x
the_deli_magazine

Rate the Artist:


Please visit The Deli's full web charts organized by genre and region.


Go to Charts

Cancel

Middle of the Map Fest recap





Middle of the Map Fest recap

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
Now that Middle of the Map Fest is all wrapped up, here’s a look back at the music fest a couple weeks back. We also had a blast at the forum and film portions of the fest. Here are some highlights from a few of our contributors.
 
(Photo by Todd Zimmer)


Kicking off the fest for me (and for most, as they were one of the first groups scheduled), the adorable couple took to the stage in their usual slightly off-kilter alternative garage rock fashion. I strolled in during the part of the set where guitarist Matt Roth recites beat poetry sans music while drummer Nan Turner dances of various persuasions. Though one could argue it is an odd move in the middle of a set of rock music, it ends up serving as just one more “we do what we want” layer of joy to the overall warm and fuzzy soul hug you get at a Schwervon! show. A special nod to the Riot Room sound here, as this was easily the biggest sounding Schwervon! show I have seen.
 
(Photo by Todd Zimmer)


For a band that has played a very small number of shows, Loose Park has quite a bit of buzz to them, probably due to its members currently or previously being in a slew of popular KC acts (Doris Henson, Soft Reeds, In the Pines, etc). Yet another of the pleasing number of trios I’ve seen between MOTM and SXSW this year, they lived up to the hype for me. The sound is rock and roll, borrowing as much from Neil Young as it does ‘90s alternative rock, with just enough prog-like quirkiness to keep things interesting. Vocalist/guitarist Matthew Dunehoo’s voice came across especially strong and although I was unable to stick around for their whole set, what I did hear was exciting. I’ll definitely be checking them out again.
 
(Photo by Todd Zimmer)


Unpretentious high-energy punk rock with pop sensibility and a synthesizer flair. Love these guys. I’ve had the pleasure of catching them numerous times over the past couple years and have really enjoyed watching them grow into the band they are now. They played an energetic set of tunes to an appreciative crowd that grew ten fold throughout the course of their set. Gary Numan had just let out more or less right above them, but his crowd that stumbled into Westport Saloon didn’t move on once they heard what the Lungs were putting down. Anytime a band can keep a large and growing group of people for a whole set at a festival with many things happening simultaneously is a good sign.

 
For many years, my pissed-at-the-world, play-as-loud-as-my-speakers-and-ears-can-take-it album was Something to Write Home About. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to show up at showtime to hear the last couple minutes of the J. Roddy set, and therefore snake a spot about 15 feet back center stage when people left to get a beer. I’ve seen The Get Up Kids a few times now, but it had been a while, and not on a stage this big since Yahoo Outloud circa 2001. I was in full on fangirl mode.

They quickly shattered any doubt about what age and/or time may have done to a band with such an energetic reputation. Sure, there was a lot less jumping or running around and I don’t remember Dewees getting up on his keyboard stand even once, but whether due to the excitement of the crowd where I was standing or just refinement through time (or perhaps that I, like them, have grown older accordingly), their set came across as solid as it ever did. They blazed through mostly older material, though even they admitted that “it’s all old stuff at this point”. Someone from the crowd jokingly yelled out “emo grandfathers,” from which Pryor got a noticeable laugh and retorted appropriately.

The Get Up Kids showed the crowd why they are one of the biggest bands to come out of our neck of woods in recent memory. “Holiday” and “Action & Action” pummeled with raw angst and vigor. “I’m a Loner Dottie, A Rebel” brought the house down. The tender moments from “Valentine” reminded the crowd of the depth of their material. Even the technical difficulties that fouled up “Overdue” so much that they had to stop and resort to playing “Campfire Kansas” instead (which is probably what we wanted to hear more anyway) couldn’t put a damper on an otherwise hitch-free set.
 
They bantered about memories of Westport. 21st birthdays and an awkward bicycle ride at Buzzard Beach. The house not far away they used to live in. I never turned around to see how many people were there, but the ones around me felt like a community. We were all bouncing, we were all grooving, we were all belting the words along. It felt like a show in someone’s basement or at a small familiar haunt like the Replay. One of the most friendly mosh pits I’ve ever seen even broke out during their closing song “Ten Minutes.”
 
Perhaps I am waxing nostalgic, but this is what a rock show should be like.

This was my first TD show. Having heard good things about them, I slunk my way through the billowing crowd at The Riot Room to find a square foot to stand on that could see that stage. If MOTM and SXSW showed me anything this year, it’s that alt folk and dance pop bands had better get their fill now, because loud rock ‘n roll is making a comeback. Those Darlins are a friggin’ rock band. Loud guitars, rumbling bass, pounding drums, wailing vocals. The frontperson of this freight train? Jessi Zazu, a *maybe* 100-pound pasty white nymph, complete with a red blazer and curly auburn Annie hair. Her stage presence is an interesting mix of playful kitten meets jilted ex-lover meets psychopath, as she would often flare her eyes raptor size and stare holes through various people amongst the crowd. Their set was a great balance of musicality and showmanship.

Even as it grows into more of a beast year by year, Middle of the Map is delightfully Midwestern. Delightfully Kansas City. Delightfully ours.
 
--Zach Hodson
 
When Lauren Krum (The Grisly Hand) and David Regnier (Dead Voices) perform as a duet, with just their voices in tight harmony and his acoustic guitar, they perform under the moniker Ruddy Swain. They were part of the recordBar day party on Saturday, and you could have heard a pin drop as everyone in the place was captivated by the stripped-down performance of the lead vocalists of two of KC's favorite alt-country bands. It occurred to me as I snapped pictures that they don't need anything besides their voices and his guitar to hold an audience in the palm of their hand and keep them there for the entire set. No doubt, the audience would have demanded an encore if not for the tight schedule a successful festival commands.
 
Move over, Taylor Swift. 15-year-old Gracie Schram of Leawood doesn't need a bad relationship or a horrendous breakup to write a good song. I've had the hook-lines from “Yellow Shoes” and “We Are the Change” running through my head since her set at the recordBar, and I'm not humming “God Save the Queen” to get rid of them. She's a complete package: a gifted songwriter, a talented guitar player, and a superb vocalist, all combined with stage presence. Kansas City music aficionados will sniff haughtily some day when tickets to see her are going for $150 a throw that we remember her mom driving her to gigs and seeing her for five bucks at local coffee houses. Fortunately for us, we don't just get to bear witness as she matures and grows, we get to call her one of our own.
 
--Tammy Booth
 
(Photo by Jaime Russell)
 
The latest incarnation of Joshua Allen’s rock outfit kicked off The Deli’s showcase at Riot Room on MOTM’s first evening. As promised, the four-piece delivered a bombastic, psychedelic sound to the early audience. Allen’s crunching, whirling guitars joined forces with Eddie Moore’s otherworldly keyboard noises, the anarchy of which was kept in check by the bass and drum groove of EvanJohn McIntosh and Mark Lomas. The band’s chaotic, high-energy set was devoured by a hungry crowd, eager for more, ready for a sensational music-filled weekend.
 
(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
The first time I saw Molly Gene, I was just beginning as a musician, still daunted by the complexity of my instruments, my lack of style, my own timidness. After I saw her perform, I probably should have quit right then, knowing that I would probably never possess that same ability, or charm, or grit.
 
Years later, she’s featured at Westport Saloon’s showcase. Still with all of the same elements as before, somehow enhanced. It’s not just her fancy-looking (and sounding) foot-controlled drum kit—complete with kick, snare, a cymbal, and who knows what else—but more of a toughness in her songwriting and sensuality in her stage presence. Her brand of garage rock heavily steeped in Delta blues created the precise mood for the evening.
 
 
There’s something both soothing and jarring when you hear Jorge Arana, Jason Nash, and Josh Enyart share a stage together. They conjure up these wickedly rich, complicated rhythms and melodies that almost make you uneasy. It’s like when you sneaked out of your parents’ house as a teenager to smoke cigarettes with your friends or make out with your crush—an innocent enough gesture, coupled with the exhilarating rush of rebellion and intensity. And every time the trio takes the stage, it seems like the perfect setting, whether it’s in a dingy basement or in this case—The Riot Room patio.
 
Among the highlights of the entire fest was the trio’s performance with special guest Steve Tulipana, whose mere presence on stage sent an invigorating shock wave through the already euphoric audience. The always-captivating Tulipana sang, spoke, and screamed like a shaman, keeping the masses transfixed and clinging to his every word.
 
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for what I consider true, classic, soul-satisfying, face-melting guitar rock. For several years, Supernauts was one of the best sources in KC for this unadulterated, unapologetic music. Their recent performance at MOTM—one of their only performances in years—proved that they still very much have the rock chops. Jordan Smith has a higher vocal range that can weave between a cool glam song or cut through Tim Braun’s colossal, soaring guitar riffs and J.F. Whitaker’s mammoth drum work. The Elders’ Kian Byrne also filled in on bass, helping the band produce a more solid, beefier sound than in years past.
 
 
Kicking off the main stage on Saturday afternoon—the final day of the fest—was another KC trio that has proven to be more than the sum of its parts. Fascinated by frontman Nathan Corsi’s striking voice and the band’s unmistakable overall appeal, the day’s early spectators had no choice but to move their feet. Augmented by a rhythm section (Liam Sumnicht and Bill Sturges) that provides just enough countermelody to heighten the band’s sound, Corsi ripped through the set flawlessly, keeping listeners lingering around the main stage to see if anything else could top that performance.
 
What happens when you allow a zany group of people dressed as comic heroes on acid to jump on a stage? If you have ever had the chance to see Peelander-Z, you already know the answer: several things, actually. You’ll probably get the urge to dance. You’ll probably belly laugh at least twice. You’ll definitely chant something having to do with a Rubik’s cube or guys named Mike. You may even end up on stage, playing a guitar or bowling. If you have any sort of capacity to enjoy things, you will have more fun than you’ve had at a concert… possibly ever.
 
Not only does this Japanese (from NYC) band know how to keep a crowd engaged better than most bands, but Peelander-Z can play a great set, which they proved on the Ernie Biggs stage. With plenty of punk influence along with a whole lot of quirkiness, you’d be a fool if you didn’t have a smile on your face by the end of the show.
 
Spirit is the Spirit was the finale of my time at the music fest, as I was too exhausted to possibly see anything else. But for me, it was an ideal ending. The recordBar was filled almost to capacity with people winding down from a stellar music weekend, and Spirit is the Spirit provided an outstanding soundtrack for the conclusion. The band, made up of five excellent composers/musicians, has a consistent rock sound blended with psychedelic touches, folk qualities, and atmospheric layers.
 
Special thanks to everyone who dropped by The Deli’s showcase at The Riot Room patio on the first evening of the fest, and especially to all the bands who played: Various Blonde, Is Paris Burning, Rooms Without Windows, Middle Twin, Loose Park, and Spinstyles.
 
--Michelle Bacon 
 
 
 
 

 

HTML Hit Counter

 

 

This Emerging Artist is based in NYC,
check out other talented locals we picked
for our NYC Artist of the Month poll below!

             
What's your favorite Emerging NYC Artist on this list?
Total: 1 votes
  The Advertisers 
  The Hell Yeah Babies  
  Jacob ZL 
  LPX 
  Miette Hope 
  red steppes 
  Zr. King  

This poll will end on October 1, 2019 at 11.59 PM ET

Please stay positive with the comments, support for other bands is one of the secrets of "success."

Results as of September 24, 2019, 6:05 am

sponsored by::
 

 

 

NYC New Bands With Buzz

- news for musician and music pros -

Loading...