Concert Review: Poison/Cheap Trick – Kansas City

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

Poison/Cheap Trick/Pop Evil

Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri

May 25, 2018

Our Score:     Poison *** out of 5    Cheap Trick  **** out of 5

 

 

Thirty years ago, I wanted to kill a fellow editor at my college newspaper because he went missing the night before the semester’s final edition was due at the printer. When I woke him the next morning, I became even more enraged because he and decided to catch a concert without telling me or my peers, and it was Poison.

 

 

Had he abdicated his responsibility for Todd Rundgren, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones or The Smiths, I might have excused him. But no, it had to be that silly hair band whose songs about partying were relatively easy to play.

 

Another friend who had seen them play, lamented their musical limitations by dubbing guitarist C.C. DeVille “C.C. Distortion” for his sloppy solos, and an another buddy laughed when he saw concert footage of them on MTV and observed they were playing beginners’ instruments. Because my own musical chops are stunted, I’m not sure what was so embryonic about what axes Poison used to play. Nonetheless, we both felt smug as we continued to watch them perform on television.

 

 

After finally seeing the band play for myself on May 25 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, I think I can now easily forgive the other editor. Of course, we still made our deadline. I can also say I don’t envy him because the performance I caught might have been better than the one he saw. Now that their hair has grayed (where it still remains), the band has actually developed some skill and showmanship that wasn’t in their old videos.

 

 

Lead vocalist Bret Michaels constantly thanked the crowd and rattled off other area venues where he played with the band or as a solo act. It’s always nice when the band knows they’re on the Missouri side of the state line and can recall something about your town other than a stage.

 

Cheap Trick, who played before them, one-upped the headliners by claiming they had written a recent tune after eating at Gates Barbecue, a blue collar eatery when the clerks greet you as loudly as if they were playing the Sprint Center.

 

Unlike the musicians, the clerks don’t need microphones.

 

Michaels and the rest of Poison gave the crowd high fives throughout the set and genuinely seemed to enjoy being in the barbecue capital of the world. The band have had personnel changes and breakups, but the original lineup were all performing that evening. The set seemed oddly touching when Michaels briefly mentioned that drummer Rikki Rockett had survived cancer.

 

Both he and bassist Bobby Dall looked healthy and enthusiastic, so it was a jolt to hear that Rockett, who regularly tosses his drumsticks in the air and twirls them between beats, almost didn’t make it to the stage.

 

 

 

Because I was attempting to photograph the show from a pit at the bottom of the stage, I almost felt sorry for people in the back of the arena who couldn’t see what he was doing. When he later played an extended toward the end of the set, it made Michaels’ revelation all the more touching.

 

Michaels, who had a series of frightening health problems of his own in 2010, is also lucky to be alive. Perhaps that’s why their enthusiasm seems genuine. Playing in front of a house that can hold 19,000 people sure beats lying in a hospital bed or worse.

 

While Poison can play their old hits like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” or “Talk Dirty to Me” with more technical assurance than they used to, they do little more than plow through their old catalog.

 

Their fans didn’t object.

 

They did supplement their set with a large video screen that featured cartoons of the band before they took the stage. Their cover of Loggins and Messina’s “Your Momma Don’t Dance” proved to be a great excuse to feature the late pinup queen Bettie Page shimmying as they played. With Bettie just about any band would sound as good as the Stones on their best day.

 

Following a typically lively set by Cheap Trick requires a masochism few bands have. The three original members are all in their sixties and still have their old skills. Whereas DeVille impressed the crowd by mimicking Eddie Van Halen’s finger tapping and slipping in a bit of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen switched genres, playing styles and even guitars. The 69-year-old ax-man didn’t need a featured solo break because just about every song gave him a workout.

 

 

Oh, and while he was playing tunes like “Dream Police,” he was also tossing out picks at the crowd. Somehow his poses, witty asides to the crowd and acts of violence involving small pieces of plastic, never caused him to skip a note or detract from a solo. How he managed to hit me in the pit with a pick and get through the set at the same time baffles me.

 

Dall treated the crowd to his own version of Henry Mancini’s theme to The Pink Panther, but Cheap Trick bassist Tom Peterson gave his 12-string instrument a thorough workout and even sang a powerful medley of The Velvet Underground’s “Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin.” Nielsen complemented Peterson’s work with some tasteful slide solos, which lead vocalist Robin Zander accompanied with his own acoustic 12 string.

 

 

 

Zander happily took a break because during the rest of the set he still pushed his voice to its limit. Thankfully that limit seems superhuman. If his throat cracked a couple of times, he can still effortlessly reach high notes and make 40 to 30 year old songs sound fresh and committed.

 

If you’ve caught Cheap Trick in the past or have listed to At Budokan to the point where you’ve memorized all the words, their current shows are still worth catching. Daxx Nielsen, Rick’s son, has ably replaced Bun E. Carlos on drums, and Zander’s son Robin Taylor fleshes out the band’s harmonies and played most of the rhythm guitar parts.

 

Thanks to That 70s Show, the band have a few songs (like their version of Big Star’s “In the Street”) that are more recent than anything Poison played, and the samples from their newer albums Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello (2016) and We’re All Right! (2017) fit seamlessly in with their hits. Radio stations may ignore their most recent offerings, and it’s the broadcasters’ loss.

 

 

 

They also surprised the crowd by featuring the Melvins, who joined them for a rousing version of “Surrender.” Drummer Hayley Cramer from opening band Pop Evil even joined the bands as they gave the 40 year old chestnut all they had.

 

As lead singer Leigh Kakaty kept reminding the audience, Pop Evil from North Muskegon, Michigan, have been around for a decade. While Kakaty lamented the empty seats on the floor (that were filled when the headliners arrived), and the rest of the ensemble still approached their set with vigor and enthusiasm.

 

 

He opined that the newer generation should learn, “There is a difference between a Gibson guitar and a motherfucking Apple computer.” Fortunately, he and his crew of analog performers and the bands that followed made an eloquent case for that argument.

The tour moves from Kansas City to Pryor, Oklahoma and continues for the summer.  For more information and upcoming tour dates, click HERE.

 

Related Content

Concert Review – Poison/CheapTrick/Pop Evil – Kansas City

CONCERT REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

 

 

Poison/Cheap Trick/Pop Evil

Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri

May 25, 2018

Thirty years ago, I wanted to kill a fellow editor at my college newspaper because he went missing the night before the semester’s final edition was due at the printer. When I woke him the next morning, I became even more enraged because he and decided to catch a concert without telling me or my peers, and it was Poison.   Had he abdicated his responsibility for Todd Rundgren, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones or The Smiths, I might have excused him. But no, it had to be that silly hair band whose songs about partying were relatively easy to play.

Another friend who had seen them play, lamented their musical limitations by dubbing guitarist C.C. DeVille “C.C. Distortion” for his sloppy solos, and an another buddy laughed when he saw concert footage of them on MTV and observed they were playing beginners’ instruments. Because my own musical chops are stunted, I’m not sure what was so embryonic about what axes Poison used to play. Nonetheless, we both felt smug as we continued to watch them perform on television.

 

After finally seeing the band play for myself on May 25 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, I think I can now easily forgive the other editor. Of course, we still made our deadline. I can also say I don’t envy him because the performance I caught might have been better than the one he saw. Now that their hair has grayed (where it still remains), the band has actually developed some skill and showmanship that wasn’t in their old videos.

Lead vocalist Bret Michaels constantly thanked the crowd and rattled off other area venues where he played with the band or as a solo act. It’s always nice when the band knows they’re on the Missouri side of the state line and can recall something about your town other than a stage.

Cheap Trick, who played before them, one-upped the headliners by claiming they had written a recent tune after eating at Gates Barbecue, a blue collar eatery when the clerks greet you as loudly as if they were playing the Sprint Center.  Unlike the musicians, the clerks don’t need microphones.

Michaels and the rest of Poison gave the crowd high fives throughout the set and genuinely seemed to enjoy being in the barbecue capital of the world. The band have had personnel changes and breakups, but the original lineup were all performing that evening. The set seemed oddly touching when Michaels briefly mentioned that drummer Rikki Rockett had survived cancer.

 

Both he and bassist Bobby Dall looked healthy and enthusiastic, so it was a jolt to hear that Rockett, who regularly tosses his drumsticks in the air and twirls them between beats, almost didn’t make it to the stage.

Because I was attempting to photograph the show from a pit at the bottom of the stage, I almost felt sorry for people in the back of the arena who couldn’t see what he was doing. When he later played an extended toward the end of the set, it made Michaels’ revelation all the more touching.

Michaels, who had a series of frightening health problems of his own in 2010, is also lucky to be alive. Perhaps that’s why their enthusiasm seems genuine. Playing in front of a house that can hold 19,000 people sure beats lying in a hospital bed or worse.

While Poison can play their old hits like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” or “Talk Dirty to Me” with more technical assurance than they used to, they do little more than plow through their old catalog.

Their fans didn’t object.

They did supplement their set with a large video screen that featured cartoons of the band before they took the stage. Their cover of Loggins and Messina’s “Your Momma Don’t Dance” proved to be a great excuse to feature the late pinup queen Bettie Page shimmying as they played. With Bettie just about any band would sound as good as the Stones on their best day.

Following a typically lively set by Cheap Trick requires a masochism few bands have. The three original members are all in their sixties and still have their old skills. Whereas DeVille impressed the crowd by mimicking Eddie Van Halen’s finger tapping and slipping in a bit of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen switched genres, playing styles and even guitars. The 69-year-old ax-man didn’t need a featured solo break because just about every song gave him a workout.

 

 

Oh, and while he was playing tunes like “Dream Police,” he was also tossing out picks at the crowd. Somehow his poses, witty asides to the crowd and acts of violence involving small pieces of plastic, never caused him to skip a note or detract from a solo. How he managed to hit me in the pit with a pick and get through the set at the same time baffles me.

Dall treated the crowd to his own version of Henry Mancini’s theme to The Pink Panther, but Cheap Trick bassist Tom Peterson gave his 12-string instrument a thorough workout and even sang a powerful medley of The Velvet Underground’s “Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin.” Nielsen complemented Peterson’s work with some tasteful slide solos, which lead vocalist Robin Zander accompanied with his own acoustic 12 string.

Zander happily took a break because during the rest of the set he still pushed his voice to its limit. Thankfully that limit seems superhuman. If his throat cracked a couple of times, he can still effortlessly reach high notes and make 40 to 30 year old songs sound fresh and committed.

 

If you’ve caught Cheap Trick in the past or have listed to At Budokan to the point where you’ve memorized all the words, their current shows are still worth catching. Daxx Nielsen, Rick’s son, has ably replaced Bun E. Carlos on drums, and Zander’s son Robin Taylor fleshes out the band’s harmonies and played most of the rhythm guitar parts.

Thanks to That 70s Show, the band have a few songs (like their version of Big Star’s “In the Street”) that are more recent than anything Poison played, and the samples from their newer albums Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello (2016) and We’re All Right! (2017) fit seamlessly in with their hits. Radio stations may ignore their most recent offerings, and it’s the broadcasters’ loss.

They also surprised the crowd by featuring the Melvins, who joined them for a rousing version of “Surrender.” Drummer Hayley Cramer from opening band Pop Evil even joined the bands as they gave the 40 year old chestnut all they had.

As lead singer Leigh Kakaty kept reminding the audience, Pop Evil from North Muskegon, Michigan, have been around for a decade. While Kakaty lamented the empty seats on the floor (that were filled when the headliners arrived), and the rest of the ensemble still approached their set with vigor and enthusiasm.

He opined that the newer generation should learn, “There is a difference between a Gibson guitar and a motherfucking Apple computer.” Fortunately, he and his crew of analog performers and the bands that followed made an eloquent case for that argument.

The tour heads to Pryor, Oklahoma for their next gig.  For more information and other tour dates, click HERE.

 

SET LISTS

CHEAP TRICK

Hello There
You Got It Going On
That 70s Show
California Man
Long Time Coming
Baby Loves to Rock
When I Wake Up Tomorrow
The Summer Looks Good on You
Waitin’ for the Man
The Flame
I Want You to Want Me
Dream Police
Surrender (w/The Melvins)
Goodnight

 

POP EVIL and POISON’s SET LISTS WERE NOT AVAILABLE

 

Related Content

Theater Review: “On Your Feet” – Kansas City

 

“On You Feet”

May 22, 2018

Starlight Theater – Kansas City

REVIEW BY JUANITA SMITH

 

They were one of the most popular bands of the 1980s, selling over 100 million albums worldwide.   But before the Miami Sound Machine started, what was the story that brought Emilio and Gloria Estefan together?

With set pieces set in Cuba and Miami, “On Your Feet” is a highly entertaining tale about two people destined to meet and create some of the most popular music of the last century.  It is also a story of the power of love, which comes into play after tragedy strikes and music is the furthest thing.

The show rides along on the mighty shoulders (and voices) of Mauricio Martinez and Christie Prades who, as Emilio and Gloria, share the majority of the vocal duties.  Both are well cast and their chemistry is evident.

The supporting cast is equally strong.  The choreography is top notch and the direction keeps the show flowing easily.  And then there are the songs!

If you’re looking for an entertaining night at the theater, you can’t go wrong with “On Your Feet.”

The show plays in Kansas City through May 27th.  For upcoming show information and tickets, click HERE

 

Related Content

Concert Review: Jimmy Buffett – “Son of a Son of a Sailor” Tour – Kansas City

 

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band – “Son of a Son of a Sailor” Tour 2018
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri

May 19, 2018

When you see people wearing grass skirts and coconut-shell bras, parrots on their shoulders or over-sized Cheeseburgers and Shark Fins on their heads, you can only be in one place:  Margaritaville!  This weekend, Margaritaville was located inside the Sprint Center in Kansas City as Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band debuted the “Son of a Son of a Sailor” tour.

 

Has it really been 40 years since Buffett released “Son of a Son of a Sailor?”  This is my favorite Buffett album and it solidified Buffett as one of my favorite songwriters.  Like another one of my favorites, the late Harry Chapin, Buffett wrote amazing “story-songs” that took you to places you never imagined you would travel to.  I knew that the night’s events would not disappoint.

Caroline Jones was the opening act.  A very talented singer and musician, she treated the crowd to a small set of songs that showed off both her vocal range and musical talents.  She would later come out during the main show to accompany Buffett  and the band on a couple more numbers.  I have to admit that, though I’ve heard Ms. Jones on Sirius Radio (she hosts a program known as “the Coffee House) I wasn’t aware that she was also a singer.   I recommend you give her a listen,

Finally it was showtime.  Buffett and the band hit the stage and kicked off the show with a rousing “Livingston Saturday Night,” one of seven songs from the “Son of a Son of a Sailor” album he would play tonight.  Afterwards he addressed the crowd, informing them that this was the inaugural show of the new tour and that he and the band had been practicing in Texas for a while.  He also noted the Fin Men, a group of gentlemen that had been patrolling around the venue with illuminated 6-foot shark fins on their heads.  This group of Parrotheads made the show even more entertaining, especially when they circled during the song “Fins.”  My understanding is that they are just a group of fans and aren’t officially part of the show but my advice to Mr. Buffett would be to fly these guys wherever you’re playing.  They are true ambassadors for your music as well as the great time experienced at your shows.

Besides the enthusiasm of Buffett, the show also includes the Coral Reefer Band, made up of some amazing musicians.  Chief among them is Mac McAnally, who has been chosen  the Country Music Association’s “Musician of the Year” an amazing 10 times.  McAnally is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, thanks to his having written or co-written such songs as “Down the Road” for Kenny Chesney, “Old Flame” for Alabama and “Thank God for You,” one of many hits he composed for Sawyer Brown.  At the concert’s mid-point – an energetic “Cheeseburger in Paradise” – Buffett left the stage “for some refreshments.”  In his absence, the audience was treated to an amazing mini-concert by steelpan player Robert Greenridge, who performed a beautiful rendition of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”

Mac McAnally and Jimmy Buffett

The audience was not only treated to a barrage of Buffett’s music, but were also entertained with covers of songs by the Beach Boys “Sail On, Sailor”), Alan Jackson (“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” – a song on which Buffett also appeared on) and Crosby, Stills and Nash (“Southern Cross”).  The band was in top form.  It is hard to believe that this was the first show of the tour, so easily did all of the pieces work.

After a rousing three-song encore, which included Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” Buffett said his good nights to a crowd that had hardly sat down all evening.  If you’ve never experienced the magic that is a Jimmy Buffett concert, I urge you to catch him and the Reefers as soon as possible.  For a list of tour dates, or to learn pretty much about everything Buffett, click HERE

I was made an honorary Fin Man after the show. Love these guys!

SET LIST

Livingston Saturday Night, The Weather is Here – Wish You Were Beautiful, Tampico Trauma, Boat Drinks, Come Monday (w/Caroline Jones), Trip Around the Sun (w/Caroline Jones), It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, Sail On,Sailor, Volcano, Cowboy in the Jungle, Son of a Son of a Sailor, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Grapefruit Juicy Fruit, Manana, Fool Button, Piece of Work, Coast of Marseilles, Fins, Changes In Latitudes/Changes in Attitudes, A Pirate Looks at Forty, Back Where I Come From (vocals by Mac McAnally), Margaritaville, Southern Cross, One Particular Harbor.

ENCORE

Brown Eyed Girl, Love and Luck, One Love/People Get Ready

 

Related Content

Theater Review: “The Lion King” in Kansas City

Disney’s “The Lion King”

Music Hall – Kansas City, Missouri

May 10, 2018

 

AMAZING!  That is the first word that popped into my head as “The Lion King” began.  While being mesmerized by the animated and musical Rafiki (Makelisiwe Goga), we were treated by a parade of animals down the aisle, from the rear of the theater to the stage.  Birds.  Gazelles.  Elephants.  They strode past in their proud majesty and filled the stage.  And for the next two and half hours, the excitement never died.

“Rafiki” in THE LION KING North American Tour. ©Disney. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Based on the 1994 animated film of the same name, the story of “The Lion King” is much as it was in the film.  Some of the characters are fleshed out more and there are more songs, also written by Elton John and Tim Rice.  The characters are familiar and are portrayed in an amazing way.  While the majority of the lions just wear lion heads, other characters are portrayed by actors holding/wearing puppets.  The effect is jaw-dropping.  Even the lovable duo of Timon and Pumba are portrayed this way, a way that is not distracting in the least.

The original show, which is now the third longest running show in Broadway history, was nominated for an amazing eleven Tony Awards, winning six, including Best Musical.  I’ve been attending shows, both on Broadway and off, since 1980, and I would easily put “The Lion King” in my top 10 of best shows ever.

“The Lion King” runs in Kansas City at the Music Hall through May 27th.  For ticket information, or to see where the tour is heading next, click HERE.

Related Content

 

Kansas City fans, win tickets to see comedian Eric Schwartz

 

Eric Schwartz, one of the fastest rising comedians in the country, will be making an appearance on Tuesday, April 17th at the Record Bar in Kansas City and Media Mikes has arranged for one lucky reader and a guest to go to the show.

All you have to do is let us know below, if you had the chance to see any legendary comedian live in person, who would it be?  Your choices can be living or dead.  Just let us know who you think would make for one funny evening.  One winner will be chosen randomly from all entries on Sunday, April 15th and will be notified by email.  Good luck!

Recently Eric tried to challenge some of the unwritten rules of Kansas City barbecue.  Click HERE for the results.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “I Feel Pretty”

 

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy starring Amy Schumer, “I Feel Pretty.”

The screening will be held on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the B&B Overland Park Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed, the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

I FEEL PRETTY

Tuesday, April 17, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

B&B Overland Park Theatre – Overland Park, Kansas

 

Related Content

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Super Troopers 2”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Fox Searchlight Films to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy from the gang at Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2.”

The screening will be held on Monday, April 16, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed, the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

SUPER TROOPERS 2

Monday, April 16, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas

 

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Isle of Dogs”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Fox Searchlight to give (35) Kansas City-area readers and their guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film by Wes Anderson, “Isle of Dogs.”

The film will be shown on Monday, April 2, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (35) to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once (35) passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.

Good Luck!

 

ISLE OF DOGS

Monday, April 2, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre  –  Olathe, Kansas

 

Related Content

Calpurnia Release Debut Single “City Boy”, New EP to Be Released on Royal Mountain

CALPURNIA RELEASE DEBUT SINGLE “CITY BOY”
NEW EP TO BE RELEASED THIS SPRING ON ROYAL MOUNTAIN

Photo Credit: Calm Elliott-Armstrong

Calpurnia’s story is how teenage rock dreams are meant to unfold: four friends, all raised on a healthy diet of the Beatles, Nirvana and David Bowie, and a deep love for their respective instruments, retreat one day to a basement and begin jamming together. They cut their teeth on some cover songs and then, with just enough confidence and a dose of adolescent enthusiasm, they write and record their own tunes. And the results are nothing short of stunning. “It was kind of destined to be,” Finn Wolfhard says of the almost serendipitous genesis of the rough-and-tumble Vancouver-based indie-rock foursome he formed with three of his now-closest friends. “We all just really clicked. And when I’m passionate about something,” the singer-guitarist adds of Calpurnia, who this spring release their self-titled debut EP via Royal Mountain Records, “I like to get it done as quickly as I can. There’s not a lot of wasting time. I love just going for it. Go big or go home.”

Today, the band has given us a taste of what is to come from their debut EP which was recorded in Chicago this past November with Twin Peaks’ frontman Cadien Lake James serving as producer. The video for “City Boy” was directed by Josiah Marshall, bassist from Whitney, who captured the band while they were making their record.

Calpurnia will be touring this summer in support of the EP including the recently announced Royal Mountain Music Festival at Raspberry Farm in Ontario where they will share the stage with Mac DeMarco, U.S. Girls and more.

More on Calpurnia….
The band – which in addition to Wolfhard includes lead guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe, a six-string prodigy whose bedroom-shredding viral videos have earned her legions of fans on social media, bassist Jack Anderson and drummer Malcolm Craig – all grew up within walking distance of one another. But it took Wolfhard – best known as one of Hollywood’s hottest young actors thanks to his role as Mike Wheeler on Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things – meeting Craig on the set of Canadian punk rockers PUP’s “Guilt Trip” music video for things to finally spring into motion. In short order, the pair met Tesler-Mabe at a music summer camp, and she quickly introduced them to Anderson, her close childhood friend and bassist. “And as soon as we started rehearsing it was just insane,” Anderson says of the quartet’s instant personal and musical chemistry. “It was kind of unbelievable. Like a gift.” Once they played their first official gig together, it was a done deal. “We had all the adrenaline we needed,” Craig says. Where they’d previously played cover songs, “after the response we got,” Craig notes, “we were like, “Let’s record some of our own music!””

For more info on Calpurnia checkout their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Calpurniatheband/

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Love, Simon”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film, “Love, Simon,” in Kansas City.

 

The film, starring Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford, will be screened on Wednesday, March 14, at the B&B Shawnee Theatre in Shawnee, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do to receive your pass for (2) is to click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Gringo”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Amazon Studios to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy, “Gringo,” in Kansas City.

 

The film, starring David Oyelowo and Charlize Theron, will be screened on Wednesday, March 7, at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do to receive your pass for (2) is to click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Annihilation”

 

MediaMikes has teamed up with their friends at Paramount to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film by Alex Garland, “Annihilation.”  The film, starring Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, will be shown on Wednesday, February 21 at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm

 

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once (50) passes have been claimed the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

ANNIHILATION

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Cinemark Palace on the Plaza – Kansas City, Missouri

 

CAST : Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac

 

DIRECTOR: Alex Garland

 

SYNOPSIS: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon, known as THE SHIMMER, that is expanding across the American coastline.  Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity.

 

It’s writer/director Alex Garland’s follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 2015 film EX MACHINA. Garland adapted for the screen based on Jeff VanderMeer’s acclaimed first volume of the best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy.

 

WEBSITE: www.AnnihilationMovie.com

 

RATING: Rated R

 

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

 

Related Content

Theater Review – THE COLOR PURPLE – Kansas City

The Color Purple
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Kansas City, Missouri
January 16, 2018

 

Since it’s publication in 1983, Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” has won many awards.  The Pulitzer.   A couple of Tonys.  Heck, if it wasn’t for some bizarre Steven Spielberg backlash the 1985 film version would have one a couple of Oscars.

 

The musical version of “The Color Purple” opened on Broadway in 2005, closing after running for over two years.  In 2016 the show returned to Broadway, where it won the Tony award for Best Revival of a Musical.  Now the show is on the road and it is definitely not one to miss.

 

The show begins in rural Georgia in 1909.  We meet sisters Nettie (N’jameh Camara) and Celie (Adrianna Hicks).  Nettie is smart and wants to be a teacher.  Celie has always been mistreated and is about to give birth to her second child – by her stepfather.  The baby is born and given away.  We meet Mister (an amazing Gavin Gregory), a widower looking to marry Nettie.  However, when told she is unavailable he settles for Celie, thinking of her not as a wife but as someone to raise his kids and clean his house.    Not exactly a honeymoon.

 

Powerfully told, “The Color Purple” is fairly faithful to the book and film many people will be familiar with.  Many of the familiar characters are here:  Sofia (Carrie Compere), Harpo (J. Daughtry), Squeak (Erica Durham) and, of course, the amazing Shug Avery (Carla R. Stewart).  The story is presented on a minimalistic stage, which consists mostly of a set of risers and a set of wooden chairs.  But the show moves smoothly (though a little slow in the first act) and the cast is amazing.  Both Ms. Hicks and Ms. Stewart have the power to bring down the house with their vocals.  As Sofia, my favorite character in every incarnation of this story, Ms. Compere is both funny and heartbreaking. And I must make special mention of Mr. Gregory, who manages to make a character as dark and seemingly heartless as Mister sympathetic.

 

If you’re familiar with the story, you will genuinely enjoy this production.  If you’re not, you need to take this opportunity to make it’s acquaintance.

 

The show is playing at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City through January 21st.  For tickets and information on this show and future productions, click   HERE

Win Passes to the 2018 Kansas City Planet Comicon

What if you could go to a party and chat with Alice Cooper, John Cusack, Jason Mamoa, Danny Trejo and others?  You’d jump at the chance, of course!

Media Mikes is giving (4) lucky readers the chance to win weekend passes to the 2018 Kansas City Planet Comicon.  If you’ve ever attended, or read our annual write-ups, you know that Planet Comicon is THE Midwest convention and the one that all of the others strive to be.

All you have to do is let us know below what guest you would like to see at a future convention.  On February 14, (4) random commenters will be chosen to receive (2) weekend passes to attend the show.

Planet Comicon runs from February 16 -19, 2018 and will be held at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  For more information click HERE

Good Luck!