Mere days into 2004 and already one of the year's most bizarro nights of local music is on tap. The Esoteric is globally acknowledged for its uncompromising, brutal approach to thrash metal -- the band's live show is so loud and heavy that only the brave dare tread anywhere near the stage. Fans of Kelpie's bookish alt-rock are smart enough to appreciate the Esoteric's thinking-dude's metal, and both bands are Replay Lounge favorites. Which leaves MacLethal (pictured) as the night's wild card. KC's premier underground MC has spent the past year rocking crowds around the world, but he has yet to catch the attention of area alt-rock kids who still don't "get" this whole rap thing. Will Lethal fans stick around to watch the Esoteric hammer out ditties such as "Until the Grave Gives Up the Ghost"? Can the Esoteric's black-T-shirted followers stomach even a single arpeggio from Kelpie without rushing the stage? For five bucks and a set of earplugs, you can find out in person.