Show Review: Midlake/Minus Story

10/03/07 The Jackpot Saloon, Lawrence

Midlake's 2006 album, The Trials of Van Occupanther, has been one of my favorite albums since it was released. It was my number three album of the year last year and I find myself listening to it again every couple of weeks or so (with my ADD-ish listening habits, revisiting an album that often means it's very, very good). Not knowing what to expect with their live show, I was pleasantly surprised to find The Jackpot already well on it's way to being full when we arrived a good 30 minutes before Minus Story was to take the stage. By the time Midlake began, the venue was as packed as I have seen it in a long time. It seemed like every skinny, sweaty hipster in the Lawrence/Kansas City area came out for the show. My friend and I were discussing how Midlake's music just doesn't seem to be the kind of stuff that hipsters would take to. I can't think of any kids at shows wearing an ironic Fleetwood Mac t-shirt. Although if you take a band that has a Fleetwood Mac vibe to it and they sort of sound like Radiohead at times that may be enough to bring out the kids (that usually don't give a damn about the show...they just want to be seen). Midlake had a few sound problems at the beginning but three songs in they played 'Roscoe' and hit their stride. They never let up either until the end of the set. The few songs they played off their first album, Bamnan and Silvercork, fitted nicely between the tunes off Van Occupanther. According to the band, the Lawrence show was the last in a 18-month tour in support of that record, and they gave a great performance fitting of a tour ending show. The band seemed genuinely surprised and pleased that so many people came to see them and they repaid the crowd with one of the better shows of the year.

Lawrence's own Minus Story opened for Midlake. Minus Story is starting to make national waves as well with the release of this year's My Ion Truss on indie label JagJaguwar. The aforementioned album is one of the better albums from a local band in a few years. Singer Jordan Geiger sounds like a mix between Daniel Johnston and (Built to Spill's) Doug Martsch, which can be great or very bad depending on the style of music. Luckily, Minus Story's epic brand of indie rock perfectly compliments Geiger's unique voice. Seeing them live, Minus Story is chaotic and controlled; noisy and melodic. They definitely could be the biggest bands out of Lawrence in a while as soon as more people hear their records or see them live.

Midlake Myspace
Minus Story Myspace

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