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Tuesday September 12th, 2017 at Record Bar in Kansas City, MO
Single Mothers, The Runaway Sons, & Bummer

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No time for a write up of this one, so let's just call this one a "show summary."

KC's Bummer. So loud, so heavy, no leads, so many breakdowns, so much groove, and so much flying hair hiding the faces of the trio. There was very little audience interaction, and when the band did address the crowd, it was bassist Mike Gustafson speaking in a barely decipherable Señor Wences-styled voice. But dialogue with the small audience was pointless, as everyone had their earplugs jammed so deeply into their ears that anything short of a jet engine would have been inaudible. Even then, Bummer was proudly too loud.

The Runaway Sons played fast, loud, sassy rock. Guitarist Nik Godbout's Turbojugend jacket gave clues to the band's goals, but Runaway Sons were never as dangerous, never as dark, never as naughty. Nevertheless, the quartet put on a proper rock show replete with rock faces on drummer Angelo "Meatball" Farinella, rock windmills from guitarist Jon Porter, rock backbends from guitarist Nik Godbout, and rock poses on the proscenium from vocalist Jimmy Wing. Most of the set was new material scheduled for a forthcoming debut album that I just discovered I'm excited to hear.

Andrew Thomson has fronted Ontario's Single Mothers for nine years, but the lineup has shifted every day since its inception. His backing trio on this tour was solid, professional, polished, and disengaged. As was the theme of the night, it was also loud. Thomson's stage presence consisted of hopping about the stage (usually on one foot), pushing back his hair, and raising a hand to testify to the intimate audience that the cynical, sarcastic, and biting lyrics, he was either speaking or screaming, were the God's honest truth. When the band's blistering hardcore roots shone through, it was electric, but when the pace slowed, as in current single "Leash," from this year's Our Pleasure (Dine Alone Records), the energy fell flat. Reading the room, Thomson quickly redirected the band from its prepared eleven-song setlist to now feature several additional songs from its early catalog, saving the 40-minute set from a lackadaisical disaster.