This secret show on December 5, 2017 was one of the very best concerts of 2017. It was a night of delight, surprise, and of course, wonderful music. Calvin is quietly, but boldly changing the music landscape in Kansas City. In 2017 I had already attended two stand out Calvin Arsenia shows-the plaide luau and the show at Greenwood.
Knowing Calvin Arsenia, I knew A Night In Calvin Arsenia was going to be a thoughtful and unique experience, but I have to admit, I underestimated the night by a long shot. My first clue at how much I underestimated the night should have been right at arrival. Almost like a speakeasy guests gave their name to be let up into the event space at Wickstock West. We were sent up to the space to the elevator. The doors to the freight elevator closed and the first thing I noticed was sitting under a blue and purple light was a woman playing the accordion dressed like a renaissance ferry.
The doors opened into the space and right away I felt a warmth and a buzz of excitement for the evening to begin. The room sparkled with the glitter and sequins of the guests dressed in their glitzy black tie best. Champagne was being passed out to guest to accompany light hors d'oeuvres while the VIP guests finished a fine dinner with Calvin. Calvin was masked in a beautiful black feathered masquerade mask. After some time, we gathered by the couch with a harp in the corner. I settled in for a night of music. A short film started with Calvin speaking to another man during a friend family dinner about love and trying again when you feel unsure. The film ended
and the true night of wonder began. Darkness fell on us, Calvin mingled through the crowd in his mask and a violin played. The curtain was torn down and we were whisked through a small opening in the W, to find a whole new world to discover.
Much to my delight we discovered a world of whimsical wonder and romance. The setting felt like we were in the dreamy inner working of Calvin’s brain trying to discover love. Song after song delighted the audience with new music and familiar songs from Calvin. Calvin started the performance clothed in a gorgeous floor length tool skirt covered in whispy flowers. His neck was adorned in many pearl necklaces that would have seemed like to much for anyone but Calvin. As the performance played out like a theatrical musical, Calvin shed different layers, becoming more and more vulnerable. Adorning the edges of the stage were several woman singing. While Calvin sang about relationships with men, there was a sensual interplay between him and the woman.
When Calvin played a cover of toxic, you could feel palpable heat in the room from the sensuality of it. Calvin transformed from a vulnerable man to the triumphant hero. He stood tall in a gorgeous red tunic like the love he found. The masked lover and Calvin picked apart the mask and hugged. The women placed on him pieces of their costumes transforming him from man to king.
The surprises for the night continued when in merry jubilee, Calvin beckoned us follow. We returned back to the main space light only by a few candles and a jovial New Orleans style jazz band played as the crowd stood mesmerized and joyful as the night came to a close.