Last night's post-Super Bowl show at the Riot Room brought out a somewhat somber crowd of day-drinking patrons stuffed full of pizza and cheese dip.
The early show coincided with the second half of the game. The Uzis
led off the lineup. With simple melodies, they sang about drugs, trailer parks and skateboarding. My favorite of this punk collection was a song entitled, "JOCO Boob Job," a testament and tribute to life south of the city. The trio finished a well-rounded set with a song called "Stuck on You," warming up the crowd for the rest of the evening.
After a rather prolonged football break in between sets, Jessica Hernandez was anxious to get started. With lengthy blue hair and red, high-waisted hot pants, the former KC native graced the stage with soulful ease and sarcastic banter. Her band, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, engaged with a variety of sounds, most ending with soft-spoken, sultry bridges that displayed Hernandez's vocal range, which is suggestive of pop queens like Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. She thanked the crowd for watching: "I know you guys like football more than music."
Up next was Radkey
, the brothers punk. Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radke dropped jaws as they pumped out an energetic and youthful display of sounds reminiscent of Nirvana and the Misfits. With solid vocals and a remarkably steady pace delivered by drummer Solomon Radke (the youngest member of the band at age 15), the trio had a crowd of kids twice their age dancing and cheering for more. Grinning from ear to ear, bass player Isaiah Radke asked the crowd to acknowledge his youngest brother's 15 years of sobriety. They sang about anime and racism, "because we're in a rock-and-roll band."
Growlers' tourmate Jaill
, a group from Milwaukee, came next in line, and brought upbeat pop-punk melodies about women and heartbreak. Lead singer Vincent Kircher noted, "You break it off with a girl but you still end up writing songs about them and playing them in front of people."
The much-anticipated Growlers
finished off the evening with a dreamy procession of hits, including material from their new album, Hung at Heart
, and older favorites to match. Lead singer Brooks Nielson sang and swayed around the stage with ease and subtle arrogance, flipping his hair and twirling his microphone cord. The poker-faced members played hits like "Graveyards Full" and "Acid Rain" and finished the set with newer songs, like their slower ballad, "Living in a Memory."