“The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas Night 3” Concert Review

Liberty Smith, Reporter

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“96.5 The Buzz”, an alternative radio station in the KC metro area, put together four separate nights of concerts in honor of the holiday season, each featuring 3-4 different bands. I attended Night 3 on December 16th and was more than satisfied with the performances. The Midland is one of my favorite venues and it’s nearly impossible to have a bad experience when you’re only a row behind the barricade and find yourself on random people’s shoulder’s sweaty and screaming your favorite lyrics at the top of your lungs.

The concert was kicked off by “Night Riots” a band that I have listened to intermittently but wouldn’t have previously identified myself as a fan of necessarily. However, after seeing them live, it’s safe to say that I’m officially obsessed. From lead singer Travis Hawley’s mesmerizing, high energy stage presence to drummer Rico Rodriquez’s glow in the dark, color changing drum stick solos, the performance was jaw dropping. And don’t even get me started on the guitarist Nick Fotinakes who I have decided may be the most visually appealing human I have ever seen in my life. When the band erupted out of the silence with the chorus of “Contagious” the entire crowd went insane.

Night Riots was followed by “Judah & The Lion”, a very diverse band with lead singer Judah Akers’ surfer-boy persona and Nate Zuercher’s enormous beard and intricate banjo playing, they found a way to be organic and uniquely folk rock, making up for sound with a constant connection to their audience. Not to mention that “Take It All Back” is one of my favorite songs of all time and the live version nearly brought me to tears.

Next up was “The Strumbellas” who are a mashed up conglomerate of genres. Looking at them you’d assume they would sound like a mess but somehow they make “Country-Indie-Folk-Pop-Grass” sound magical, especially when Isabel Ritchie plays her violin solo in their radio hit single “Spirits”. I was overall very impressed by their humble presence and musical artistry.

Finally the one and only “Third Eye Blind”, a rock band I have followed for years. I felt truly honored to be in their presence, I don’t believe there was a single moment where my heart stopped racing as Stephen Jenkins’ raspy and raw vocals reverberated off the ceiling and walls of the house. Not only was the crowd blessed with the music itself, but we were also given a very inspirational, “you can do anything and be yourself” rant/talk halfway through that one can almost always expect from an older rock-grunge band. After a life changing performance of “Jumper” with everyone singing “I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend”, Jenkins proceeded to admit that “Sometimes being on the road gets old, but it’s nights like this with fans like yourselves that remind me why I do this, this is one of the best shows we’ve ever played”.

The best part of all was that I got all of the above for a mere $35 dollars. It was absolutely one of the greatest concert experiences that I’ve had to date and I would highly recommend every single band as well as keeping up with “96.5 The Buzz” for more opportunities to see amazing bands in the KC area.

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“The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas Night 3” Concert Review