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Thursday December 15th, 2022 at Minibar in Kansas City, MO
The Uncouth, Doldrums, & The D-Fibs

This show is another victim of the holiday hustle. I didn't have time to write about it immediately after the show, and when you're as old as I am, memories fade quickly. So, let's just get in a quick recap.

The D-Fibs started the night. I hadn't seen (or even heard of) the band before, but there were some familiar faces in the quartet. Of course, the last time I saw some of them on stage it was the ‘90s, and now most of those faces are obscured by white beards. Turns out this would be a running schtick with the band, starting with its name and continuing through many of its songs. It's nothing new for a punk band to sing "fuck the system," but when frontman Tim Nord does it, he's referring to his wrecked nervous system. After the song he added, "I should have lived better but I didn't." Tongues were planted firmly in cheeks throughout the night, even during the introduction to the scary "Song that Almost Killed Jon" – a quick-paced number named for the cardiac event suffered by drummer Jon Cagle while playing it at practice one night. Nord noticed the signs immediately, had a blood pressure gauge (because he's of a certain age), and triaged the situation quickly. Take heed kids, YOLO. The band's 30-minute set was entrenched punk with small forays into pop punk and street punk. There were moments of nice vocal harmony, a few really nice guitar leads, and a delightful bouncing bass line in one song. The band has a couple of demos on their Bandcamp page, but let's hope the foursome lives long enough to get their excellent set down on tape and has the energy for a few more shows before we are all forced off into rockabilly retirement.

The room was packed at this point. I'm not sure what the capacity is at miniBar, but there were over a hundred in the room when Doldrums took the stage. The hardcore band really only has one speed, and you know it's balls out. In the first song a glass bottle was smashed, beers went flying, and people (including yours truly) were sent tumbling. And then the lights were turned out. What happened after that is anyone's guess, though I did see someone with a very bloody face outside immediately after the set. He thought it might have been someone's tooth that punctured his head. Singer Jordan Taylor further stirred the pit, instructing the crowd to "move side to side as fast as you can." Taylor himself couldn't make his way into the pit as he often does at shows, but instead screamed his ferocities into the handheld microphone as he paced the stage. Guitarist Dodi Wiemuth stood with one leg propped on a monitor, making stanky faces and sick riffs. Bassist Ian Andreasen was confused by the monitors, complaining that he couldn't hear himself as well as he normally can at the basement shows the band frequently plays. As has been the case for a while, the majority of the band's set was built from unreleased songs planned for a future full-length that you're going to want to buy.

At 10:15 The Uncouth took the stage. Most of the band's recent gigs have been support slots with shortened sets, so I eyed the luxurious fourteen-song setlist hungrily. It started slow, with the audience biding its time through three new songs, but when "Know Your Roots" hit, the crowd let loose. Fan favorites "Living Wage," "Madness on The Streets," and "Same Old Story" had everyone in the packed club singing. A cover of "KC Belongs to Me" had drunks hanging off bassist Steve Gardels and his microphone. By the finale of "Because You're Young" (yes, the second Cock Sparrer cover of the night), the mob had taken over his microphone entirely, forcing Gardels to buddy up with rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Cody Blanchard on the centerstage mic. This Oi! band doesn't inspire constant side-to-side pits or circling moshers, just happy hooligans with raised beers, singing loudly about working class pride, beating down big-mouthed phonies, and the stress of living under a government that always favors the rich. The crowd was the usual mix of skinheads, casuals, street punks, and one very drunk shirtless dude who fell down a lot before proclaiming that this was, "the best show in months." Shame he won't remember any of it the next day. CJ Wilson's guitar solos and leads were right up front where they needed to be, drummer Todd Rainey was on the money, and despite Gardels' monitor cutting in and out (maybe Andreasen was on to something with his earlier complaints), he still nailed his bass lines and backing vocals. The band has an album in the can, and I'm told we can expect something in late spring/early summer. 2023 is going to be a big year for KC bands.