Jack Daniels has been the best boyfriend I've ever had, but sometimes he causes me to miss out in life. Last night, for instance, I missed Via Audio's opening set at the Brick in downtown Kansas City because Jack wanted me to stick around the homestead and drink him up. In his defense, though, I was given the wrong time so when I showed up I expected Via Audio on stage but instead found Tigercity beginning their first song. Since I missed out on the first Brooklyn-based band of the night I asked my friend Ryan to sum up Via Audio's set. Ryan told me the band was "sloppy but in a really good way," and the band switched instruments during a few songs. So yeah, let's be thankful Ryan isn't writing this full review because it would be wrapped up already...
Kansas City isn't really a shoe gazing city to begin with, but when Tigercity is on stage it's a sure bet that no one knows what the hell their shoes look like because everyone is too busy shaking their ass. The Brooklyn foursome's blend of funk, electro, and indie pop is truly infectious. Even though the lyrics are about girl woes the music is 100% feel good. You can stand straight and try to play it cool but your ass and legs will start moving at their own discretion.
The rhythm section and Bill Gillim's smooth falsetto rule Tigercity's songs. I grew up listening to the Bee Gees (and still listen to them regularly) and I was impressed with Tigercity's vocals. Bill's vocals throughout the entire set were on and bassist Joel Ford backs him with an equally impressive voice. The programmed synth is the icing on a lot of Tigercity's songs but it's the funk that really stands out. Even on "Are You Sensation," a song without bass, it's still mother ship-worthy in the funk department.
The band flew through their set, but maybe it just seemed that way because everyone was enjoying it so much. The crowd - a mix of people who have been fans of the band for a long time and people who just stumbled in and were pleased with their stumbling choices - took the announcement of the last song of the night harder than a last call. Tigercity wrapped it up with "Solitary Man" and during the song members went into a musical k-hole and lost themselves in the moment. When the band came out of it the crowd begged for one more song. Tigercity replied, "How about if we just drink with you instead?"
The boys went from the stage to the bar and The ACB's, a Kansas City-based punchy pop band, went on to a smaller crowd and managed to make me smile when they mixed Rockwell's "I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me" in with an original song. Seriously, we need to bring this song back!
Tigercity will be playing with OFFICE throughout December and I can't think of a better match than these two bands. Go out and see them because your ass will thank you for it the next day.
"Let Her Go"
"Are You Sensational"
Photos by Michael Forester