Snowden + Colour Revolt review

27 May

Usually I cut straight to the music, but I personally feel like this is a rather narrow view; there is a lot more than just the acoustics of the performance that make a live show a great experience. After I rushed through my chores, I went up to Lawrence, saw the foreboding flashes of lightning and entered the Jackpot Saloon to a bit of a meager crowd. Boo & Boo Too were finishing a deluge of their rough workings. As soon as Snowden took the stage a group of friends come up with at least four shots to liquor these fellows up. Corinne Lee, their bassist, kindly seemed to decline, but then just downed her share so she could finish setting up her equipment while one of the girls quipped “That’s a good girl.” They dispersed except for one girl who stayed and stared a hole through the center of the stage as Jordan Jeffares, the vocalist, sound checked. Sometimes I wonder if I’m like that when I’m drunk.

While Snowden were setting up, I talked to a guy who said he moved from Wichita to Lawrence because he got bored of the scene there. He kept his job as a grocer though–specializing in the clean presentation of produce. I wondered if maybe he needed to change his scene in order to see what’s around him in a new light. I left briefly for a cigarette and started conversation with two guys who traveled from Denver to see Colour Revolt play. I also saw the flyer for Modey Lemon (June 26th), and who else but Boo & Boo Too opening?

As soon as I started shooting Snowden (I panicked for two songs because I thought I left my SD card at home, luckily it was elsewhere in my bag) a man behind me perked his interest and asked who I work for–“A zine based in Pittsburgh” (lies)–“What’s your web address?”–“Can I give it to you later?”– I cross to the other side of the stage. I thought because the ceiling was low, I could spread the flash better. No. It’s at this point where I wish the ceiling wasn’t dripping on me and that I could set up different slave flashes to help. And then I heard “Between the Rent and Me” and realized why I was there; it’s to materialize my memory of the music and what better way to do it than to smile and laugh and think about all those different moments of listening to it by myself. Jordan, who is normally a steady crooner, had mic trouble and had to stop after “Black Eyes” to alleviate the troublesome issue. At least with the drums loud and clear people had the beat to guide them, but it would have been a bad first impression for those who had no acquaintance with Snowden, such as the grocer next to me. Nevertheless, they executed the last song, “Victim Card”, with ease–starting slow and bringing it to the pace that could easily have happened earlier if not for a slight buzzkill in sound problems. I’m sad that “Anti-Anti” felt emptier than I imagined it to be, but the new songs (Candy for Everyone and Red-Handed) helped change it up.

I enjoyed Colour Revolt, despite my unfamiliarity with their songs. Five very well put-together guys, each conquering his own sound and letting it exude a jarring composition. One of them made love to his amp from time to time so that the feedback came out really elegant and controlled. Their lead singer went back and forth between thrumming with fingers and picking quick riffs. When he raged, his fired-up vocals provoked a tsunami of emotion to blast from his small, watery eyes. Man, could this guy serve you up a swift screech. “Moses of the South” sounds so good live, and I wasn’t really psyched about that song when I heard it before. Then the song that they played harmonica-less sounded like it wasn’t missing a thing and the slick tempo changes throughout their set were very engaging.

I’m really glad I came to this show, as it was extremely enlightening to talk to Jordan about different cities and politics, to hear Corinne express her great affection for the Philippines and Farsi (as well as for lifedrawing and sewing), to meet the super chill doorman, watch the lovely and fastidious bartender make drinks and to take my brother to his first rock show when he would have otherwise spent it in front of the TV.

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