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live music review

03/30: Capture the Flag / Sister Crayon / Gemini Revolution @ Recordbar

Shows that are of a uniform sound get rather boring at times. There are some nights when I leave a venue having seen a handful of indie rock or punk bands and I have trouble remembering who was who. Which band with the shaggy hair, plaid shirts, and beards played that one song I probably drank too much to remember anyway? I take it as a breath of fresh air when tours come together, or a mish-mash of local bands decide to play together and not a single damn one of them are even comparable.

A last-minute addition of Cheyenne Marie Mize pushed the night to an earlier start time of 9:30. The Louisville native ran through a quick set of medium-bodied songs that made a pinball effect from Appalachian folk and country, to devil-may-care femme rock icons like PJ Harvey, all while straddling a sweet-toothed pop sensibility. The live renditions of her songs didn’t come across quite as cavernous as some of her studio-recorded material, but they resonated well within the walls of the Recordbar just the same.

Kansas City three-piece Gemini Revolution began assembling their stage ensemble by setting up a cheap folding table with a Moog, then aiming a light projector at the giant, white sheet that was hanged behind the drum kit. Guitarist Dedric Moore and programmer/keyboardist Delaney Moore, both of whom co-founded the local space rock collective Monta at Odds, were backed up by the spastic free jazz drumming of Mika Tayana. The set was at times caustic, but maintained a freely flowing vibe above the pretension that often comes with electronic-based psychedelia. The creeped-out, ’70s Italian b-movie synth break midway through the set is a more common occurrence for their full-time project, but the addition of Mika’s spoken word throughout added that much more of a performance art vibe.

The crowd was slowly thinning out as Sister Crayon began at 11:30. Undeterred, the Sacramento band played a kinetic set to an audience that all but ignored the quartet, who except for vocalist Terra Lopez remained shrouded in a mountain of drum machines and keyboards. Lopez wildly danced around to the music, pale arms and jet black hair flailing and flipping about while the singer hit some rather operatic notes amid the brain-shaking bass from programmer Dani Fernandez. There was nary a guitar on stage save for keyboardist Jeff LaTour bringing one out temporarily, and even then it served mostly as a pick-scratching post. At their best, the band called to mind Portishead during the trip-hop feasts of “Here We Never Die” and “Anti-Psalm” — at their worst, they resembled a more sufferable Imogen Heap.

The attendance greater waned before Capture the Flag closed out the night at 12:30. Former frontman for a variety of (for better or worse) forgotten Warrensburg bands (Nephesh, Sunday Blackout) Micah Jacobsen paired up with guitarist Adam Zarda (yes, that Zarda) to make some unabashedly radio-friendly rock supported by a drummer and laptop-supplied backtracking. The band ran through the entirety of their recently self-recorded and self-released debut album in just over 30 minutes, with little banter but much appreciation for the handful of those that remained. I once read a truth that critics like for things to come in threes, so the band’s combination of pop, punk, and indie rock melting together in an enjoyable fusion was just a bonus.

This review was written for Lost in Reviews. All photos taken by the talented Matt Cook.

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About Greg

The purpose of Riot on the Plaza is simply to get some names out there that may have otherwise been overlooked, both from today and from years past. This blog is just a place where I can nerd out about bands I enjoy, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

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