Archive for June, 2016

McClain Approved: Laura Gibson “Two Kids.”

June 30, 2016

Laura Gibson in Kansas City, 6/20/16

Laura Gibson is a passionate songwriter and vocalist. She recently showcased her quality songwriting and glorious voice while opening for David Bazan in Kansas City. Gibson’s solo, acoustic set focused on songs off of Empire Builder, her excellent new album. Once you learn about Laura Gibson, you will have discovered one of the best singer-songwriters in music today. Her take on indie-folk is entrancing.


Laura Gibson in Kansas City, 6/20/16

The jaunty, weird love song “Two Kids” is a great example of Laura Gibson’s appeal. Gibson’s emotive vocals soar over the sparse accompaniment of her acoustic guitar. The song is simple, direct and beautiful.

Here’s a solo, acoustic version of “Two Kids” recorded live at RecordBar:


Myself and the lovely Laura Gibson

A Day of Indie Rock Glory at Boulevardia 2016.

June 28, 2016

Boulevardia 2016

The 2016 edition  of Boulevardia showcased beer, a street fair and music in Kansas City June 17-19th. I hit up Boulevardia June 17th to soak up the indie rock vibes. The fest was held in an industrial area known as the West Bottoms. Around 8,000 people attended the fest. The music lineup helped to highlight the excellence in the KC music scene.


The Greeting Committee at Boulevardia 2016

Up-and-coming indie rockers the Greeting Committee started off the day with an energetic set. The temperature was a scorching 95 degrees when the band hit the stage. In the middle of the set, lead singer Addie Sartino fell off the stage and just kept singing. The passion in the Greeting Committee’s playing and music proves why they are one of Kansas City’s best indie rock bands.


The Greeting Committee at Boulevardia 2016


Meg Myers at Boulevardia 2016

Going into Boulevardia 2016, Meg Myers had one of the most highly anticipated sets. Myers won over the crowd with her dramatic indie-pop and strong vocals. Songs like “Lemon Eyes” and the murderous yearning of “Desire” received big reactions.


Radkey at Boulevardia 2016

Radkey hit the crowd hard with their blistering rock. The intensity and interplay from the St. Joseph, MO-based band made for one of the best sets of the day.


Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at Boulevardia 2016

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness closed out Friday with a set mixing new solo material and classics. It was nice to see him dig back into Jack’s Mannequin tracks like “Dark Blue.” McMahon’s emotive vocals and soulful piano playing were a perfect end to the evening.


Boulevardia 2016

Overall, Friday at Boulevardia 2016 was one of the best days of music I’ve seen in at least five years. Every set was quality. Even in blazing temperatures, it’s great to see people enjoying themselves. Boulevardia 2016 served up beer and excellent tunes.

Widespread Panic Fan Shows Up One Month Early for Show.

June 8, 2016

Widespread Panic logo

One of my friends recently showed up early to the Widespread Panic concert in Kansas City. One month early.

“I went down to Starlight at 3 pm to tailgate,” said the flustered fan. “I was ready to party. I didn’t realize the concert wasn’t until June,” he said. His yells for “Space Wrangler” echoing against the infinite sadness of an empty venue.

The dreams of nitrous-fueled spinning to epic jams will have to wait. We really need to get him a day planner.

Tips for a First Time Concert-Goer.

June 1, 2016

Florence + the Machine Crowd 5/24/16

You wanna get out and see some live music, huh? You want to throw down, rock out and taste the sweet sonic nectar that is a concert? I’ve gone to a least 400 shows over the years, so here are a few tips:
Expect the unexpected. Crowds, song choices, weather, and venues can all impact shows. However, just come with an open mind and lay the hammer down!
Be ready to wait. Sometimes, shows start right on time. However, be ready to wait it out. The rock can be worth the wait.
If you like the song, get down! The indie stereotype of staring at your feet and looking unimpressed is overrated. Throw down, baby!!
Earplugs, you might want them. Shows are often mixed really loudly. Earplugs can be helpful, because they don’t drown out the sound around you too much
Show up early for the opening acts. Your next favorite band could be the first act on tonight.
There will be an encore (usually). Will the band come back onstage? Don’t be fooled, they’ll be back.
Hearing a great song live is a joyous experience. It can get crowds lit up! It’s wonderful to see people come together, united by their love of music. Concerts can uplift your soul.
Get out there, rock out and have a good time! Beast it hardcore!


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