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Words and Photos: Foil / Dilettante / Ozersk at the graveyard

Foil at the graveyard. Photo by Aaron Rhodes
Date: October 23, 2021

The graveyard - Kansas City, MO 

The kids are all fright. (Sorry.) On Saturday evening, after convening at the nearby home of a couple band members, a few dozen teens and young adults walked together to go play and watch rock music at a Kansas City cemetery. Due to 10 P.M. being the time billed on the flyer, music didn't begin until after 11 P.M. (following some difficulties starting the generator) with a set from Ben Kuder's Ozersk. More compact than his recent performance with Sarin Reaper in Volker, this outing saw a more lively Kuder (insert graveyard joke) who at one point gripped the mic stand tight as he stared down onlookers, and at another point thrust his guitar into the air at a song's conclusion, his distorted no-wave rhythms and feedback washing over the audience, communicating a proper dose of gloom.

Next came the debut set from a new rock quartet called Dilettante (featuring Jose Caman of Sarin Reaper on drums). Though some of the band's playing was relatively sloppy, the vintage psychedelic tones and moodiness achieved in their songs was quite admirable for such a young group. Where many bands overdo their psychedelic schtick with an intense focus on fussing with pedals or simply playing as loud as possible, the members of Dilettante knew when to let their compositions breathe.

Just past midnight, the members of Foil assembled in front of the mausoleum steps that acted as the evening's stage. This was another live debut -- the band originated as guitarist/vocalist Jame Mendenhall's (also of Sarin Reaper) recording project just as the pandemic first hit. Caman pulled double duty, again sitting on the drum throne with a friend named Jasper filling out the rhythm section on bass. 


This set of American hardcore punk could also have used some tightening up, but the crowd that had gathered, some in costume or corpse paint, was happy with any excuse to do some late night slam dancing under the autumn moon. Before what would be the third and final song of the set, Mendenhall thanked everyone for supporting their bands and Dirtbag Distro throughout the pandemic and spoke about how happy they were to finally be playing a Foil gig. After a Redd Kross cover sent dancers careening across the weathered grass, a friend rushed over to alert everyone that the cops had arrived. Red and blue lights flashed from a winding path in the distance and everyone (save for the band members with gear to pack up, who were simply told to leave upon the SUV's arrival) scurried for the exit.

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