I have yet to unpack from my trip to Des Moines over the weekend for 80/35. There are dirty clothes all over the floor of my room and I’m pretty sure my cats have decided that that’s their new litter box since I have yet to clean theirs out since getting home. Regardless, there was a show last night and, even though I should really get my apartment back to normal, I don’t miss shows.
The show opened up with Great Grandpa from Seattle, Washington. These guys kicked the show off with a great attitude and great sound that made me truly excited to be at a show. Singer Alex Menne had a very awkward and shy vibe about her but, somehow, it fit and made this group super memorable. They weren’t the most active band I had ever seen on stage. Honestly, they all just kind of stood there and played their music but there was still an undeniable sense of energy radiating off the stage that was infectious.
Sure, you could call these guys indie-rock but, in my mind, that makes them seem a bit generic and they are far from generic. Alex’s voice is bipolar. At times it’s a thing of true beauty and have a very haunting feel to it but, within seconds, her voice can change shifting the entire mood of the set. Her voice had a sense of intensity about it and the way they she rarely looked at the crowd just added to that sense. Having never heard of these guys prior to Monday night’s show, I can easily say that these guys are great and entertaining and I can not wait to see what the future holds for them.
Vundabar was the next band to take the stage and, even though I had never heard of them prior to the show, I was instantly in love with this group. With Brandon Hagen behind the microphone, Vundabar’s set was full of comedy, music, and a feeling of sincerity that you couldn’t help but fall in love with. Their music wasn’t overly intense and had this very sludgy sound at times but, because of the members’ attitudes, there was a blaring sense of passion coming from these guys that I just could not get enough of.
After informing the crowd that they absolutely hate crowd participation and pointing out that this is was their time to get attention, they jumped right into their music and the growing crowd instantly started bobbing their heads along to the beat. To say that Vunabar is quirky would be an understatement. Each of the three members had a personality that shined and stood out from the others leading to an almost comedy routine between the band members. Much like Alex of Great Grandpa, Brandon had an almost awkward presence about him but I loved how perfectly it fit with the music they were playing.
Wrapping up the already amazing night was a personal favorite– Rozwell Kid. My little brother (who actually went to the show with me last night so that was a treat!) definitely rates these guys a bit higher than I do but I can’t deny that they are great. I feel like I’ve been able to catch this West Virginia based band every couple of months and I always look forward to them coming back. Even though they have to be exhausted from their seemlingly endless touring schedule, they never fail to give an energetic show that leaves me wanting more.
The past couple of times I have been able to catch Rozwell Kid, they have been opening up for a band that I was absolutely in love with (i.e. The Get Up Kids or The Menzingers). Unfortunately, because of that, I was never really able to give them the attention they deserved. Sure, I always left their shows remembering who they were but only as an afterthought to the headlining act. It was so nice to see this band finally get a headlining show and my heart was filled with joy when a good sized crowd had taken time out of their Monday night to see it! With a pop-punk sound that makes you want to get up and dance, Rozwell Kid proved that they can headline a show and make it more than worth the ticket price.
When they started the show, singer Jordan Hudkins explained to the crowd that they put out a new album (“Precious Art”) this year “on purpose”. After a couple of songs he addressed the crowd and told them that “We’re here to promote an album that we accidentally put out”. It was funny, cute, charming… it was perfect. Jordan threatened the crowd with a rendition of the 3-part “Ballad of The Cheese Griddleman” which, if you ask me, sounded like a great song and something I would love to hear, multiple times throughout the show. “I hope you like us!” Jordan joked. I could go on and on about the funny things that came out of Jordan’s mouth but you weren’t there so it would mean nothing to you.
Rozwell Kid has a song on their new album titled “Wish Man”. I have to be honest, when listening to the album I didn’t even really notice this minute long song that featured Jordan barking like a dog. Well, during their set on Monday night they decided to play the song twice in a row. For some reason, after the double take, the crowd was left chanting for more. Jordan stopped the set and told the crowd that if they chanted “Wish Man” 69 times after the show (not just a couple people, it had to be a “congregation”) the band would come back out and play it five times in a row. The crowd and band alike erupted in laughter at the very thought of this happening. Sure as shit, as the final note rang out through the speakers, the crowd started chanting “Wish Man! Wish Man! Wish Man”. We (I say we because I couldn’t help but start chanting along) go up to number 40 when the Rozwell Kid came back out onto the stage. “We only got to 40!” screamed the kid who was counting how many chants we had done. “We know you guys have the other 29 in you!” Jordan shouted back as the band jumped into playing “Wish Man” literally five times in a row.
Last night was one of those shows that my brother and I will be talking about for awhile. It’s also one of those shows where, if you weren’t there, anything my brother and I say will make zero sense to you. It was definitely a show to remember and will be in the running for the top shows of 2017 for me.