Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meanwhile, Back At The Bourbon

Thursday, Monkey and I headed down to the Bourbon Theater to see one of our old favorites, Split Lip Rayfield, a former quartet (now a trio since the death of guitarist Kurt Rundstrom from esophageal cancer in 2007) of speed-picking Kansans. Opening for them was the more traditional local bluegrass quintet, triggertown.

After our first week of back to work, it was good to get out and see a show. And this was a good show to see. The openers are a good band. They harmonize beautifully, and they sound great. They personably entertained a crowd that took the dance floor at the foot of the stage in larger numbers as the set wore on. The crowd clearly knew and enjoyed the undercard.

SLR took the stage near eleven pm, which didn't bode well for Monkey and I on a school night, but, I honestly didn't mind. I had indulged in a nap after work, so, I felt pretty energized.

This was Monkey's and my first time seeing SLR since they had become a trio. For us, Kurt's absence was clear from the start. Not in the sound, so much, but in the energetic spirit of Kurt's performance. Which is not to say that the rest of the guys are lethargic, by any means, but Kurt just had a way of playing that was mesmerizing. His flaring eyes, his flailing arm, his occasional screams, his throw-himself-into-it-100%-all-the-time spirit added a certain extra joy to a Split Lip show. That wasn't there.

That said, the guys still kicked ass. They sounded great, they played tight, they worked the crowd. And, as I had heard they do, they dedicated the show (and every show they play) to Kurt.

They came back for two encore songs, finishing up with Monkey's favorite "Kiss of Death." This song always reminds me of myself in my earlier years: "I am the kiss of death / To cars / The kiss of death." Returning home safely in the early hours of Friday, I felt that warm hum in my head that only loud live music can provide. And those musical bees, dancing in the jar of my head, lulled me into sleep.

2 comments:

La Fashionista said...

Do you wear earplugs? I never do, and one of my friends gives me isht about it. I would bet that you do, as you're all rule-abiding and the like.

strippit

Anon AMVB

ATR said...

I wore earplugs at a Mastodon show, once...hated it (the earplugs, not the music). I choose to be earplug free.