The Philistines and American Slim @ The Bay

Sure, Warrensburg is a slow hour drive from Kansas City. But The Philistines and American Slim are worth it. And for all the Warrensburgian audiophiles out there, you won’t find a better concert than Friday’s at The Bay. Both bands land somewhere on the groove-heavy rock section: The Philistines lace their dark riffs with hints of noise and American Slim has a little country twang hiding in their phrasings. Having both of these bands on the same bill all but guarantees a great show.

American Slim draws heavily from late 60s psych rock and folk-rock (think Jefferson Airplane or Country Joe & The Fish). That said, the Kansas City quartet replaces their forebears’ penchant for droning and noisy solos for alt-country phrasing. The result is a sound that can simultaneously ride a tube-warmed groove while never loosing the catchiness of the most radio friendly rock. American Slim is able to live comfortably in sweltering riffs (like their songs “Martin” and “On My Mind”) and in slowly building textures (like “Dancing With The Sun” and “One”). “One” seemingly marries the band’s ability to draw from the pioneers of psych rock and their own unique aesthetic. As powerful on stage as they are on record, the band infuses their already taut songs with extra amount of live energy. No matter what American Slim plays on Friday, the band is sure to impress.

The Philistines are not only one of the most powerful bands (live or on record) that I’ve heard in a minute but also one of the newest additions to The Record Machine. Whether the band is unfurling the snarling sugariness of tracks like “A Heart Like Candy” (which is available on How to Keep Dreaming Vol. 1) or the pummeling progginess of songs like “Aceribo,” The Philistines always give their songs a refreshing amount of depth. On record, their songs’ layers combine and separate in a controlled but organic way that lends the band an air of meandering exploration rather than a click-track certainty. On stage, the six piece backs their sound with a presence that is second to none. And all the energy pours out on stage does little to detract from their technical proficiency. Watching The Philistines play is as close to witnessing Coma-Doof Warrior as reality will allow.

This Friday’s show will be a non-stop rock ride. Both The Philistines and American Slim command the stage with their physical presence and their musical talent. Seeing either band is definitely worth the trip to Warrensburg, and seeing both together almost demands it. The concert starts at 9pm and costs $5. Truly a concert to help wrap up the year, Friday’s show will be a treat for all those who attend and a source of regret for everyone who misses out.

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