Buzz Halloweenie Roast

With a “make sure the young kids are out of Westport by 11 p.m.” start time of 4 p.m. I leisurely strolled into the Beaumont club for Saturday night’s Buzz Halloweenie Roast just a bit before 5 p.m.. I arrived just as KC locals the Grisly Hand were wrapping up their set. A surprisingly large crowd turned out early for a five band bill that turned out to be a good value for a diverse evening of music that felt like it was cut short.

The headliner of the evening was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, a band that played the Beaumont back in June. The show originally scheduled to be held outdoors was moved into the sometimes frustrating venue that is The Beaumont. This was done as the weather guessers were predicting hell on earth for the show, which didn’t happen. I say that the Beaumont is an occasionally frustrating venue as the sight lines while being open can get difficult in shows that approach capacity due to the short stage. Being that this show was very full, though not sold out about the time Alex Ebert and the eight members of his band came on stage it was becoming a battle to get a clear view of the stage and I’m six feet tall.

Complaints about the venue aside, when the band appeared on stage many of them were into the Halloween spirit of the show and in costume. The ladies in the band Jade Castrinos and Nora Kirkpatrick appeared with mustaches, Jade pulling off a good Charlie Chaplin. Ebert came out looking like Jesus, an interesting choice given the band’s sometimes cult like appearance and “Edward Sharpe” being a messianic figure. Regardless, I was expecting more or less a repeat performance of their energetic fun show in June. What I got was a bit of a mixed bag.

I should know by this point in life having attended my fair share of radio holiday related bills and shows that most bands get a very short amount of time on stage to do their thing. In some cases, such as this evening, about the time I’m really getting into a band’s set they are already packing gear into their van. Middle Class Rut won this particular award on this evening. Just as I was sold on their set they were quickly run off stage to make way for the energetic though dull Rah Rah Riot. My point being at these types of shows sometimes even the headliner only plays for about an hour. It was also a much younger crowd than that at the show back in June all obviously knowing the lyrics to the now NFL commercial approved “Home.”

The band played for about an hour their set consisting of a majority of songs from their 2009 release Up From Below. The set ultimately felt like it was shortened due to something I’ve experienced at the last couple of shows I’ve attended. The band lets a few crowd members on stage to have a little fun and suddenly it becomes a free for all as every one and their brother is suddenly on stage or attempting to get on stage. It felt like the show was cut short as after playing with a fully loaded stage no one seemed to want to move along and let the show continue. Before long the house lights came up and that signaled the end of a good, though not quite as good in June performance from the band.

As for the opening acts Middle Class Rut and Lawrence natives Fourth of July were the highlights of the evening. I hadn’t even heard of Middle Class Rut prior to this show but they made a definite impact on me. The two piece of Zack Lopez and Sean Stockham from Sacramento, CA bring an amazingly full sound for their simple guitar and drum kit setup. Sharing and splitting vocal duties their post punk stylings started with a tinge of rockabilly and touched on some heavier blues-based guitar rock that seems to be enjoying a come back recently. Their new album No Name No Color released a few weeks back and I will be seeking it out.

I give the Buzz Halloweenie Roast 3.5young kids texting on stage ruin shows” out of 5

by John Coovert

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