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Saturday May 6th, 2022 at Revolution Records in Kansas City, MO
Red Kate, Arson Class, Poorly Executed, The Electric Lungs, & Deco Auto

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I should write paragraphs about this show exalting the bands and organizers and fans and weather and the Kansas City skyline. Everything about the night was lovely, and everyone associated with it – even if they were just peacocking down Locust Street from one First Friday happening to the next – made it. But the evening happened amidst a busy run of shows, during a busy weekend, and before a vacation, so there’s no write up. Just some notes.

Deco Auto played its second show as a four piece, opening with good energy, cordial banter, and an exuberant mix of pop and punk tunes called out by Steven Garcia often to the surprise of his bandmates. Despite playing on a flatbed trailer parked on the side of the road, the sound was good. Despite dodging cars driving down Locust, my photos aren’t bad.

The Electric Lungs are punk in ethos, but you’d find their records in pop/rock if this were the ‘80s. Then again you could file their records anywhere. Lots of ‘50s rock & roll solos from frontman Tripp Kirby and his hollowbody guitar. But keys provide odd eastern European accents. And then there’s hardcore two-step drumming. There’s a lot.

Did I have time to scoot over to Pirate’s Bone to get an Impossible Burger and a strawberry (oat)milkshake between bands? Yes, I did. All shows should be scheduled around my meals.

Poorly Executed followed. New band. Old players that I should have recognized but didn’t. Just punk. The sort of punk that every band in my hometown of Indy was pumping out in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The sort still playing West Coast ‘80s hardcore punk with East Coast hardcore vocals. The sort I loved then. The sort that still feels like home.

Then Arson Class. Outdoor concerts don’t support sonic nuance. That hurts a lot of bands, but not Arson Class – they don’t have any, they’re an all-guts punk & roll trio. The band’s long set was full of banter, a cover of The Replacement’s “Can’t Hardly Wait” (just untidy enough to please The ‘Mats), and all the hits before concluding with riff-monster latest single, “Rock & Roll.”

When Red Kate started it was dark and the glowing red Tension Envelopes reflected in the glass behind the band. Vibe shift. Older songs up front, then on to the new material. The audience had waned a bit, but the foot traffic was heavier, and there were more dancers. The band’s pub rock roots are thinning as it moves to move nuanced post-punk. We’ve already talked about nuance and outdoor shows. Muddy. Still there were amazing solos and roiling rhythms hinting at just how great that (eventual) new album will be.