Posts Tagged ‘review’

Best Coast and Wavves Bring the Indie Rock Heat to Kansas City.

March 2, 2016
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Best Coast at the Midland, 2/26/16

When watching an indie rock show, I know the feeling I am trying to find. I want my indie sensors to start tingling. The music hits you right in the enjoyment zone, those internal buzzers fire up. It is a feeling that lights you up and makes your soul rise up with joy. California-based bands Best Coast and Wavves brought their Summer is Forever II co-headlining tour to Kansas City February 26th. They filled the Midland with an evening of fuzzed out surf rock and indie goodness.

I have been wanting to see Best Coast and Wavves live for eight years. Nathan Williams (of Wavves) and Bethany Cosentino (of Best Coast) are an indie rock power couple. They represent a style of indie that is popular with a slightly older crowd. Both bands are strangely underrated.

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Met a fan with a tattoo of the album art for Best Coast’s The Only Place.

For example, Best Coast’s second album sold over 500,000 copies in it’s first week. The local indie/alternative radio station can park their van out in front of the show, but that doesn’t mean they are playing Wavves and Best Coast on the radio. Some critics bag on Cosentino for her lyrical simplicity, but there are a lot of indie bands out there that wish they could write a song as quality as “Sun Was High (And So Was I).”

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Cherry Glazerrat the Midland, 2/26/16

Up-and-coming band Cherry Glazerr started off the night with spacious, trippy indie vibes. The young band shows a lot of promise with a live show that held the crowd’s attention.

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Wavves at the Midland, 2/26/16

Wavves hit the crowd hard with scuzzy indie vibes. The set focused on tracks off of their latest album album, V. Lead singer/guitarist Nathan Williams’ aggressive guitar work whipped the audience into a frenzy. The crowd was dancing and indie moshing it up all throughout the band’s hour-long set. Wavves closed with the vicious rocker “Demon To Lean On.”

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Best Coast at the Midland, 2/26/16

The tighter, hook-laden songs of Beat Coast served as a nice counterpoint to the sprawl of Wavves. The band closed out this date of the tour. The newer tracks off of last year’s California Nights have more grit and punch live than their studio versions. Songs like “In My Eyes” swing for the indie pop fences and sound even bigger and better live. The uptempo surf rock vibes of “When I’m With You” had the crowd joyously bouncing and singing along. Best Coast finished the hour-long set with their lo-fi, reverb-laced classic “Boyfriend.”

From the hard-hitting to the sublime, the Summer is Forever II tour showcases an excellent combination of indie bands that crush it live. Wavves and Best Coast brought the indie rock joy to Kansas City.

Here’s a snippet of Best Coast performing “When I’m With You” at the Midland:

My Favorite Music and Concerts of 2015.

December 15, 2015
Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk at the Midland Theatre, in Kansas City.

With 2015 wrapping up, it’s time to look back on some of my favorite music and gigs of the year.

Canadian noise rockers Viet Cong put out my favorite album of the year. The sprawling, weird soundscapes of their self-titled debut make for quality extended listening. Serious shoegaze vibes that hit hard.

I also really loved the Chvrches album Every Open Eye. Their sound has really grown from their debut record. A track like “Keep You On My Side” peaks really well and brings the energy. The vocals are on-point (as always), but the beats hit harder and the songs are more epic.

Gigs:

German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk put on a show for the ages at the Midland this year. Kraftwerk perfected the idea of the “man machine” and raved the way for nearly every form of modern electronic music. It was my first 3D sit down rave. Visually, the show was stunning and the music wasn’t just a nostalgia trip. For something so robotic, it felt so lively, fresh and new. The show also marked Kraftwerk’s first Kansas City show in 45 years.

Stevie Wonder’s epic show at the Sprint Center was also one of the best of the year. He played for over three hours. The setlist included his classic album Songs in the Key of Life. He approaches music from a totally different angle. The hits were there, the jams were there, something for everyone. Janelle Monae sat in with Stevie in KC, which made the gig even better. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime show.

Favorite tracks:

The demo version of “Realiti” by Grimes is my favorite song of the year. Her whole sound really comes together on this track. An updated version of the song ended up on Art Angels, but the demo version has more rawness and punch.

I really dug the house vibes of Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You.” I was lucky enough to catch him live at Pitchfork Fest in Chicago this year. It’s a glorious feeling hearing a song like this wash over a festival crowd.

New Orleans-based rapper Curren$y showed why he is one of the best rappers out there today with “Speed.” His vibe is singular and different. The production on this record is one of the best I’ve heard all year. This beat is so fresh!

The laid back, chill vibes of Martin Courtney’s “Airport Bar” made it one of my favorite tracks of 2015. The lead singer of Real Estate displayed a subtle shift in tone on his debut solo album. Courtney knows how to craft a really quality song.

What were your favorite music moments of 2015?

Wilco Review Featured on Jambase.com

July 22, 2015

My review of the recent Wilco show in Kansas City, Missouri was featured on Jambase.com.


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