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Words and Photos: Sidestep / Flooding / Perfume at 7th Heaven

Sidestep at 7th Heaven. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: October 1, 2021

7th Heaven - Kansas City, MO

I apologized multiple times in person, but let me also apologize to Sidestep in a public setting: I am sorry. I let this gig get started a bit too late and due to the venue's curfew (which I was aware of, but thought may be loose enough), Louisville's Neriah Romero was forced to trim his set down to three songs and perform without the accompaniment of his bassist and drum machine. That being said, the three songs he did get to play consisted of splendidly moody Midwest emo, dream pop, and shoegaze. Romero's songs reminded me at one moment or two of the catchy clean guitar playing and vulnerable, first-person writing style of emo scene favorites Turnover; I think the two would make a solid tour package. Hopefully Kansas City is able to receive the Sidestep experience as intended on the next tour.

Lawrence slowcore trio Flooding made its Kansas City debut at this early evening gig and won the hearts of attendees young and old in addition to their fellow performers. The room was silent as the band, laser-focused, played its delicate and deliberate brand of indie rock with precision. Guitarist/vocalist Rose Brown noted this room of roughly 50 was likely the biggest crowd she's played to in her burgeoning career, but hopefully she was encouraged by the enthusiastic applause that came with the conclusion of each song. The set's closing number, "Gomez," saw Brown's vocals rise above a whisper (perhaps to what one would call a normal singing level) to compete with the microphone-less screams of bassist Cole Billings. It was a thrilling climax and the perfect way to end their first trip down K-10.

The show was kicked off by Kansas City alt-rockers Perfume. The band had played its first ever show just three months prior in this same location and has since added multiple new songs to its setlist, choosing to open with one of them Friday evening. Guitarist/vocalist Jamie Woodard's vocals peaked over the limits of the basement's humble PA system at least a couple times over the course of the band's set, but friends and fans up front didn't seem to mind, bobbing their heads vigorously to the band's blasts of '90s nostalgia. Though I won't expect an alt-rock band to play a hardcore punk-length set, there were one or two moments were the performance grew dull (mainly when a song would go too long without Woodard's vocals), so I might suggest trimming maybe 5 minutes off what I think was a 30 minute set, but this is just me overthinking a DIY rock set.

[This show was booked and presented by Shuttlecock.]

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