Lawrence Field Day Fest: Night Two
In any city you go to, the people of that city claim to have the best music scene in the country. So, when I first started going to shows in Lawrence, I was inevitably surrounded by LFK residents saying things like, “You’ll never find a music scene as wonderful as this one.” In one ear and out the other, I carried on with my headbanging.
This past weekend, Lawrence hosted its fifth annual Field Day Fest, featuring showcases from Girls Rock Lawrence, Record Machine, High Dive Records, and Datura. Over thirty local bands came together to celebrate the finest music the area has to offer at venues like Jackpot Music Hall, Replay Lounge, and The Bottleneck.
While the entire weekend completely blew me away, there was one night in particular that had me riding cloud nine. Friday night, I stumbled into the Bottleneck to check out Lawrence rockers The Dear Misses. This four-piece band put on a classic rock and roll show, with guitarist Cody Stapleton shredding away, while sweet melodies carried through each song. Deriving inspiration from bands like Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, and Jimmy Eat World, The Dear Misses had the audience dancing away.
WIDES hit the stage next and tore it up. Like, literally, lead vocalist and guitarist Kainen Spooner threw his guitar across the stage and proceeded to restring the instrument during the performance and keep going. If you don’t believe me, check out 0:32 in the recap video at the bottom of the page. It’s ridiculously awesome. The dreamy post-punk sounds paired with Spooner’s bright pink hair made for a psychedelic safe haven right in the middle of the Bottleneck.
Change of scenery to the Jackpot Music Hall, where Bummer took the
stage (well, actually, they ditched the stage and set up on the floor) as part of the High Dive Records showcase. Before I tell you how Bummer basically slapped everyone in the room across the face with their doomy rock power sounds, I must tell you that people search their whole lives for a band like Bummer. This band is one that knows how to party hard, but be inclusive of every person in the room at the same time. The energy of Bummer is one that cannot be matched. Three coffees, a five-hour energy drink, and four laps around Mass Street later and I STILL couldn’t compete with the noise these sludge lords were putting out. The crowd, while hesitant at first, jumped in right away and by the end, I swear, I thought the Jackpot was going to collapse. If you haven’t yet, go out and see Bummer as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.
The High Dive Records Showcase continued with The Conquerors. This
musical quintet composed a conglomeration of “razor edge percussion, clean riffs, and ravenous vocals”, making way for an inimitably captivating show. The fact that there were five different musicians up on the stage at once caused for a compelling performance. There was always something to look at. Bored of staring at the drummer? Look at the lead singer. Sick of looking at the lead singer? Look at the percussionist. Great songwriting mixed with a 1960s rock and roll vibe made my Friday night unforgettable.
Shy Boys, a Kansas City-based trio, enlightened the LFK music junkies with a taste of indie pop. Soothing guitar melodies coupled with delicate beats had the whole audience swaying back and forth for that 30-minute set. Listening to Shy Boys live left me in a trance, smiling like an idiot. It was uplifting and tranquil – just what I needed during that moment in time. My recommendation: go out and buy yourself a Shy Boys vinyl, draw yourself a bath, lay in the tub, and soak in those sweet tunes. Catch Shy Boys (with The Conquerors!) this Friday, July 22nd at The Blind Tiger. (Click here for more information.)
Lawrence-based garage punk-rockers, Psychic Heat, ended night two of
Field Day Fest with a raging set full of songs that enamored every member of the audience. The psychedelic shoegaze sounds of this band usually evokes some serious headbanging and cheers, but this show was different. The crowd wasn’t just dancing around; they were moshing and quite frankly, putting every ounce of energy they had into the music. It was an astounding experience because it was one of the first times I’ve ever seen an audience put in as much effort into a performance as the band members themselves. It was unreal and I’m still riding the high from the set Psychic Heat put on. Another bonus? The guys in the band are ridiculously cool. Seriously, go talk to the lead singer of this band. There’s no way you won’t leave that conversation without a smile on your face. Phenomenal people making phenomenal music making us phenomenally happy listeners.
All said and all done, I get it now. The Lawrence and Kansas City music scene really is the best one. Maybe I’m slightly biased, but when I go to shows in other cities, you’ll catch me going on and on about our music scene and how I fell in love with it on July 15th, 2016 it at Lawrence Field Day Fest.