Yes You Are played their debut Midland set on Friday night. The set was a part of the annual Valentine’s Day-themed show put on by local radio station 96.5 the Buzz. The Kansas City-based indie rock band’s songs quickly won over the crowd during their short set. Lead singer Kianna Alarid’s voice was in strong form all night.
Especially within the Kansas City indie music scene, Midland opening sets can serve as the proving ground for bands. It has happened before with Grouplove, alt-j, Of Monsters and Men, and Glass Animals. They have all gone from Midland openers to headlining the venue.
I’ve been fortunate to cover hundreds of Midland shows over the years.The Midland indie crowd can be hard to impress. If you can win over the audience at the ornate 3,000 seat venue, it really means big things can happen. The crowd reaction is so essential. With up-and-coming bands, the audience often responds in stages. At first, there is a bit of interest. As the set goes on, individual audience members start to get it. If a set is going well, the band will unleash a big tune and smash it out of the park. It is the indie rock equivalent of a home run. When the band and crowd locks in as one, I call it a “yeah fucking yeah!” moment. It is a collective experience. Yes You Are’s song “World Without End” lit up the audience and kept them enraptured.
As an opener, if you can win over that Midland crowd, you can leave with a bunch of new fans. Make the audience pay attention and it points to a bright future. Yes You Are is headed in the right direction.
Here’s a snippet of “World Without End” from Yes You Are’s Midland debut: