the gaslight anthem gets rowdy with nostalgic, energetic  crowd in kcmo

the gaslight anthem gets rowdy with nostalgic, energetic crowd in kcmo

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 band’s 6th LP is expected out in 2023.

get your first listen to – and look at – mother sun’s entertaining and relatable new track “tangerine beach”

get your first listen to – and look at – mother sun’s entertaining and relatable new track “tangerine beach”

Canadian psych outfit Mother Sun is back to entertain, with their layered, intricate compositions and upbeat soundscapes. In the lead-up to their third riveting full-length release, today marks the release of their new track “Tangerine Beach” and its entertaining accompanying music video. We’ve got your exclusive first listen — and look!

The enticingly bright video – shot, produced, and edited by Josef Perzon – evokes feelings of giddiness and joy from the start. After all, who isn’t going to immediately be in a good mood after sitting in the sun, brilliant turquoise waters behind them?

‘Tangerine Beach’ and its video tell the story of a optimistic vacationer, played by Nathan, whose trip is thwarted by expectations of paradise. Arriving at at the beach, many margaritas in hand, Nathan loses a lens to the sunglasses shading him from the reality of his surroundings.

Enjoy what ensues below.

Train of Thought is due out at the end of October.

panic! @ the disco re-inspires thousands during stop in kcmo

panic! @ the disco re-inspires thousands during stop in kcmo

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.

  1. Say Amen (Saturday Night)Play Video
  2. Hey Look Ma, I Made ItPlay Video
  3. Don’t Threaten Me With a Good TimePlay Video
  4. This Is GospelPlay Video
  5. Miss JacksonPlay Video
  6. Emperor’s New ClothesPlay Video
  7. Viva Las Vengeance
  8. Viva Las VengeancePlay Video
  9. Middle of a BreakupPlay Video
  10. Don’t Let the Light Go OutPlay Video
  11. Local GodPlay Video
  12. Star Spangled BangerPlay Video
  13. God Killed Rock and RollPlay Video
  14. Say It LouderPlay Video
  15. Sugar SoakerPlay Video
  16. Something About MaggiePlay Video
  17. Sad ClownPlay Video
  18. All by YourselfPlay Video
  19. Do It to DeathPlay Video
  20. Girls/Girls/BoysPlay Video
  21. House of MemoriesPlay Video
  22. Nine in the AfternoonPlay Video
  23. Death of a BachelorPlay Video
  24. I Write Sins Not TragediesPlay Video
  25. VictoriousPlay Video
  26. 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.

out with a bang: turkuaz releases final two albums simultaneously

out with a bang: turkuaz releases final two albums simultaneously

As heartbreaking as the dissolution of an artistic endeavor is, Turkuaz couldn’t have done it more gracefully and completely than they did. Today, they released two albums – a total of 26 songs – within two overarching genres, conveying two concepts that fall hand-in-hand. Paradiso and Apollyon.

“The very big picture concept is that Heaven and Hell are two human constructs. The only place that they really exist is right here on earth, and which one you inhabit depends largely on how you conduct yourself and what you choose to believe,” explains Brandwein. “Life isn’t as simple as black or white, this or that. It’s not binary. We’re all a little bit of both… Beautiful and tragic chaos.”

Paradiso opens with a very alien appeal. Not only is the song titled “Strange People (Strange Times)”, but the vocals layered in with the synth action and sound effects make it feel especially otherworldly. A literal manifestation of the words in the track, it is a powerful opener to one of the two releases.

Turkuaz continues with this disposition – an effortless blend of upbeat synth-driven pop and standout vocals – throughout, guiding the audience through an oft-autotuned adventure of sorts. Favorites from this release include “Shakin’ in My Sheets”, steadily-paced “Rewind”, and literal disco dream “Disconnect in the Discotéque“.

Apollyon follows suit in its substance, however, its sound exists in a completely different realm. Funk-inspired and flavorfully layered, they approached this release as a full band in a room together. You can feel the party atmosphere palpably in the twelve-track album’s span. Favorites include “The Ever Watchful Eye” and leisurely “Pleasure and the Pain.”

Turkuaz’s Dave Brandwein is now focusing on work with New Originals and solo music under the moniker Band For Sale. Taylor Shell is now a member of Ghost Light, and the two plan to collaborate more in the future.

the lumineers dazzle at t-mobile center

the lumineers dazzle at t-mobile center

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.

after postponement, the goo goo dolls reinvigorate their kansas city fans

after postponement, the goo goo dolls reinvigorate their kansas city fans

On a mid-summer night at the beginning August of 2022, The Goo Goo Dolls took the stage to an (almost) sold-out crowd at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. A show that had been postponed from a previously scheduled date, there was heightened energy around the event.

The Goo Goo Dolls riveted the audience with a 23-song setlist. They brought the heat starting with the first lines of opener “Yeah, I Like You,” an effervescent track from this year’s self-reflective Chaos in Bloom. Along with their new work, they played the audience through a multitude of hits and favorites. “Slide,” “Here Is Gone,” “Black Balloon,” and “Lucky Star” were all performed within the first ten songs. And there was no room for slowing down there.

Bassist/vocalist Robby Takac brought his quintessential “ball of fun” energy to the stage all night long–this time around, notably wearing shoes, which isn’t necessarily his MO–dazzling the crowd with some deep-cut tracks in moments you can only classify as magic. As many post-pandemic shows have gone along to prove, The Goo Goo Dolls’ influence spans generations, as people of all ages and demographics came out to enjoy the show despite the blistering midwest heat. (I wore a neck fan I borrowed from my parents, and have no shame around that fact.)

As someone who has had the honor of seeing this storied band perform live multiple times during their time in the limelight, I can firmly say that their performance felt different this time around. Though there were kaleidoscope lighting features and the same level of excitement coming from the band members as in previous shows, there was an extra layer of sheer joy emanating from the stage. You could sense Johnny Rzeznik’s (guitarist, vocalist) weightlessness as he beamed at the audience, appreciating the moment much more, perhaps, than anyone could have pre-pandemic.

If you stayed through to the end, you had the benefit of singing along to “Name,” “Broadway,” “Iris,” and more, and may have even had the privilege of singing along to a beautiful, showstopping cover of Petty‘s “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” It felt like glitter was falling over the crowd if you took the chance to gaze up at the starry night sky at that moment.

Until you remembered that, with the end of the show comes the end of the beautiful distraction. And you’re actually outside. Sweating from every pore. And the band is gone.

But–if you’re one of the lucky few–the black balloons that were passed around the audience might not be gone. (And we treasure a show souvenir.)

**words + photos by meredith schneider

goon creates a sense of wonder with latest single “ochre”

goon creates a sense of wonder with latest single “ochre”

Our favorite alternative project Goon – expertly commanded by Kenny Becker – is revving up to release their latest full-length, an enjoyable listen titled Hour Of Green Evening. The second single off of this album is titled “Ochre,” and is an absolutely magical track. From the light-as-a-feather vocals to the gorgeous piano arrangement, the song makes you feel like you’re falling backward into a cloud. While it generates ideas of kaleidoscope wonder – as though you are in an Alice in Wonderland fever dream – the song itself was inspired by Becker’s favorite color to paint with, yellow ochre.

Let inspiration consume you while you enjoy this beautiful new track.

Hour Of Green Evening is out July 15.

blackstarkids rip it up at boulevardia 2022

blackstarkids rip it up at boulevardia 2022

Their energy burns so bright that not only are they the most electrifying performance on a hot summer’s day (and we mean hot), but if you blink… you might miss them. Gracing the stage around sunset on Day 1 of Boulevardia 2022, BLACKSTARKIDS brought an array of fans out to party. Eye-catching hair, intense vocals, and a stage presence like no other make them some of our favorite when it comes to live performance these days. Come to dance, stay to feel hints of nostalgia and a genre-bending experience you just won’t regret.

dalton cyr channels hot and cold love in latest track “dying to love you”

dalton cyr channels hot and cold love in latest track “dying to love you”

Pretty Little Liars alum Dalton Cyr is tackling more than just acting these days. As a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, the 21-year-old’s talents seem to be almost neverending. While his debut album was released in 2012, the mastery of his craft is palpable with his latest release.

His new single “Dying to Love You” is highly relatable, and with a voice as smooth as butter, the lyrics are cutting but absolutely beautiful. “I wrote this song to capture the helpless feeling of being trapped in a hot and cold relationship,” explains Cyr of the track. “The toxicity of emotional high highs and low lows takes a toll on the psyche- hence, ‘Dying To Love You.'” 

The music video gives us a peek into his live performance capabilities. An intimate view of his handiwork, shadows dance across his face, alluding to the darkness that his sweet vocals are almost camouflaging. Check it out below!