It's a damned good thing there was a break in the heat wave the past couple of days. Otherwise, I'm fairly certain that most of the audience crammed into the basement of the Overlook in Lawrence would've passed out by the time Bomb the Music Industry!
BTMI! plays punk ska indie emo rock and roll that is the very definition of DIY. They release their albums on vinyl, but you can download them all
for free. You can buy a T-shirt, but they've also got a stencil and a can of spray paint. Going to a BTMI! show is a campfire sing-along at top volume. No words can properly capture the feel (and smell) of being so close to the band that when they sing, you're flecked with saliva, but we hope these pictures do a decent job. The Sidekicks
, from Ohio, are on tour with Bomb the Music Industry! and play catchy pop-punk with the deepest low end I've ever heard from a band that poppy. It was like the bass guitar and kick drum were playing inside my chest. Jeff Rosenstock, BTMI!'s frontman, joined in on the chorus of their second song and stood next to me, singing along their entire set.
I'd never heard of Lawrence pop-punk act the Rackatees
before this show was announced, but there were scads of folks singing along to their songs. I need to get out of the house more. Those kids were good. Fun With Strangers
is yet another band with Nick from Weekend Dad. I have no problems with this, as everything that dude is involved in tends to rule. This was a distinct break from the usual d-beat, and was vintage college-radio noise rock. Dinosaur Jr. fans would approve.
Technically, Racecar Racecar
didn't play. Their other guitarist couldn't make it, so it was just one skinny kid with a guitar hammering out Superchunk covers and intensely personal songs. His tunes about parents and other issues of alienation distilled the whole essence of the show into 15 minutes: a bunch of kids crammed into a basement, singing along, making friends, and bonding over music.