Ads Top

Flipper & David Yow Concert Review

Flipper & David Yow
June 30th, 2019
recordBar - Kansas City, MO

David Yow. Photo by Aaron Rhodes
The biggest hurdle most eighties punk bands are faced with when performing in the 21st century is playing their songs as fast as they recorded them without sounding like shit. Luckily for the current incarnation of Flipper, which features Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow subbing in for Bruce Loose, the timeless blasts of gnarled, sludgy punk rock the band wrote in the eighties rarely surpass a rate of "mid-paced." With that main obstacle obliterated right out of the gate, Yow and company -- original guitarist Ted Falconi, original drummer Steve DePace, and bassist Rachel Thoroe, who has been with the band on-and-off since the nineties -- were free Sunday night to gleefully antagonize the recordBar as they saw fit.

Despite Yow's hilarious set-opening jokes and gags, things felt bleak as the band completed its first two songs of the night ("The Light, The Sound, The Rhythm, The Noise" and "Ha Ha Ha"). The playing was rigid. Things only started looking up as the rumbling bass line of "(I Saw You) Shine" kicked in. The lights on stage were dimmed and, almost simultaneously, a scuffle broke out on one side of the room and Yow hopped down to wade through the crowd on the other. Sweaty, smiling fans were shoved to the front and any remaining anxiety in the room evaporated as they bobbed their heads in unison.

Following "Shine," Yow and several of the drunk, sweaty punkers near the stage were quickly riffing on The Wizard Of Oz, boner jokes, Bono jokes, and having the most grand of times. Through the rest of the set, some songs hit harder than others -- "Sacrifice" was just as nasty and gross as anyone could've hoped -- but even during the weaker moments, Thoroe's effortless cool, Falconi's hacksaw approach to guitar playing, and DePace's steady drive kept things from falling apart, despite how close it may have seemed. (I don't remember where, but I'm pretty sure Bill Brownlee once wrote that punk is often its best when it sounds like it could fall apart at any second, and that was certainly the case here).

Casey Virock of Porcupine. Photo by Aaron Rhodes
After roughly an hour, a set that had so far amounted to a solid outing came to a riotous conclusion. The horn section from the night's local support, Drop A Grand, was invited back on stage to accompany Flipper on "Sex Bomb." Yow hopped down again, and as the song got rolling, began shoving fans onto the stage until it was packed. Three band members, three Drop A Grand horn players, and at least 20 boogied hard and passed 'round the microphone for 10 glorious minutes. Even the slightly panicked stage manager cracked a smile. It was the cherry on top of what will be remembered as a recordBar classic.

Minnesota indie rock trio Porcupine preceded Flipper. Featuring Hüsker Dü's Greg Norton on bass, several of the group's songs echoed the earnest Midwesterner approach to the genre that Norton's former group helped popularize. Those songs were the most potent. Other songs took on a colder, more off-kilter approach, and despite preventing the set from turning into a sappy, homogeneous slog, were notably less enjoyable.

The night was kicked off by Kansas City's favorite "Canadian" garage rock gang Drop A Grand. The band's wacky take on rock-n-roll standards never fails to entertain, nor does its horn section, or its member that mostly just dances around in booty shorts.

Full photo gallery here.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.