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.
Experience the electrifying sound of Divine Sweater, a boundary-pushing alternative rock band that captivates audiences with its distinctive style. Their latest release, “In the Comedown,” takes listeners on a journey of introspection and self-discovery through haunting melodies, powerful vocals, and a pulsating rhythm section. With a seamless blend of atmospheric textures and explosive energy, Divine Sweater’s raw emotion and thought-provoking lyrics create a musical landscape that leaves a lasting impact.
Step into a mesmerizing visual realm as Divine Sweater’s music video for “In the Comedown” transports you through a kaleidoscope of captivating imagery and evocative storytelling. It starts off with a blue girl holding a plant. She sees a button that asks if she needs help, and she presses it. Nearby, four individuals riding scooters in suits make their debut. As soon as they pass, the whole she knows crumbles into oblivion…and an ape appears. They board a submarine together and escape that world and into the ocean, signifying a journey or escape from the previous world. The transition into the ocean can symbolize the depths of the unknown or a dive into the subconscious. Overall, this sequence in the music video portrays a surreal and transformative experience, where the protagonist undergoes a significant change and embarks on a new adventure with unexpected companions.
The sea depicted in the video is described as a colorfully biodiverse environment, suggesting a sense of wonder and awe. The stunning graphics further enhance the visual experience. However, the presence of the scooter-riding individuals casts a shadow on the vibrant surroundings, enveloping them in darkness. This contrast may symbolize the intrusion of external influences or negative forces that threaten to overshadow the protagonist’s newfound adventure and exploration. It could represent the struggle to maintain positivity and overcome obstacles on the transformative journey. The juxtaposition of the beautiful sea and the encroaching darkness adds depth and complexity to the video’s narrative, highlighting the challenges and conflicts faced by the protagonist.
The girl’s weariness after a game of checkers with the ape suggests a sense of exhaustion or perhaps a realization of a temporary respite from the challenges she has faced. As the submarine emerges from the depths of the waters, they return to dry land, marking a transition back to the familiar world. However, the ape finds his family, leaving the girl alone without companionship. This turn of events highlights a sense of isolation or a loss of the bond that had been formed. In close proximity, the presence of the “Need Help?” button reappears, prompting the girl to realize that it wasn’t her who the ape was helping all along. This revelation introduces a sense of ambiguity and raises questions about the true nature of the connections and support she encountered throughout her journey.
As the girl finds herself alone after the departure of the ape and the realization that the help she sought was not meant for her, there is a sense of introspection and solitude. It reminds us that personal growth and understanding often come with unexpected twists and turns, where we may find ourselves seeking solace and connection, only to discover that our path is unique and intertwined with the experiences of others. The video’s evocative imagery and symbolic elements invite viewers to reflect on the complexities of relationships, self-discovery, and the profound impact of companionship and support. Ultimately, “In the Comedown” leaves us with a lingering sense of wonder and a reminder that our individual narratives are both interconnected and deeply personal, shaping our experiences and the meaning we derive from them.
It had, admittedly, been years since we had had the privilege of witnessing Young the Giant live and in person. Even as such, it was normally in a festival setting, so the set was a bit different than the headlining tours offered.
I have the honor of speaking to a couple who spoke about how they have followed Young the Giant on tour, witnessing their growth as they travel and experience different landscapes alongside their favorite band. As worrisome as a follower might otherwise seem, this couple seemed genuinely inspired by the music, and were truly living their best lives in love.
And if I didn’t understand the allure of Young the Giant before, I certainly do now. The colorful set was full of some of the most incredible textures, patterns, and colors you have ever seen on stage. Fringe surrounded a disco ball, warm and cool colors collided in carefully curated layers to bring the music to life in a way I have never seen – nor felt – before. Instant goosebumps were felt, and maintained throughout the set while memories associated with deep cuts flooded my mind.
Smoke danced around us – hence the “smoke show” – and magic filled the air. The crowd absolutely erupted when “Something to Believe in” began, and continued at that heightened energy throughout “Cough Syrup”. And that was just four tracks into their 17-track lap around the city. (From the confines of the Starlight Theater stage, of course.) The gorgeous instrumentals and beautifully woven lyrics that we have come to expect from this band continued into the night, on one of the most unseasonably cool evenings Kansas City has had yet to see this year.
SETLIST American Bollywood Wake Up Something to Believe In Cough Syrup The Walk Home I Got Nothing’s Over Dollar $tore Cult of Personality Heat of the Summer Dancing In The Rain Mind Over Matter Firelight Superposition Tightrope Silvertongue My Body
There were warnings of storms looming all day on Saturday, July 1st in Kansas City, Missouri. At any moment, a pop-up shower could leave any part of the metropolitan area drenched. And it did. Multiple times.
But not that night.
Not that evening when German rock band – and Midwest fav – Milky Chance opened for Young The Giant at the gorgeous Starlight Theatre. They dazzled the crowd with eye-catching style, serotonin-boosting tunes, and envious hair (according to pretty much everyone there). Here are some beautiful moments from the opening of the show.
K.Flay is one of our favorite live performers here at Imperfect Fifth. This is because, not only is this human a quirky and fun one, but K.Flay is also a highly energetic human that creates an entire party on stage with dance, song, and massive amounts of attitude. Lucky for us, she and her touring partner grandson made a pit stop in Kansas City to help headline Day 2 at Boulevardia 2023.
As crowds began to increase with the ending of the beer tasting at Taps & Tastes and the breeze that settled in at dusk, the attention started to turn more to the main stage. A big crowd gathered over the course of the set, marveling at how much dancing could happen after a day in the heat of a concrete jungle.
Here are some photos to prove we just couldn’t keep up with her talent and charisma.
At 9:30pm on Friday, June 16th, Jason Isbell took the stage to headline Day 1 of Boulevardia in Kansas City, Missouri. The festival focuses on the vibrant beer-centric culture in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It brings hops from all over, as well as music, vendors of all kinds, and interactive experiences you can’t find anywhere else. Find Boulevardia in Kansas City every Father’s Day weekend. (aka quite often the hottest weekend of the summertime.)
The Grammy award-winning act took the main stage overlooking Crown Center. Here, the bustling center in the heart of the Crossroads District now plays home to the annual fest. Surrounded by smoke – and an incredibly talented band – Jason Isbell entertained the masses who had gathered in the street to get a glimpse of the Americana crooner.
With the lights of the city behind him, Isbell set the tone for the rest of the (sweaty) beautiful event.