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Words and Photos: Rachel Cion at The Mockingbird Lounge

Rachel Cion at The Mockingbird Lounge. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.

Date: August 25, 2021

The Mockingbird Lounge - Kansas City, KS

On the heels of her recent country-inspired EP, Wanted!, (there's a cowboy boot joke there if you want it), singer-songwriter Rachel Cion played her first gig since the pandemic hit last Wednesday. She kicked off the first of her two short sets by playing the three-song EP in its entirety before playing two tracks from her high school days -- "Ugly Girl" and "Karma" -- and ending with a cover of The Heligoats' "A Guide To The Outdoors." It was Rachel's first time performing material from Wanted! and at a couple points, the songs felt too big for their own good -- requiring Rachel to nearly be shouting at her chilled-out patio audience -- but I'm certain she'll find deliveries and arrangements that work best for those songs as she plays out more. It was smooth sailing from then on.

Following a brief intermission, Rachel returned to the stage and seemed more relaxed (maybe everyone had a drink or two in their system by then). A chatty group of bar patrons had left and her friends and fans were able to claim the table closest to the stage. A charming rendition of "Your Car" ended in laughter as Rachel played the song true to its recording, vocalizations and all (about 20 or so seconds of "ahhh, ahhh!) The second set also included two songs written for her band Bigfatcat, a cover of The Strokes' "Razorblade" (Rachel asked that we not mind her involuntary impersonation of Casablancas), and an unreleased song titled "Find Me." Between a pleasant set from an exceptional songwriter, the abundance of cicadas providing backing vocals, and a knockout view of the downtown skyline, it felt like the most leisurely evening out that Kansas City could offer.

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