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Words and Photos: Zhoop / Total Sham / Foil / Gruel / Kill Cop at Penn Valley Skate Park

Zhoop. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.
Date: July 4, 2022

Penn Valley Skate Park - Kansas City, MO

For Kansas City punks, the Fourth of July is less a celebration of America's birthday and more an opportune evening to blast loud rock music and blow things up next to the skate park with little to no consequence. The evening was headlined by Zhoop, the punk rock recording project of an Indiana musician named Jeff who recruited a band of Kansas Citians for this evening (and plans to relocate here before the end of the summer). Pulling from a small handful of different sub-subgenres, Zhoop's set ultimately consisted of songs that a fan of any style of punk rock could enjoy while lighting off various fireworks.

Preceding Zhoop were Kansas City's resident dirtbags Foil. This set may have been the highly active band's best performance yet both in regards to their playing and the amount of havoc wreaked. Roman candles flew into the night sky, dancers danced, paint was sprayed, and a small American flag was lit on fire.

Before Foil, Gruel began what would be the third of its five shows as a band (announcing their breakup a few days ago, at the same time as Piss Kinks and BTK). The entire set was cinematic. The party was ramping up; firecracker smoke wafted through the air with the sunset and the city skyline visible across the park. Though there would be plenty of smoke later on, too, these were the last moments it was visible, at time leaving the mosh pit looking like a war zone. The band's simple yet muscular hardcore was all the excuse anyone needed to wade into combat.

The evening's festivities began with a set from Total Sham. Some attendees sat and watched from their picnic blankets, but the band's tunes and singer Austin Fetterolf's crowd antagonizing tactics (hurling firecrackers and stripping down to his cheetah print underwear) were more than enough to draw people in.

The night was closed out with an impromptu and fully improvised set by local powerviolence/grind duo Kill Cop.

[This show was booked and presented by Shuttlecock and Dirtbag Distro.]

Click here to view the full photo gallery.

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