Monday April 19th, 1999 at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS.
Kent, Papas Vegas, & The Anniversary

I talked the rest of the band into heading over to the show after practice and conned Vanessa and Michael into going along as well so I was feeling pretty good about my powers of manipulation. I had pretty much tricked everyone I knew in Kansas City into going to check out a band on my label. However Pepper couldn't make it to practice and The Anniversary would soon not be on my label anymore so maybe I wasn't so sly after all.

It was one of those odd Bottleneck nights where they do an all-ages show early and then an 18+ show later. The Pitch said the 2nd show was at 10pm so I figured that was when the doors opened. WRONG! We got to town at like 10:15 and after a stop at New York Burrito (I didn't eat that crap) and the bank machine we got in The Bottleneck in time to hear the last minute of The Anniversary's last song. Seems the opener has to go on whenever a big headliner commands it even if that's at 10pm with only 6 folks in the club.

After they loaded their truck we headed out to my car to listen to new tracks they just finished mixing. The tracks sound really good but later that week the band emailed saying they were going to ditch the EP on URININE and record the songs over in a bigger studio for a CD to be released by The Get Up Kids. Wish 'em luck on their way up.

The second band, Papas Vegas, were already playing when I returned. I asked my friends how long the band had been playing and, in unison, they answered "too long". Right off the bat the band reminded me a bit of a late Material Issue or an early Stabbing Westward. Someone mentioned they were from Wisconsin or something but there was definitely a brit pop feel to it and an accent on the vocalist that didn't jive. There were also times when musically what you saw on stage didn't jive with what you were hearing, but I think it was just because of the delay on the vocals and the drummers (very nice) backing vocals. For me the high point was really the guitarist's thick tones from giant pedal banks even if his leads were pretty derivative.

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Kent had a host of roadies and techs which quickly jumped on stage to start the set up. I guess they had just been on tour with The Cardigans so they were some fine oiled machine. I took the time to chat with Greg from The Believe It Or Nots about the upcoming CD but it was cut short by the drunken sorority grrl he was entertaining for the evening.


Headlining were Kent from Sweden. I was warned by my friends that if the band wasn't any good we'd split during their set. I had no idea if they were any good actually and only heard earlier that night that they had a dense brit pop type sound. Turns out my friends would stay even through the planned encore but with the detracting line "I've only seen Radiohead once before." The band was at core two guitars, vocals, bass and drums but with an additional guitarist playing behind the band's cabinets, and keyboards being added by another off-stage musician. That's somewhat bizarre in my book. As with the first band, the lead guitar was a fun blending of pedals and effects which held my interest through most of the show. The vocalist moved like Morrissey winding the microphone cord, using the outstretched arm for full effect and kicking his head back and generally acted the true frontman. I enjoyed the band even though they weren't really something I've listened to in years.

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