Recently Dave and I took the opportunity to spend the Valentine’s weekend following a impressive variety of Rock n’ Roll at two venues in Kansas – the revamped Aftershock Bar & Grill in Merriam, and Speedway Bar & Grill in Kansas City, KS. It was a compilation of bands, with this particular weekend actually used for the production of a rock video for national touring act Siva Addiction. The shows were put together by Tommy Caprefoli of KC Productions Live in his trademark way of introducing national acts and combining them with our own local bands between the two venues. The clubs themselves are fantastic places to listen to live music, and the energy surrounding a KC Productions show is intoxicating within itself. The bars fill quickly and stay energized all night. All the bands and fans alike are there to support one another, like a huge long and short haired, and even no haired, tatted, rock-fist pumpin’ outta control, in your face music family, just there to hear the music.
The Friday night at Aftershock was kicked off with a line-up starting with local Kansas City rock veterans of the hard hittin band Quietly Violent. As always, QV opened the night with their powerfully entertaining & true ‘straight from the gutter’ style, in pure ‘Divine’ fashion. What a great way to line up & start the night. With Greg Divine singing lead, Perry Worth on guitar, Jeff Nutt on bass, & Davey Orser on drums, their music and stage performance is sure to bring the hardcore rockers to the front of the stage on any night, with songs like “Dirty Whiskey” & self titled song “Quietly Violent” on the set list. Look for their brand new albums, Straight From The Gutter and An American Disease out soon. They are writing so fast and hard they had too much material for just one new album!
Next on the bill was national touring act Crooked X out of Coweta OK. Before this night we hadn’t been able to see these guys play live, and were more than intrigued by their natural abilities at such young ages. We got a chance to sit down and chat with these boys before they went onstage, and were both impressed to find how humble and professional they really are. We learned that beside the fact they have shared the stage with KISS in Europe and toured with Ted Nugent before they were even signed with EMI in 2008, Jesse the guitarist & Boomer the drummer were also on the same football team in school. Doesn’t seem like big news, but for the fact that they are only 17, and their record deal was in 2008, anything with these young rockers is interesting news. After recently finding Brad their bassist via Craigslist, and putting it all together with their choice and perfect pick Kevin on vocals, these young men have it all ~ especially our attention that weekend. Ending their set with Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd, we weren’t quite ready for them to leave the stage, but glad they had a repeat performance that next night at Speedway Bar.
Next on stage, yet ANOTHER touring band.. Siva Addiction from Oklahoma City took over the night. Led by hot crimson haired rock goddess Bridgette Oliver, who can hit all the high’s and low’s with delicate yet rowdy precision, this heavy sound was just what Kansas City asked for. Teamed up with Andy Hopkins on lead guitar, Vince Lindstrom on rhythm, Jesse Slone on bass, and Brandon Fields on drums, Siva isn’t a stranger to Kansas City. Even though they’ve only played here a few times, one time being last fall sharing the stage with Rev Theory in Bonner Springs, each time they appear they win over more and more fans with their sound and genuine warm love of Kansas City. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know the members, and their manager Sunshine of Axis Entertainment over their last few trips to KC, and we are always welcomed by their unsurpassed hospitality they bring with them. Also brought with them was the opportunity for area fans to be included in their newest video “One Night Rodeo” that was filmed that Sunday at Aftershock by Prestigious Films of Wichita, KS. From one of their hit singles Promises to a female version of Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails, they pull out all the stops to give their fans what they came for. They are moving up in ranks fast as they continue to impress.
In conclusion of the night with just as much energy as it began, but fueled with thick adrenaline and by all rights a little alcohol, Kansas City’s own Drek band took the stage for one of the two nights they hyped our world. We go back quite a way with these guys, and can tell you they always have a way with their fans. You can count on them to keep the bar bumpin till they leave the stage. We’ve witnessed their die hard fan base continue to grow and support. You can count on the vocals of Scott Barnett on his Shure super 55 mic and the guitar magic of Jon Carter, and the newest members, Aaron Deffenbaugh on bass and Dennis Dunbar on drums to slap the ass of any venue into attention. Some people may tag Drek as a ‘party band’, but don’t take that lightly. Party is what they are all about, but music is what they make and deliver. Coined “KC’s very own hard hitting wig splitting in your face rock band straight out of Wyandotte” they bring straight up talent to the industry of Party Hard Rock. And 12 years in the business of making music will tell the tale. Not only are these guys dear friends of ours, but have our respect as well while they continue to make their way thru the saturated music industry with a name that sticks in your brain. “Drek Nation” is the chant when they are urged to play one more, but count on them to play at least two.
And so is the tale of that Friday night. On a KC Productions Live night, the last call kick-out is something to see. But we aren’t done, because Tommy Caprefoli doesn’t ever stop his weekends of madness with just one night. Which brings us to Saturday night at Speedway Bar and Grill. This night is in a very different type of bar, nonetheless a KC Productions show transforms it into a rock scene with the same high positive energy that you just want to be around.
If you ever hear that the band A Good Fight is back in KC, it is strongly suggested that you take time to catch their show. Brought to you from Fayetteville, AR, these stellar musicians have a niche in this industry that is all their own. They are also a little new to the KC area, but have quickly made a place in our little hearts! It wasn’t the typical genre of music that fell upon these two nights of hard core rock, but then again, thanks to Tommy, he makes it work. It might not be head banging rock n’roll, but AGF fits into the groove anyway. They release charming, upbeat tunes that have quickly invaded our minds and we now sing and rock along. A Good Fight is made up of some of the most entertaining jokers around. Eddie Love has a vocal range that is very unique and distinct and such a perfect choice when they finally gave him the job! Dustin “Rizz” Woods on guitar, and his brother Jon on bass, Eddie Mekelburg also on guitar and Robert Lee on drums complete this five piece mix of music energy that is no stranger to playing with the big dogs. They’ve played with the Goo Goo Dolls,3 Doors Down, Chevelle, Drowning Pool, just to name a slight few. As stated in their bio, “A Good Fight’s first EP, “The City Could Be Ours by Morning” caught the attention of national media with their first single “The Drama”. It found its way to MTV, airing the video for a few months and appearing the song on A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila and Made. They were also a featured unsigned artist in Alternative Press Magazine.” With their neon mike stands and quirky props here and there as they belt out crowd faves such as “Kill Me What A Love” and “Ordinary”, it’s a quality performance that leaves a good impression in our opinion, and we will always welcome them here.
Moving on into the evening, and while Siva Addiction is stealthily shooting parts of their “One Night Rodeo” video outside in the parking lot, another KC favorite, Rocker Lips takes stage. When you get to experience a Rocker Lips show, it will leave you wondering where the fourth member of the band is. Where do they hide him? Because with three musicians on stage with that kind of sound, you just expect to see more bodies, but there aren’t. It’s just a pure funky rock with a trio that we totally admire. Quoting their Facebook bio “Rocker Lips music can best be described as “Brand New Classic Rock”. The band picks up where true rock and roll left off some 30 years ago, casting a wide net catering to listeners both young and old.” I quote it because it is said perfectly. With Matt Rumans on guitar, Andy on bass, shirtless and tatted Chris Richards on drums, and ALL of them at some point on vocals, they use their own stage presence, lighting, and killer unique drum riser to captivate the audience and are a favorite across many states. They are loved wherever they go, and we love that KC is their home. With three albums released and a fourth on the way by summer, Rocker Lips is doing everything right. We own their newest album “Needle In The Groove” as well as my personal favorite, the Rocker Lips matchbooks.
By the end of our second evening of KC Productions mayhem, we were once again entertained by Crooked X and Drek, and were not ready to say goodbye to our on the road rocker friends. In pure Drek Nation fashion, the crowd stayed until last call kicked them out.
Until next time,
Cat and Dave Pilgrim
You can find access to any of the bands via Facebook or their own websites.