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Words and Photos: Prize Horse / Flower Language / LK Ultra / Internet Dating at Pussy Palace

Prize Horse at Pussy Palace. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: January 25, 2022

Pussy Palace - Kansas City, MO

Live music in America, after beginning to regain its footing this past summer, was largely shuttered once again in the final weeks of December and the early weeks of January. It seemed as though nearly half of everyone I know tested positive for COVID during this stretch. Where the summer, fall, and early winter were often a joyous and euphoric return to a certain level of normalcy, this month-long period saw musicians and promoters faced with feverish calls to play it safe and stay home (often heeded). These sentiments (and positive tests among my friends and acquaintances) began to fade by the final week of January when this gig was scheduled to occur. And though their St. Louis arrangements were canceled, Minnesota's Prize Horse and Colorado's Flower Language arrived in Kansas City this Tuesday evening ready to jam.

More than anything, I cherished the goofy chats I had in the kitchen with band members and attendees on this night. Even though a small bit of nervous energy lingered (most often embodied by a minor tug to adjust a mask), these hangs (and of course the breaks from these hangs spent head-banging and -bobbing in the basement) felt like one long sigh of relief.


Both touring bands currently have only one release each under their belts, so both sets hovered around 20 minutes (the perfect amount of time for any hardcore-adjacent rock band in a DIY setting). Prize Horse closed the evening out, performing a charming, dreamy, and calculated set of shoegaze tunes from their debut EP, Welder, released less than one week prior. Flower Language preceded their tour mates and played my favorite set of the evening -- each song containing a devastating breakdown of the variety that makes one's entire body vibrate (this was the most worried about a potential noise complaint I've been at a Pussy Palace gig).

LK Ultra is a band experiencing a prolonged transitional period due lineup changes, the sonic differences those lineup changes make, and the universal shifts that come with exiting adolescence. The songs are still catchy pop-punk foot-tappers and the playing is tight, but the intrigue (at least for a local that has seen the band numerous times throughout its existence) currently lies in noticing what tweaks are being made and pondering what lies ahead for the trio. I was glad to catch up with them for the first time post-pandemic.

Internet Dating is the project of Missouri-via-Minnesota singer-songwriter Deano Erickson, a friend of the Prize Horse gang. Erickson sat alone with his guitar and performed a set of math-y acoustic numbers, dense with candid lyrics, uninhibited emotion, and a consistent sense of both wonder and vulnerability.

[This gig was booked and presented by Shuttlecock.]

Click here to view the full photo gallery.

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