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Words and Photos: Kye Colors / Southside Dame / Jass / KBM Truth at Encore at Uptown Theater

Kye Colors at Encore. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: August 20, 2021

Encore at Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO


If you're part of the music business for long enough, you'll come to understand that success is not always guaranteed, even to the artists most deserving of it, even if they've achieved it before. Kye Colors headlined the Encore at Uptown Theater back in January 2020 with support from Southside Dame, Daduworld, and DMT O. By my estimation, the room held at least 100 attendees for most of that evening. That's why I was surprised to see that only half that number of fans came out to see Kye, Dame, Jass, and KBM Truth play the same room a year and a half later (both times on a Friday night). Kye's 2020 project, With Love. By Faith., was met with praise from around Kansas City's hip-hop scene and his recent summertime collab single with Dame was more than entertaining.


A more juvenile Kye Colors may have looked out on the sparsely populated room and given an uninterested, lackluster performance, but Kye did the best he could with what he was given. The relative silence of the room between songs was a bit awkward. So was the stunt of either Kye's camp or a sponsor throwing down $200 for a mid-set twerk contest that included only one participant. Nevertheless, Kye put his head down and trekked through a set of over 30 minutes that included several cuts from his brand new R&B-centric EP WOW and old favorites like "House Party" and "Warning." 

Dame joined Kye on stage for the aforementioned collab "1-800," which was one of the more jubilant moments of Kye's set. Dame's brief 15 minutes on stage included music from last year's Pretty Girls Listen To Dame, this year's Sorry In Advance, and one unreleased track. Despite his frequent boasts, Dame is a fairly timid character, though he realizes this and joked about it, saying something along the lines of, "C'mon, make some noise, make me feel good," with a smile on his face. Though his performances don't necessarily lack energy, Dame often leaves the mic floating a couple inches too far away from his mouth while not fully projecting his voice, which happened several times here. It's something he'll have to overcome if he wants to live up to his larger-than-life pop-rap posturing.

Jass is something of a rising star in Kansas City's music scene. Since folks caught on to her 2020 album, At The Close Of A Decade, she's been performing in both indie and hip-hop circles, sometimes with two gigs booked the same week. All of that time on stage has clearly benefited her as she seemed more than comfortable in the spotlight, allowing her to focus on the delivery of her often delicate vocals and to engage with her fans. She occasionally encouraged them to snap along to her R&B and neo-soul storytelling. If I may briefly turn to cliche: Jass brought all the right vibes. "I did the whistles," she proclaimed with glee before a song from her recent SEND InterLUDES project.

KBM Truth was the first to take the stage. Though he never threw in the towel, the young rapper failed to peel the earlybirds off the wall with his collection of melodic, autotuned bars and use of tropical rhythms. He's 17 though and this seemed to be one of his earlier performances, so he has more than enough time to hone his craft.

[Shuttlecock was a media partner on this show.]

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