Where’s My Mind tour. Some of her fans waited for hours in the cold for a chance to be close to their favorite artist. Imperfect Fifth writer Veronica DeFeo and photographer Michael Porter were there to capture the one-of-a-kind evening. Killer performances from openers Reo Cragun and DJ Kiero got the night off to a great start. Reo busted his lip open a few songs in, but he didn’t let that stop him from delivering a fantastic set, much to the delight of the energetic crowd.

Following Reo and Kiero’s set, anticipation was evident as the concert-goers started chanting Billie’s name. In a moment of electric delirium only found at the best of shows, the lights went down and drummer Andrew Marshall and Billie’s brother, Finneas O’Connell, came onstage to an electronic sample of “my boy”, dressed in white coveralls and Billie Eilish kerchiefs. The crowd went insane when Billie came on seconds later, starting off the night with her acclaimed single, “bellyache”. Every voice knew every word, evidencing Billie’s deep connection with her fans. Not skipping a beat, Billie led the crowd into her hauntingly beautiful “idontwannabeyouanymore”, showcasing her velvety vocals. Next up was “watch”, immediately followed by “&burn”, which features Vince Staples on her record, dont smile at me. Billie not only flawlessly sang “watch”, but also took on Vince Staples’ verse from “&burn”.

Billie gave the crowd a chance to fill in some vocals on the next song, “Bored” (which was anything but boring). Fans were eager to give Billie their gifts throughout the set, and Billie expressed her love and gratitude for everyone who came multiple times, letting them know that she would not be where she is without them. Taking a more serious and mature tone, Billie performed an older track, “Six Feet Under”, which displayed not only her vocal talent, but also her lyrical skills. Billie introduced her drummer and brother to the crowd before inviting Finneas to perform his slinky, moody track, “New Girl”. As her producer, co-writer, backing vocalist and guitarist, but most importantly, brother, Finneas is always supportive of Billie, as well as having his own career as lead singer of The Slightlys and starring as Alistair on Glee.

Billie took the stage once again, enthralling the crowd with a unique cover of Drake’s hit song, “Hotline Bling” – on ukulele. In her next song, “party favor”, Billie showcased more of her ukulele skills during the fun track, which also features hitting lyrics. Billie next treated the crowd to an unreleased song, asking them all to be in the moment with her. The track that got Billie discovered, “Ocean Eyes”, was up next, and the crowd got a unique, lighthearted rendition as Billie accidentally bumped a fan with her mic; following this, Billie closed out the song on a stunning note. An electric, flawless performance of fan favorite “my boy” finished her regular set, but Billie wasn’t done yet. After raucous shouts for an encore brought her back onstage, Billie delivered with “hostage” before taking a selfie with the crowd and hugging fans. Billie closed out her show with a rocking performance of  “COPYCAT” that did not disappoint. After commanding her fans to get low during the bridge, the crowd went wild with the signal word “sike!”, and the last seconds of the song were unforgettable.

At just sixteen years old, Billie Eilish has accomplished more than many artists dream to at a young age. When she makes up her mind, she gets the job done; despite her youth, Billie knows her craft and how to work a crowd. Her March 4 performance is not one that will be forgotten. Kansas City can’t wait for Billie to come back.

Listen to Billie Eilish
YouTube –  Spotify  – iTunes

Stay connected with Billie Eilish
Facebook  – Website  – Instagram  – Twitter

**photos by Michael Porter

atmosphere returns to kansas city

atmosphere returns to kansas city

Hip-hop duo Atmosphere returned to Kansas City on Saturday, the 24th at the Voodoo Lounge.  Atmosphere was previously in Kansas City three years ago and was thrilled about their return.  The duo performed songs from albums such as Fishing BluesGod Loves Ugly, and Lucy Ford. Atmosphere did not have a problem with keeping the crowd hyped, commanding us to “Put your hands up Kansas City.”

The show was so wild, that at one point in the night, an edible was thrown onstage. It was acknowledged, but fittingly thrown back into the audience.  Atmosphere even noted that they were working on a new album, and previewed a new song.  It was a night filled with energy and excitement, and if you have the chance, catch Atmosphere on tour.

You can find tour dates and more info here.

p!nk @ sprint center

p!nk @ sprint center

On one of the most gorgeous nights of 2018 so far, Thursday, March 15th, P!nk regaled a massive crowd at Sprint Center in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Bursting into the room in her signature aerial acrobatic harness, she came swinging in from a chandelier to “Get This Party Started”, as if there were any better way to make a grand entrance. Decked out in so much glitter the audience probably should have been wearing sunglasses, she bounced right into “Beautiful Trauma” and then a little throwback rendition of “Just Like a Pill” for the loyal fans who have been around to enjoy her incredible career for the last two decades. There were a lot of them, as the event itself sold out so quickly that the arena had to open more seats on the side to accommodate her midwest fanbase.

Which is really no surprise, as this woman has been setting the world on fire – literally and figuratively, if you count the pyrotechnics during “Just Like Fire” – since she started back in the last 90s. With a flare for the most athletic endeavors, her stage performance has taken a turn from upbeat pop maneuvers, to an intense and beautifully artful experience, replete with Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics and bright, fun pops of color amidst glitter for days. Slowing it down for a soulful rendition of “Barbies” and “I Am Here” brought the crowd to their feet, belting out the lyrics with a fiery passion we haven’t witnessed at another show in quite some time. But not all the magic was found in the lyrics, though so relatable in so many ways.

But if ever our hearts stopped during a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, this was it. Dressed in a more grunged up look, the crowd went wild with her slightly more soulful vocals layered over those unmistakable guitar riffs and edgy flare.

P!nk incorporated her moving and incredibly heroic 2017 MTV VMAs acceptance speech into her set, bringing faces of every color, race, and ethnicity to the forefront in a little video that played while she was changing outfits. But the message hit very close to home, as we continue to deal with issues of sexism, racism, and other types of hatred. P!nk’s message is just as resounding as in tracks like “What About Us?” where she seems to call out people in power with her questioning, much like she did in 2011’s “Dear Mr. President”. And though she didn’t get to sing that song in particular, her rally cry could probably be heard for miles while thousands of women joined her in powerful, captivating song.

I personally got to enjoy the show with my mother and my sister, both of whom I have gone with to see P!nk’s previous shows. I will say it once and then say it a million times after, this woman knows how to impress. Not even for the sake of others, but you can tell she does this to prove everything to herself and to pave the way for other dreamers, which leaves little room to be disappointed in the work she does. We even got a treat this time, as the last show she came through held no encore goodness – Though, really, who is complaining? – with an exciting, Tinker Bell-esque performance of “So What” and “Glitter In The Air” before she disappeared into the night, most likely to get into a cuddle puddle with her adorable traveling family.

Keep up with P!nk here, and make sure to check out her Beautiful Trauma tour in a city near you!

phoebe bridgers, night 1 @ music hall of williamsburg

phoebe bridgers, night 1 @ music hall of williamsburg

When Phoebe Bridgers announced a tour date at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, it sold out. So she added another. And that sold out, too.

At just 23 years old, Bridgers released her first record, Stranger in the Alps, in September of 2017 to critical acclaim. Musicians such as Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, and Julien Baker have sung her praises; Adams produced Bridgers’ EP, Killer, which preceded Stranger. Oberst has brought her out on tour with him, as has Baker. Oberst also sings on “Would You Rather,” a track on Stranger that Bridgers wrote about her brother.

Despite such preeminent musical relationships and accolades, Bridgers stands on her own. Her soft, expressive voice can hush a crowded room. Her lyrics, revealing an introspection well beyond her years, can bring listeners to tears. There’s an innate intimacy to Bridgers’ work, a seemingly effortless evocation of raw human emotion. She has an inexplicable ability to connect with others in a way that most artists don’t, one that seamlessly translated from Stranger into her live performance.

The stage was dimly lit save for a string of yellow lights wrapped around Bridgers’ mic stand, often giving her face the appearance of a soft glow, a sharp contrast to the dark of the room. As she began her set with “Smoke Signals,” the audience burst into thunderous applause, welcoming her to Brooklyn before immediately quieting, a note they would hold for the rest of the evening.

The show was momentous: during “Would You Rather,” surprise guest Conor Oberst delighted the crowd by joining Bridgers. It was also drummer Marshall Vore’s birthday, and he was given a cupcake with a single lit candle and a joint chorus of “Happy Birthday.” The end of the night, however, was undoubtedly the best: at the end of “Motion Sickness,” Bridgers’ most musically upbeat song, massive black balloons filled with confetti were thrown into the audience to cheers. The penultimate song prior to the encore, “Scott Street,” immediately followed, and Bridgers was joined once again by Oberst, as well as openers Soccer Mommy.

In-between sharing a mic with Bridgers, Oberst set himself to work lobbing balloons off the stage and into the expectant crowd, who eagerly batted them around. As the balloons often managed to make their way back to the stage, Oberst continued to promptly pick them up and hurl them back, playing a reciprocal game of catch-and-release that went on throughout the majority of the song.

After everyone exited the stage, Bridgers and Vore then sang “You Missed My Heart,” by Mark Kozelek, a heartrending cover that appears on Stranger. Bridgers sank onto the floor of the stage holding a microphone as her vocals and Vore’s harmonies soared in their own still way. All the chaos and noise of the prior song was suddenly forgotten and the audience found themselves suddenly muted and rapt.

For the encore, Bridgers covered Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” as the entire audience sang along. Making their reappearance was Oberst and Soccer Mommy, providing a triumphant end to an incredible night.