Awolnation returned to Kansas City on Sunday night, but this time it wasn’t under the banner of a radio call sign. Having seen Awolnation countless times in a wide array of atmospheres, I’m shocked that the band still has the ability to surprise me. This time around you could feel the energy in the air even before singer Aaron Bruno took the stage.
The crowd that filled the capacity club was just waiting for the first lyric of “People” to explode. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that kind of fanatic love for a band. Not even hours in the rain and a little bit of hail could keep these fans from getting that prime spot right up front. For most, the album Megalithic Symphony had become scripture and they were just waiting for a chance to show that they were well-versed. Even with the staggering hot temperatures inside the small club the hordes of the Awolnation couldn’t help but to jump to every beat and scream every lyric to the spastic Aaron Bruno.
Not many of the tracks from the band’s first release were over-looked, and a fantastic cover of “All I have to do is Dream” made famous by The Everly Brothers added to the set’s near perfection. The song’s mellow flow fit perfectly amongst the upbeat set. This moment allowed the crowd to breathe for a moment and compose themselves before they would lose their minds to “Sail.” During the band’s first radio hit the stage was attacked with crowd surfers as everyone waited for their moment to scream “Sail!” as loud as they could. I’m always surprised by the long lasting admiration for this song, for most hearing it live is a moment that must be filmed with cell phones covering every angle of the action.
The highlight for me didn’t come until “Burn it Down” was played. The high energy song always brings the best reaction out of concert goers and tonight was no different. From the moment Aaron screamed the song’s in your face lyrics everyone was off their feet. If Aaron knows how to do one thing its take control of an eager crowd. During the song’s blister pace Aaron darted around the stage only illuminated by a large glowing AN. When his silhouette pointed to the crowd for a response, there was an eruption within the sea of people. By the end of the song I was surprised that Aaron had anything left.
The band ended the insanity with the 15 minute opus that is”Knights of Shame.” The song flows in and out of beats making you wonder if the band had moved on to the next spot on their set list. The sea of cell phones and lighters help set the mood for the show to end. After a few more words of admiration from Aaron to the fans that love him so much, the band burst into a moment of Rage Against the Machine, before saying goodnight. Like that it was over and the exits began to clog with the smiling faces of AWOL fans.
by Ryan Davis
Photos By: Matt Cook