I’m trying to get to more local shows this year. It’s hard when you have the ability to go see giant arena shows and get to see your favorite bands time after time after time (yes, I realize I am completely spoiled) but I made a promise to myself that this is the year I get back to my roots. I grew up in the local scene in Des Moines, Iowa (if you can even call the four bands a scene) and I wouldn’t be half the person I am if it weren’t for those people. I need to find that here. I need to find my people, my inspiration and that’s exactly what I got last night with Kiss The Tiger.
Unfortunately due to my relaxed state and how good the pizza and gossip was going with my friend who I dragged with me to the show, we missed the opener . My sincerest apologies to Garden Work. I honestly thought we were going to make it for at least a couple of songs but the show must have started early or the set was under twenty minutes long. Regardless, there’s honestly no excuse and I feel terrible. I can not apologize enough and do hope to catch Garden Work soon.
The Bloodies kicked into their explosive set just seconds after my friend and I walked in, got our drinks, and got settled in. At first I was perfectly content to hugging the bar as my friend and I continued the gossip that had started back at my apartment but within just a couple of notes I found myself being drawn to the stage. I could tell you about how happy I was to see a band primarily made of females on the stage but honestly that means nothing (other than just making my heart extremely happy). This band is so much more than just a female band. Their unique sound mixed with their edgy look and quirky stage presence definitely had me sold on them within just a couple of songs. After a flawless cover of The Misfits’ ‘Where Eagles Dare’, me being sold turned into me being in love. I instantly took to social media telling everyone that this is a band worth their time and I meant that. Young and full of energy, The Bloodies caught me off guard and any gossip left to hash out between my friend and I was just going to have to wait for another night and another show. The band had me captivated in the best possible way and I was honestly bummed to see them leave the stage.
Following The Bloodies’ was the absolute treat that is Black Velvet Punks. Now, going into a show blind is always my favorite thing to do because there are no expectations but sometimes it doesn’t always lead to a stellar show that has me stuck in a state of shock and awe. The Bloodies definitely had me stunned but it was Black Velvet Punks who completely swept me off my feet. Their sound was truly unique with the soulful vocals mixed with a jazzy yet very punk vibe when it came to the instrumentation. Vocalist Taylor Seaberg had a sense of confidence that radiated from the stage as she sang with her heart on her sleeve but never came off cocky. Her lyrics and the way she presented them were real and passionate. You could feel every word instead of just hearing it and you could feel every note played by the two other members. If you’ve been reading my stuff for some time you know that this sense of passion is what I live for. You could have no clue how to play your instrument but, if you do it with a sense of passion, I will love every moment of it. Thankfully, this trio definitely knew how to play their instruments. I lost count of how many times my friend and I turned to each other just to say something to the extent of, “Damn, this is freaking amazing. I’m loving this!”
Closing out the seriously stunning night of music was a local favorite of mine- Kiss the Tiger. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon these guys but I remember seeing them for the first time and loving every single minute. It has been awhile since I have caught them live but I was instantly reminded why I was so stuck by this band the first time I saw them. Like the previous two bands (and probably three but I wasn’t there so I don’t want to assume– but we can probably assume) Kiss the Tiger has a sound that is so uniquely theirs. The influences of this group are clear but range from Iggy Pop to Tom Petty. Regardless of how you want to classify Kiss The Tiger’s music, it is definitely high energy and passionate– just the way I like my live bands. Vocalist Meghan Kreidler has something very calming about her. I’m not quite sure what it is other than just her aura but watching her brings a sense of comfort. That being said, she is not without her edge. Her voice is powerful and mighty end evokes a sense of emotion that you typically don’t get with a local band. Although Meghan easily steals the spotlight majority of her time, it would be a mistake to not mention the four other amazing members in this band. It’s clear that everyone brings a different style and vibe to the stage and, while watching Kiss the Tiger perform, you can easily see all of those differences come together and make a singular song. It’s quite impressive and truly stunning. Had I just stumbled into last night’s show, I probably would have assumed that Kiss the Tiger was a touring band based on how flawless their set was.
I promise to go to more local shows (I also promise to stop pre-gaming so hard as to miss the opening act– again, sorry Garden Work!). Last night was a step towards that promise and it was one of the best steps I’ve made all year. Support local venues, support local bands, and become part of a family. Working stuff like Kiss on Monday will be awesome (fingers crossed that I get it) but I doubt I’ll get the same joy out of it that I got last night.