New Year’s Eve Concerts Part III

I’ve been chronicling my top New Year’s Eve Concerts (here and here). The third (and final) concert that is causing me to make some tough decisions is happening in Lawrence. The show features rock n roll wizards Gnarly Davidson, punk weirdos The Fog, experimental cyborgs Arc Flash, and spacey funk-master Approach. In short, The Replay Lounge will be hopping on New Year’s Eve.

Approach’s approach to hip hop is refreshingly old school. Weaving together snippets of spaced-out tones and classic drum sounds, Approach’s tracks are funky without losing the aggression of saw-tooth electro. The Kansas based artist will definitely help bring in the new year right. His ability to switch between grimy, heavy beats to shimmering subtlety without losing a sense of cohesion allows for a dance-party feel without the monotony that is sometimes associated with that type of show.

Arc Flash’s music is fun incarnate. Bopping along the sonic spectrum from swinging rock to noised-laced metallic riffs, the Lawrence duo marries energetic and playful melodies with finely crafted hooks. Their first full length, Black Market Time Machine, reels through its songs at an unrelenting pace–all the while coaxing its listener to join its fray. The recording mimics the band’s live show which is as energetic as it is self-aware.

The Fog is one of those bands that can tame noise with a flick of the wrist. The trio jumps through its riffing as if the present moment were the only thing that mattered, and during a live show that is definitely the case. While their recordings show a band that is as playful as it is mature, The Fog’s live show is not to be missed. Landing somewhere between The Violent Femmes and The Talking Heads, The Fog puts out an energy that is able to make any venue a little weirder.

On the heavier end of the continuum, Gnarly Davidson plays some of the wall-shakingest rock this side of the Mason-Dixon. Some words that might describe the Lawrence trio are as follows: doom, sludge-drenched, fuzz, heavy, grunge, tense, motorcycle, loud, satan, graveyard, low, gravity, PBR, basements, the 70s, etc. Gnarly Davidson takes all the heaviest threads and runs them through crunched-up distortion to create music that is simultaneously fresh and rooted in genre. The band is the perfect way to ensure a doomy new year.

This show features not just one, not just two, but four incredible acts (and all of them are home-grown). For all the Kansas Citians reading this blog, find a place to stay in Lawrence, because this is worth the drive there (but maybe not the drive back). For all the Lawrencites, find a Kansas City transplant to house–it will be worth a lot of good karma for 2016.

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