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.)
He Calls Home
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.
…and we loved it.
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.
Our favorite moments are below.
Something to Believe In
The Walk Home
Cult of Personality
Heat of the Summer
Dancing In The Rain
Mind Over Matter
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.
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.
This week brings the midwest a plethora of incredible musicians, as we hunker down in the cold weather for the annual Folk Alliance International Conference. One of our all-time favs – Brooklyn-based indie-folk trio Bandits on The Run – will be making an appearance at this year’s fest, a fact that only gets better when you realize they’ve partnered with a local company for a very unique and fun experience.
This Friday, February 3rd, Bandits on The Run will be playing an intimate show inside the Effing Candle Co. storefront on Main. The experience is brought to us by One in a Million Media, and entry is donation-based. Some quick details to keep in mind:
- Set starts at 5 p.m.
- Beverages are provided by our friends at 4 Hands Brewing Co and 1220 Spirits. Must be 21+ to enjoy
- Street parking is available on 37th Street east or west of Main Street or on Walnut Street
- Max capacity is 25 guests, so arrive early
- Effing Candle Co. will stay open until 6:30 p.m.
- Entry fee: one item for our Period Packing Party, which can be tampons, pads, or liners. All items MUST be individually-wrapped. If you do not bring an item, you can make an on-the-spot donation with cash or via Venmo
- Space is limited to the first 25 attendees. Our shop is very small, so plan to arrive early
Donations will be accepted at the storefront even if you cannot make the show. Providing period products to those who need them is an important cause, and one of many that Effing Candle Co. continually supports.
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.
- Say Amen (Saturday Night)Play Video
- Hey Look Ma, I Made ItPlay Video
- Don’t Threaten Me With a Good TimePlay Video
- This Is GospelPlay Video
- Miss JacksonPlay Video
- Emperor’s New ClothesPlay Video
- Viva Las Vengeance
- Viva Las VengeancePlay Video
- Middle of a BreakupPlay Video
- Don’t Let the Light Go OutPlay Video
- Local GodPlay Video
- Star Spangled BangerPlay Video
- God Killed Rock and RollPlay Video
- Say It LouderPlay Video
- Sugar SoakerPlay Video
- Something About MaggiePlay Video
- Sad ClownPlay Video
- All by YourselfPlay Video
- Do It to DeathPlay Video
- Girls/Girls/BoysPlay Video
- House of MemoriesPlay Video
- Nine in the AfternoonPlay Video
- Death of a BachelorPlay Video
- I Write Sins Not TragediesPlay Video
- VictoriousPlay Video
- High Hopes
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.
Check out some highlights below, and make sure to check out Panic on their North American tour through October, and then in the UK at the top of 2023.
August 13th was a Saturday night unlike any I have seen in a very long time. Approaching the outside of T-Mobile Center Arena in Kansas City, MO, you would have no idea by the soothing, music-filled area outside the gates that you were entering an almost-sold-out show in a multi-thousand-seat arena. an enigmatic atmosphere. Those in attendance had been waiting to see The Lumineers since the show was announced prior to the pandemic setting in.
The 25-song set included crowd favorites like “Ho Hey,” “Dead Sea,” “Ophelia,” and “Stubborn Love.” Their spin on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” masterfully blended original track “Leader of the Landslide” into an easily digestible and beautiful new work of art. One of the most notable tracks, however, was their Petty cover “Walls (Circus)”, which was performed with their openers, Gregory Alan Isakov and Daniel Rodriguez.
Much as their name suggests, The Lumineers’ set design left the crowd ensconced in the warm glow of the lights. Their multi-runway stage gave the show a dynamic we have not had the privilege of seeing in the past. While each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist and talented as all get out, we are more familiar with a stage presence that keeps them all solitary, in a straight line with equal lighting for the audience to enjoy. For this show, we witnessed climbing on pianos, jumping from one part of the stage to the next, and dancing under the most magical disco ball the crowd has ever seen. Add the flurry of confetti mid-show to the mix and you’ve got yourself a kaleidoscope snow globe experience.
Before the pandemic, it truly was all about the music. Now, it seems to be about creating a joyful atmosphere. Sure, the music holds as the firm base and is what gets the audience in the doors. But this band has taken their set design to a level that makes everyone — whether you are in the VIP pit or in the nosebleeds — feel as though they are snuggled with a blanket under starry skies as summer fades.