#ConcertAlert – GROUPLOVE | MS MR | smallpools – 96.5 The Buzz Presents: Buzz Under The Stars

#ConcertAlert - GROUPLOVE | MS MR | smallpools - 96.5 The Buzz Presents: Buzz Under The Stars

#KC, we’re gearing up for a HUGE 2014 summer of music at KC Live! – here is our first big concert of many: Buzz Under The Stars Night 1 w/ GROUPLOVE, MS MR & Smallpools | April 30th | Kansas City Live Block at the Kansas City Power & Light District | Buzz Freeloader tickets go on sale Wednesday, December 11th! Spread the word!
www,facebook.com/kcliveblock | http://www.twitter.com/kcliveblock
http://www.965thebuzz.com

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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.

What a Melting Pot of a Week!

I’m not going to say that we had every genre of music on the Live! Block this past week, but we sure gave it a good run. As is tradition, Thursday night was dedicated to Country music and recording artist Greg Bates, you know the guy who sings “Did It For The Girl”. Despite mother nature’s drastic attempts to ruin our plans of getting careless on a Thursday night, we stuck it to her with a little thing called a roof. Those things sure work wonders in terms of keeping people dry, who’d a thought. Relatively new to the scene, he signed his recording contract in 2011, Bates managed to attract a decently diverse and may we add dedicated audience. As far as his sound is concerned, the 25 year old packs a deceivingly deep voice inside his smaller than average frame. No doubt about it though, the man can flat out sing; a thunderous performance enhanced by the aid of actual thunder. I have a hunch that we will be seeing big things from Bates in the near future, loads of potential and plenty of open road ahead of this young artist.

Now for Friday night, not sure that the written word can adequately describe what went down on the Live! block…. but I’m going to give it a shot anyway. Allow me to just preface the evening with this, 96.5 the Buzz knows what the hell they are doing and set the FREE concert bar just about as high as it could possibly be set. With headliner Grouplove (I’ll get to the raddness that was their performance shortly) and opening acts Robert Delong and Middle Class Rut, the audience was essentially treated to three headliners for the price of… well free.

For those of you who have never experienced a Robert Delong show, let me tell you, I do not use the word “show” lightly. Coming from an accomplished background in drumming, Delong weaves stellar set based percussion patterns into electronic, key/synth, and mixed loop audio tracks for what is truly a mind-blowing musical performance. As if we weren’t impressed enough by the sheer musical talent that seems to radiate from this young man, we were left scratching our heads at certain points as to what was actually going on. At certain points in his performance, Delong used xbox and wii controllers to do…. well honestly I’m not really sure what they were “technically” doing, but it was badass whatever it was so for now we can just go with, he was using video game controllers to make music. To think I have been using my controllers to get my ass kicked by 12 year old kids online. Thirty five minutes of constant jumping, dancing and… raving? Do people still say raving? Delong’s set was over and the crowd could finally dry themselves of their sweat. Kudos to Robert, what an opener… here you go Middle Class Rut, I just made them “fucking dance” they are ready for you now.. (that’s what I would have said if I were Delong)

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Opening with electronic, crazy dance music? Let go ahead and do a 180 and put a hardcore Punk Rock band on stage next. Seems logical to everyone else right? Jumping around aimlessly and head-banging goes with just about any upbeat music anyhow. From the first kick of the bass drum and extremely loud symbol crash Middle Class Rut picked up where Delong left off. First up on the set list, “Busy Being Born” a spot on performance and if I didn’t know better I would ponder whether they were lip-sinking. These seasoned veterans sure know how to put on a show. Like any good punk rock show, the volume remained loud, screaming guitar solo’s blared out within what seemed like every song, and the drummer decided that a shirt was not necessary… can’t really blame the dude though, with a CAPACITY crowd the place was a tad bit on the warm side. Their job is to “warm up” the crowd though…

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Now for Grouplove. It’s hard to even think about that performance without childishly grinning. Their sound, apart from just being awesome, was sort of an indie/rock/folk mashup that just rejuvenates the eardrums. Christian and Hannah (male and female vocalists) take the male/female vocal split style to their own level. Bouncing back and forth vocal lines their voices just mesh extremely well, the fact that Christian’s voice is of the higher pitch for male vocalists helps to compliment Hannah’s soothing tone. To fully understand though, you really have to listen to their singles or see them live.. quite frankly though, there really is no difference between their recorded tracks and their live tracks, they are just that good. Hit singles “Tongue Tied” and “Ways to Go” were saved for the end of the concert with “Tongue Tied” being used as the encore.. duh.. The crowd went nuts for both. If it wasn’t for bumping up the gain on the mics, we would have been served up the audiences rendition of the song instead of the artists. The group sing along was as beautiful as it was loud. If you missed this show, or didn’t get to the block in time to get in due to the fact that we were at capacity ( I enjoy gloating about that) get online, figure out when and where they are playing and plan a summer trip. Real talk, see them now.

If you saw the show, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I think I am finally back to my normal hearing level now, and the only problem I have left is my anxiety that it really is over. Be sure to send over a few compliments to 96.5 The Buzz and Miller Lite, they did us all a favor with this epic freebie. #Listenlonger y’all and just maybe they will grace us with another.

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Country Music and BBQ… thats what Kansas City does.

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Its surreal to think that we are already threw the first two Miller Lite Hot Country Nights Concerts Presented by Q104. Poor weather and less than “Hot” conditions couldn’t keep an energetic crowd from filling the KC Live! Block and assisting Dustin Lynch in electrifying the night. HCN night number two brought Pat Green to the stage and let me just tell you, the Grammy nominated country artist did not disappoint. The Live! Block was a sea of country music fans from wall to wall. The man is an entertainer in the purest form of the word. From the constant barrage of guitar picks Green (and his band) were tossing to the crowd, to the $100.. yes ONE HUNDRED dollar tip he gave out to the cocktail waitress for a single shot, Pat Green fans were shown just how Texas does it and that the standards of a southern gentleman are far from dead.

Where do we go from here? Two weeks, two country music award nominees (don’t forget a Grammy nomination) and two fantastic evening that have successfully managed to kick start our summers. Our solution, don’t fix what ain’t broken…. So that’s just what we’ll do.

With Josh Abbott Band set to perform this Thursday, June 13th and Gloriana the following Thursday June, 20th we plan on keeping the HCN sizzle.

If you are a fan of great country music, music in general, or just a fan of drinking socially and hanging out in a fun filled high energy environment, mark your calendars for Thursday nights and head out to the KC Live! Block in the Power & Light District and start your weekends a little early.

The Opening Act: The Strive

The Strive Interview

The headliner is the main event, that much is understood but it does not mean that the opening act has to go unnoticed… right? This got us thinking, what could we do to help shine some light on our fantastic opening bands? Well… we decided to get to know them on a more personal level and sat down for a quick interview with The Strive’s percussion specialist Nick. Here’s what went down…

The Strive:

Q: So Nick, where did the band name “The Strive” come from?

A: “We’ve always had a period of time where we can’t decide on a name whether it be a song or in this case the band name, we figured out quickly that it was a natural trait of the band. We starting incorporating I Strive, a modo that stood to encourage people to “Strive” towards success. From there, the name essentially stuck.

Q: How did the band form (crazy luck, painstaking auditions?)

A: Multimedia “was really the only reason we ended up together.” “I got a Facebook message from Luke (guitar) who had covers out on youtube and other platforms as did I and collaboration ensued. After we started working together, we found that we had great writing chemistry. We met Brandon (vocalist) and he started writing the lyrical parts and the rest is history.

Q: Where was your first show?

A: Our first show was at Main Street Café in Downtown Kansas City. We pulled around a hundred or so kids… like most first shows, it was a total disaster.

Q: Since the “disaster” first show, what has been you favorite show played to date?

A: Currently I would have to say “Red White and Boom” presented by Mix 93.3. We played at the Starlight theater with mainstream names like Gavin Degraw and Colbie Caillat. After the show we were taking pictures with tons of fans we had never met. It was the best fan reception we had ever had. We are opening for Cartel who has been a huge influence on us as a band at the Bottleneck in Lawrence on June 14th. After that goes down, it will take the thrown as our favorite gig.

Q: Getting a little bit on the strange side here, If you could describe your band members as a type of alcoholic beverage what would they be?

A: Brendan [Stevens] would be a cold 40oz bottle of Coors Light, that guy can just straight up slam beers which is crazy because he’s such a small guy.

Michael [Zenk] would be Captain Morgan straight out of the bottle. He’s no alcoholic or anything though.

Luke [Davis] Gin and tonic.

Greg [Dowd] any cheap beer, yeah any cheap beer.

Me [Nick Stacy] I don’t really drink all that much but probably a Sex on The Beach. Something fruity like that.

Q: Any must have munchie items while you’re on the road?

A: Probably some form of Chex Mix. You need something that will distract you from the clock and watching the time. Food’s a pretty good way to do that.

Q: We have to ask, any crazy fan stories?

A: Haha, oh man. So we were following Cartel for a week building the connection and promote interaction via twitter and stuff. We were in Milwaukee hanging with New Found Glory and these 2 wasted girls who were, well on the lower end of the attractiveness scale, would not leave us alone. We were starving and the girls asked us to go to this local place and get pizza, so we said what the heck and tagged along. The girls bought a massive like $30 pizza which could have fed a small crowd. The pizza was in the car with us and we were I guess suppose to follow the girls back to where ever they were staying (they probably shouldn’t have been driving now that I think about it). We decided that we weren’t going to tag along and peeled out with the pizza towards the hotel.

Q: There are quite a few covers on your youtube page, any new covers you are working on or are wanting to do?

A: We are in the process of shooting the video for our new EP so as far as covers go we don’t really have much planned. We are however working on a cover for Friday night (Friday Night Live!) that the crowd will love. Should get ’em going.

Q: Planning on sticking around after your show and hanging out?

A: Absolutely! We will be hanging out for sure! You’ll probably catch us drinking a few Green Room beers or at the Dubliner or something.

Well there you have it folks. A little glimpse into the life and times of The Strive. Nick, you’re awesome man thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Seriously though guys, come check these guys out at Friday Night Live! Presented by Coors Light this Friday May 31st as they open for EVE 6 it’s going to be an awesome show. These guys are about to blow up huge and you are not going to want to miss this show.

@KCLiveBlock #KCLiveBlock An entertainment blog featuring events, festivals and concerts at the Kansas City Live! Block! KC Live! is Kansas City's Premier Entertainment & Nightlife Destination in downtown Kansas City's Power & Light District.