Middle of The Map: The Tank Room

Middle of The Map is fast approaching. The three day music festival that turns all of Kansas City into a venue is, in its 7th year, stacked with such talent. It would be impossible to write about every single act worth seeing this year (which is all of them to be honest). Instead, I want to look at various venues and the acts I’m most excited to see at each. First is The Tank Room. If you haven’t seen a show at this small venue, Middle of The Map is the perfect time to change that (and maybe the last time). The bar and stage have an intimate and cozy feeling but with a sound system that is beyond it. Whether it’s indie pop, jazz, hip hop, or metal, The Tank Room’s PA and sound crew knows how to maximize any acts sound. Middle of The Map promises to be no different.

All of The Tank Room’s shows happen on the last day of the festival, but the entire day is stuffed with music power. Kicking off the day is Sahvannes. The rapper first blipped on my radar during Shuttlecock Music Magazine‘s third Showcase at Mills Record Company. From the moment, Sahvannes took the stage, it was clear the rapper could command a stage. Splitting the difference between artistic modesty and deserved swagger, Sahvannes flits between some of the hardest trap on the KC scene and the most stunningly lyric narratives I’ve heard in any music. Sahvannes will make it. Get in on the ground floor.


Likewise, Aaron Alexander is another Shuttlecock Music Magazine find. The young MC is insanely talented. With flows that can swerve from smoothed over soundplay to staccato bursts of self-analysis, Alexander knows when to play it cool and when to let his anxieties loose. Despite the rapper’s age, he’s spitting bars beyond himself. It’s almost as if Alexander is plugged directly into hip hop’s current, letting the music push and pull him. He channels the rap gods as easily as some of us breathe. If you haven’t heard Aaron Alexander do his thing, you should change that as soon as possible.

Moving away from hip hop and more into indie pop, Tart‘s blend of noise and melody give the Detroit duo a sound much needed in the musical landscape. Much in the same vein as My Gold Mask and Valley Hush, Tart promises a sound that is gritty and raw without losing any technical precision. Bouncing between the roughed up indie punk of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the jittering intensity of the more visceral moments of Crystal Fairy, Tart will undoubtedly put on a show that will capture your ears and break through your ribcage.


Of course there are more to see and hear than these three acts–all of Middle of The Map will make for an amazing weekend. That said, you definitely do not want to miss Sahvannes, Aaron Alexander, and Tart at The Tank Room.

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