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Photo Gallery: Priests / Mellow Diamond / Wendy Moira / Wick & The Tricks at The Bottleneck

Katie Alice Greer of Priests
Washington, D.C.'s Priests made their first visit to Kansas on May 4th. Prior to the show, the band had decorated the stage with flowers, and when it came time to play, each member emerged in a uniquely colorful outfit -- guitarist G.L. Jaguar claims to have bought his entire get-up at a Nebraska gas station. This splash of color added to the bar's stage matched some of the band's upbeat, new wave-flavored jams. Other songs veered into a more moody art punk territory, sending Jaguar anxiously hopping across the stage and singer Katie Alice Greer wailing at its edge.

Greer also took time to mention that she was excited to be playing in Lawrence due to her appreciation for "What's The Matter With Kansas?" Jaguar, at one point near the set's end, laughed and apologized for his performance thus far, noting Kansas' lack of legal bud. His playing was far from mediocre, but a small crowd at a loose, low-stakes gig in Lawrence wasn't likely to care if it was.

Janel Leppin performed a set as Mellow Diamond before returning to the stage to play bass with Priests. Leppin's performance was simultaneously the least confrontational and most complex of the evening. Switching between cello, guitar, and mellotron, Leppin conjured up impressive bits of whispery, Badalamentian dream pop that brought a hush over the venue.

Lawrence trio Wendy Moira's opening set was the live equivalent of typing "punk/alternative rock" into YouTube and mashing up a handful of the results. Alice M's vocals at nearly all times could pass for those of an authentic nineties riot grrrl band, but the band's guitarist and drummer leapt haphazardly between moments of skate punk, post-hardcore, and grunge. The result was more baffling than it was exhilarating.

The show was opened by long-running Kansas City glam punks Wick & The Tricks. Vocalist Wick Trick evoked smiles from each front row attendee with their elaborate chain-and-leather ensemble and snotty, bulgy-eyed stage presence as the band performed an enjoyable grab bag of skate punk and hardcore sounds.

Full photo gallery here.

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