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Saturday January 22nd, 2022 at Record Bar in Kansas City, MO
The Band That Fell To Earth KC

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No write-up seems less necessary than this one. So I'll dispense with the big words, and instead jot something down in the way of context and maybe tell you why this series of performances are so wonderful.

The Band That Fell To Earth KC is a cadre of local musicians (17 this year by my count) amassed by rhythm-section-about-town Michelle Bacon. The band perform annually to celebrate David Bowie's life with meticulously arranged and skillfully played covers staged replete with synchronized lights and video projections. A portion of the proceeds go to charity. This year funds were donated to Transformations KC — "a transgender, gender non-conforming (TGNC) and gender expansive youth group for teens 12-18 years of age." This sixth annual celebration was spread over two nights in an attempt to cover the breadth of Bowie's expansive career. I only caught night two, and yet I still heard nearly four hours of Bowie's music. And those are the details.

But that's not why these concerts are wonderful. To borrow from a younger generation, these shows are all about the vibe. The band has a magnificent time performing together. There is real and obvious comradery in the assemblage. And there is such joy in watching one musician delighted at another's skill. That doesn't happen in most established bands — the bassist is seldom awed by the guitarist nailing a solo, but it happens repeatedly on this stage. The elation is infectious. And there's more. Sure, the audience is excited to hear classic songs that are connected with fond memories, but the real raison d'être is to revel in the invention (and constant reinvention) of Bowie. Fans celebrate in carefully created outfits, colorful wigs, and extreme makeup, turning the night into a midwinter Halloween for those that never fit neatly into a box. It's a blast of life-affirming serotonin in midwinter. And that's why this annual celebration is more than wonderful — it's absolutely necessary.