For many years now, Dylan's been inviting some epic roots bands to play a massive birthday party for him and invites Kansas City to celebrate with him. I Love KC Music made it out to night two of the event and what a night it was. If you like roots music this was the place to be; people even came in from out of state for this event.
The night started out with Ghosts of Grandads Past (Kansas City). When you think birthday celebration, sad bastard folk music might not be the first thing you think of, but they got the party to a good start. Besides, sometimes feeling sad just feels so right and you know that saying, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to. Never fear though, the energy of the crowd was enthusiastic and were getting into the music.
Le Grand was up next. As one of the musicians walked on to stage I heard him utter and now for something completely different. A long time ago Le Grand played music with lyrics, but then decided to focus on getting better at their instruments. To do so they dropped the lyrics and their music is so good, no words are needed. The music was mesmerizing.
After Le Grand came The Four Horsemen, playing in the round. The musicians were Adam Lee, Jeff Shepard, Adam Lee, and Matt Woods. These men told stories through music and had fun cracking jokes at each other in between songs.
Austin Stirling (Indianapolis, IN) played with Heather Craig on the fiddle. This was one of those stop you in you tracks sets where you tune into music in a new way. His playing made music feel fresh and new as each sound had an old familiarity to it, but when blended together it was unique and new. His music was a fusion of heavy blues, punk, rock, and something that felt almost Middle Eastern. His voice was stunning. He played with an epic, full sound. The music was like an awakening, a pounding of the heart shocking one back into life.
Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy took the energy in the room and turned it up some more. This Wichita band is well loved in Kansas City and the love was flying this night. Josué at on pointed played his way through the crowd riding on the shoulders of someone in the crowd. As they played I could feel the floor bouncing along to the dancing crowd. Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy always puts on an energetic show, but this night they took it up a level. Watching them challenge each other on solos and seeing the chemistry was amazing. It was the best I’ve seen them play so far.
Freight Train Rabbit Killer ended the night was colossal energy. They played with their Legion of Ghosts and it was indeed a big blowout bender bash! As they masked up they said their opening phrase, “See you on the other side.” The crowd also pulled on their masks, made by FTRK special for this event. The beauty of FTRK and the wearing of masks is it frees people. People put their phones away and get weird. People were dancing with each other and singing along. They also had a special guest, Hawken on stage who danced along with FTRK and the Legion of Ghosts. It was the perfect end to a wonderful night of music.
Happy Birthday, Dylan!