In the past decade, I've probably seen Lawrence's Unknown Stuntman more than any other local act (with the possible exception of the Spook Lights). The band formed in 2002 and was somewhat of a local punk-rock supergroup, with members hailing from Speed Dog Champion, pop-punkers mi6, streetpunk act Kelly's Heroes, and Manhattan snotty punks Jiffy Boy and Sense of Self. The band occasionally added in a second guitarist to round out the sound (most recently, former mi6 frontman Ken Peterson), but the core group of four has been what stuck.
Playing self-proclaimed "punk rock for old people," the four-piece kicked out punk rock that hearkened back to a time when bands were more influenced by Bad Religion than Green Day. Not the sort of thing that gets huge crowds, but rather the sort of rabid fanbase that would be at every single show. It was their alliance with Mass Street Murder, Iron Guts Kelly and Circle of Trust that produced some of the better local punk bills seen in Lawrence in ages. Their "Cosa Nostra" punk nights at the Bottleneck and The Granada were what brought KTP (then King TP) from their home in western Kansas.
The members were in their late 20s and early 30s when Unknown Stuntman formed. They're now easing into their late 30s and early 40s. Work and family -- three out of four of the members have kids -- have made it to where it's best to put the group to bed properly, before it just fades away. Thus, this weekend brings the band's farewell show on Friday, February 18, at Lawrence's Replay Lounge.
I had the happy privilege of seeing Unknown Stuntman's second show, in the basement of the Eighth Street Taproom. I missed their first performance due to a work conflict, but I've made plans so that I can see the foursome when they play their final show -- as should you. It's going to be boozy and energetic, and a little sad. They'll have friends Iron Guts Kelly and Dismantle the Virus with them as openers, however, so this send-off will be a family affair.
To get you in the mood for Friday's show, here's the first track from the band's first EP, Anger Management, "Over Again."