I Went to Bleeding Kansas and You Didn't!

Well, I've been dying to post lately but I wouldn't let myself. This seems like as good of a reason to come back as ever.

I had never seen any of the bands who played Saturday before, so I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Here's the rundown:

First off, Burcham Park in Lawrence Kansas is beautiful. Right on the Wakarusa River, the location is grassy and shaded by lots of trees - a perfect place for a festival show in Kansas in the heat of August.

The first band to take the stage was one of the number of local bands, The Legendary Terrordactyls. I had never heard of them before but I checked it out because they were the only band on at the time - and they were fantastic. It was the most pleasant surprise of the day. They rocked pretty hard somewhere landing between "Rather Ripped"-Sonic Youth and older, noisier Sonic Youth. Unfortunately, they didn't have any cd's for sale that I could find, but I'll be checking around.

After that I wandered over to the Main Stage to see Aberdeen City, another local act, but they sucked. Hard.

So I wandered into the Ad Astra Tent to see Ad Astra Per Aspra, but apparently the lead singer had his jaw wired shut at the moment, so instead 4th of July took the stage early. They obviously had to be awesome since they started out with a Townes Van Zandt cover. I didn't recognize everyone upfront, but according to the almight lawrence.com, the band features former members of The Anniversary, and current Members of Ghosty and Free All Beats. They pumped out great dancable music, even if we all were sitting down to enjoy it.

So this started to throw off the stage times. I don't know if Boy Kill Boy was there or not, but Murder By Death's set started awfully early so I missed the beginning. I've never been a fan of theirs before, but I'm checking them out again. The cello player is one heck of a performer (and one heck of a fox too...) and made the show worth watching, instead of just worth listening to.

Inbetween I caught a bit of Conner, which is very much like any horrible dance-rock band on the radio so I cautiously waked away, making sure no one saw that I observed the tragedy that happened on that stage.

Next up was Mates of State. Just like everyone else, I'm not quite sure how such a full sound can come out of only two people and my friend wondered how similar two voices can be. This was a a bit of homecoming for the Mates, seeing as they met and formed the band while attending Kansas U., and they drew a major crowd because of it. I even stood about 5 feet from Adrianne from The Anniversary during this set! Poor Kori looked like she was going to pass out and mentioned that the heat was a bit much for her, but you sure couldn't tell from listening. They killed it.

Next was Broken Social Scene. I have been listening to boots of their live shows for a while so I knew fully well what they were capable of - but they didn't get there. Kevin Drew was wicked drunk and upset at the sound guy, telling Lisa to come on stage before she was ready, rambling about Kansas having heart (which it doesn't) and confusing his band mates. He tried to do a countdown into Ibi but apparently had drank enough that he lost his ability to count. The rest of the band held up their end of the bargain, but Kevin really brought down the mood.

I spent the majority of Keane's set making fun of the lead singer's posing and screaming out requests for Coldplay and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. He pranced around like Jon Bon Jovi in a dress. Eeeew.

And then finally was the big headliner, Death Cab for Cutie, and they were in rare form. Pretty much everyone at the fest was crammed in front of the stage and for good reason. For an hour and a half, Ben Gibbard was the king of Kansas. He crooned, he yelled, he thrashed, he tore the crap out a drum set and cast the coolest shadows ever. Unfortunately, every time they played any track from "Plans", the show seemed to stop for four minutes, but those songs were spaced out enough that it didn't bring the whole set down. As a matter of fact, when I requested "The Face That Launched 1000..." a teenage girl gave a disgusted "Oh god, I hope not..." Kids today!

All in all, I had a blast and was honored on the way out to be cut off by Chris from Appleseed Cast. I think he was the only person there who had a crappier car than me.

I'll try to be back with some music later today. In the meantime, check out this fascinating article about independant music stores. It makes me wanna drive to Lawrence more often.


Blogger Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for the great report.

3:07 PM  

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