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Words and Photos: Spy / Candy Apple / Destiny Bond / Spine at Farewell

Spy at Farewell. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: April 22, 2022

Farewell - Kansas City, MO

Somewhere between 150 and 200 heads were packed into Farewell this past Friday, eager to witness a stacked DIY hardcore gig. Some that didn't stake out spots near the stage were left standing on their tippy-toes, perched on chairs in the back, or stuck in the hallway leading to the restrooms and patio. The venue's doorman was occasionally forced to stand on his stool and reach down to collect donations from those arriving during sets.

The night's main draw was Bay Area hardcore band Spy. The band's first EP, Service Weapon, was released in the summer of 2020 and made some waves online. By the time hardcore shows began to return in the summer of 2021, Spy was a veritable breakout act, garnering attention from national publications and playing massive outdoor shows and festivals. After they were done with their first Kansas City performance, it looked like a tornado had swept through the humble venue. Noses were bleeding, an air duct had fallen off the wall, and youths were scrambling for a cup of water and some fresh air. It was the natural conclusion considering the band's mean, mid-paced style of hardcore punk that's impossible not to stomp a boot to.

Denver's Candy Apple preceded Spy with a set that was worthy of a headliner spot itself. Many hardcore bands thrive in the live setting due in part to having a frontperson that plays no instrument, free to move freely and menace the crowd as they see fit. Candy Apple, however, thrives as a hardcore punk power trio (much like their Boise peers Ingrown). The band's songs were fast, tightly wound, executed with precision, and full of succinct, abrasive chainsaw guitar riffs that your favorite early '80s Boston bands missed.

Fellow Coloradans Destiny Bond took the stage before Candy Apple (the two groups were out on a six-day run of Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri shows together). Though Destiny Bond's music followed a similar vein of '80s-style hardcore punk, the band injected a bit of '70s rock-n-roll flavor, allowing fans to twist a little bit before jumping into the fray. A song dedicated to transgender attendees made for an impassioned minute-and-a-half of moshing.

Spine opened the show, returning to a five-piece lineup for the first time post-pandemic. Much like their past two shows with Militarie Gun and Drain, Spine did the bands that followed them an act of service, priming the crowd for what was to follow. It felt normal by the end of the show, but the sheer intensity of the music and slam dancing resulted in knowing smiles being shot like a pinball around the room; it was special.

[This show was booked and presented by Shuttlecock.]

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