In Retrospect: MLS All-Star

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Just as the weeklong goosebumps are finally gone, they seem to be coming back as I recollect on this past weeks festivities. As the dust from the MLS All Star festivities windstorm settles, I find myself in a state of withdrawal and overall denial that it’s actually over. Months of tedious planning, countless hours of on site preparation and now all I can do is reminisce. Just doesn’t seem fair. From watch parties to fashion shows, free swag and the opportunity to learn a first hand the dangers of texting and driving, the week long festivities were the definition of full service.

Now lets get into the music.

Plain and simple, Monday night lived up to the hype. With a buzz stirring for weeks prior to the show, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis came out to a jam packed venue that was expecting a stellar performance. Well Kansas City (and people who came from much further away) you got what you asked for, and then some. Before opener DJ Clinton Sparks could even take the stage, the venue had reached maximum capacity, literally they were packed in like sardines. Complete disregard for the all day storm, kudos on the dedication KC.

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Opener DJ Clinton Sparks did his thang (trying too hard?) getting the crowd “turnt up” with his mashup style dj-ing including nearly every popular club jam from the past decade. The crowd was into him and somehow even managed to dance, I didn’t think people would be able to breath let alone dance, but once again, respect.

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And now for that Macklemore guy… Dare I say it, better live than on record. Allow me to clarify. The atmosphere his show creates and the way the crowd completely seems to embody his message is, simply put, euphoric. In a hip hop world that is completely dominated by egotistical, greedy rappers with lyrics that would make any mothers run and grab the soap, Macklemore’s uplifting, poetic style is a real breath of fresh air. Upbeat rhythms, accompanied by a four piece horn section which and of course Ryan Lewis spinning his self produced tracks provided an unrivaled hip hop experience.

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Tuesday night brought a completely new genre of music and an equally as different demographic of people. Local-ish opener Radkey from St. Joseph, MO hot off their recent European debut showed the crowd that age is just a number and the young can still rock.

Silversun Pickups came out to yet another packed venue as the hype of the silver ticket treasure hunt mixed with the awe of yet another free to the public show proved its effectiveness. Welcoming back their beloved bass player and female component Nikki Monninger after an extended leave of absence was a pleasant surprise for the audience. Front man Brian Aubert showed off his ability to shred the electric six string while simultaneously intriguing the audience with his far past unique voice. My favorite aspect of this particular set was that they let the music do the talking. Songs faded into the next song with little to no talking/audience interaction from the band (they were social and friendly, don’t get me wrong). For my first time seeing them live, they blew me away. Silversun, I will be back.

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