Beats Antique w/ Axel Thesleff at The Truman – February 7th, 2019

It’s always such a joy to see a show at the Truman; the venue’s size lends itself to big performances, yet also offers a warmer vibe that smaller places have. I could literally watch a drunken lunatic bang pots and pans together with a complete lack of rhythm and still be entertained at the Truman; that’s how great the venue is.

Last Thursday’s shows gave us both the entertaining atmosphere of the Truman, but also gave us two fantastic performances.

Full disclosure – I worked late that evening and missed the local openers, Recycled Funk. I was pretty bummed about that, because I’ve heard great things. I’m sure they kicked ass.

I sauntered into the venue just when Axel Thesleff just started his set. This one-man army of musical mayhem filled the large hall with a style all his own. Axel’s from Finland, which is a badass country, so he’s got a great head start with that. Combine his nationality with his multi-instrumental talent, and the power to control electronic beats like a cyber-snake charmer, you’re in for one hell of a treat. Bouncing between a standup drumkit, xylophone, and a keytar, Axel had my in awe the entire set. His music ranges from heavy bass dance tracks to deep, self-reflective tracks. Axel’s been enjoying success with his eastern inspired track “Bad Karma”, but you’d be wise to keep an eye on this Finn for the win.

Headliners Beats Antique drew to the very decorated stage next. Hailing from Oakland, California, this dynamic group is like nothing I’ve personally witnessed at concert – and that’s a very good thing.

Creating the main sound for Beats are David Satori and Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel. David incorporates a wide variety of instruments within the show, including banjo, guitar, violin, and probably some others I couldn’t possibly name. Tommy brings the live rhythm with his mastery of drums. Enhancing the music is the beautiful belly dancer, Zoe Jakes. She was joined at this show by Pixie Fordtears.

With these talents and musical genius working together, Beats Antiques creates a live show that is part EDM dance fest, circus act, burlesque show, and rock concert. Pulsing lights, extraordinary costumes, and imaginative set design enhance the experience even further. While I cannot find a setlist, I can tell you that I danced my ass off. Even with this bleak winter weather that Kansas City has been experiencing, Beats Antique warmed me up and put a big, stupid grin on my face. It was truly a concert experience worth seeing. Any fan of performance and pageantry should check this band out when they’re in town.

Words by Dallas Hessel
Photos by Josh Chaikin

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