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Eggs On Mars Concert Review

Eggs On Mars
January 16th, 2016
Uptown Arts Bar - Kansas City, MO

Eggs On Mars
A small crowd of friends and regulars gathered in the back of the first floor of the Uptown Arts Bar last night. Floor-thumping bass was bleeding through from some kind of party upstairs, which continued the whole evening, but that didn't discourage the three acts scheduled to play.

Grim Repeater is a solo project from Doug Bybee, a young Lawrence musician. A nervous but eager Bybee manned a Roland keyboard and sang while Eggs On Mars drummer Mason Potter sat in on drums. The pair (who revealed they had not practiced together) played half an hour of lo-fi psychedelic pop. The set included two covers, the first being an enjoyable take on Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide a World" and the second being an ill-fated attempt at Mac DeMarco's "Chamber Of Reflection" that Bybee tried twice before his pedal problems prevailed. Despite some flat vocals and technical issues that need finessing Grim Repeater's second show still offered some enjoyable reverb-laden I wish it was summer again tunes. 

Grim Repeater
Next up was Eric Griffin Jr.. If you frequent the SHUTTLECOCK you may already be aware of my personal affinity for Griffin's music. On this night Griffin offered up a truncated version of his SHUTTLECOCK Music Showcase set, which was all new songs from his upcoming EP. Griffin's stripped down approach to performing oozes charm and sincerity, from the quickness and simplicity he introduces his songs with to the knick-knacks he props up on his amp before plugging in his electric guitar. 

Griffin's set offers everything you want from a singer-songwriter. "Dinner Plates" shows off his vocal range, "Noodles" is a quick plucking, upbeat tune that any listener can quickly latch on to, praying for the chorus to come one more time, and "Personal Summer" is incredible lyrically ("Relax my way into first place/Bury me in your trophy case"). I can't stress enough how talented this man is and how everyone in Kansas City needs to hear him. With Lawrence's Your Friend gaining national attention with her upcoming LP, there's a new musician carving out a similar niche.

Eric Griffin Jr.
Eggs On Mars was the last band up. The trio thanked the previous performers and the crowd and got things moving. The band plays a mostly laid back style of indie rock possibly inspired by early Weezer and some bits of '60's British invasion and surf rock (besides one fast punk song after which singer and guitarist Brad Smith noted, "If you liked that one, sorry, we don't have any more like it."). While not vastly imaginative and like Grim Repeater, lacking impressive vocals, Eggs On Mars put on a solid performance and would definitely fit in well on a broadcast of KRBZ's Homegrown Buzz program.

Despite a Chiefs playoff loss earlier in the evening, this quiet little lo-fi gig proved to be a satisfying pick-me-up and an interesting peak into some quieter local rock music.

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