The ACB's with Ghosty
Press at Crosstown Station
Friday, March 25, 2011
Better than: Whatever was happening down the street at the Sprint Center.
Andrew Connor's newly reconstructed incarnation of longtime local band Ghosty took to the Press stage at Crosstown Station Friday night as the opener for one of Connor's other projects, the ACB's. Though Press still seems to be struggling to cement itself as a popular venue, the laid-back atmosphere and loungelike couches seemed perfect for the intimate night with some of the area's best indie-pop acts.
When Ghosty -- now a trio that includes Connor plus veteran Ghosty bassist Mike Nolte and drummer Bill Belzer -- stepped up to the stage, Press' crowd was still, disappointingly, a little thin, but the band played with full force, as if it hardly noticed. Connor's vocals are buttery-smooth and reminiscent of the old Ghosty sound, but his songwriting -- though still complex and narrative -- has matured. His songs have more grit to them, and the new Ghosty trio executed the sound with the poise and stage presence of veteran musicians.
By the time the ACB's began its set, the crowd at Press had picked up. When lead singer Konnor Ervin asked everybody to move forward to the front of the stage, a sizable handful of them obliged. Ervin's voice is one of the most unique ones currently gracing stages in Kansas City -- it has the timbre of Peter Moren from Peter Bjorn and John, with the impressive range of Prince. Andrew Connor's backing vocals and the energetic, almost frenetic rhythm section make for a sound that is both sugary indie-pop and raucous garage-rock.