Middle of the Map 2017 – Friday Review
The good weather coupled with the weekend made Westport a hoppin’ place for Middle of the Map’s 2nd day. It’s hard to go anywhere in the district during the festival without bumping into a few awesome bands, and this year it was no different.
Festivities kicked off, once again, at our lovely little record store – this time with the feel-good jams of Dylan Guthrie & the Good Time Guys. A combination of the feel-good moments from The Wailers coupled with the jamming of Phish paved the way for a most chill start to a show in recent memory. However, Guthrie himself wasn’t afraid to crack out an impromptu guitar solo or throw melodies back and forth with his keyboard player. For almost 45 minutes, a record store in Kansas City was transported to a yacht off the coast of a tropical island and it was awesome.
At this point, the crowd at Mills Record Company was at one of it’s most dense – so what better time for hometown favorites Momma’s Boy to take the stage? Momma’s Boy is a genre-bending quartet that really knows how to kick out the jams. The music the band performs conjures up images of the Beach Boys, Neutral Milk Hotel, Weezer and a host of others. Suffice to say, the power pop style isn’t done too much better by anyone else in Kansas City – in particular the dreamlike Rinse and Repeat was a highlight of the set. They’re fresh off the release of their Liquid Courage EP and it’s easy to see that Momma’s Boy is one of KC’s best and brightest.
You know ‘em and you love ‘em – local hotshots Fullbloods were up to close out the venue on Friday. With a healthy dose of funk and disco, Fullbloods put on another near-flawless set that has become synonymous with their name. In particular Money and Anima Mundi gave off that nostalgic sense of funky bass riffs and danceable guitars that don’t come around too often now. Every so often, the guitar would drop out for a buzzing synth solo that only added to the instant-classic performance.
Another full night all around Westport was started by The Invisible World set up inside the Westport Saloon. It may be easy to classify their sound as country rock but the group is much more Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash than Montgomery Gentry and Garth Brooks. Outlaw country made for a raucous performance in such an intimate venue.
The outside patio stage at Californo’s is quickly becoming a local favorite when it comes to live music. The no-frills approach to the venue left the sizeable crowd with plenty of places to dance or sit and drink to Pink Royal – a local group who proceeded to blow the non-existent roof off the joint. With a focus on keyboards (featuring the same keyboard player for Dylan Guthrie), Pink Royal had infectious hooks that had some in the crowd singing along while dancing. Their fun vibe went a long way under the clear night sky of Californo’s.
Although the night was young, that ends our coverage of Friday at Middle of the Map Fest 2017. Stay tuned for Saturday!