Summertime is upon us, and that means outdoor concerts and beer. Not to be confused with wintertime , which means indoor concerts and beer. June 18th brought us to the heart of Kansas City’s art’s district, the Crossroads, for an evening of pizza, beer and of course, music. All Kansas Citians are aware of Grinder’s famous pizza (best in the opinion of The Pit), but not as many are aware of their rotating concert schedule.
Always up for trying new things, The Pit Crew, AMC and birthday-boy photographer, Josh, hit up the Crossroads early to score good parking, and great pizza (we’re not getting free pizza from Grinder’s, but we wouldn’t turn it down either). So a reggae show was quite a different experience for us. No crowd surfers to dodge, no pits to escape, just clouds of medicinal herbs.
Up first were Huntington Beach based Pacific Dub. With catchy rhythm guitars, and mellow island beats, Pacific Dub made me question my choice of beer as a beverage, instead of a Caribbean rum. Though the venue was still mostly empty by the time they left the stage, Colton Place’s vocals, and guitar work from Hunter Porter really helped to set the mood for the evening. Those not in attendance yet surely missed out. Pacific Dub also featured David Delaney on drums, and Nathan Ueda on bass.
Up next were The Movement, proving that one doesn’t need the beach to catch the beat. Philadelphia (and South Carolina) were up next, continuing the jive, and keeping the party going that PD had started. The charismatic Josh Swain lead the band through a set, with more killer grooves, but disappointingly, no steel drums. Is that Reggae? I’m not sure. I listen to metal, man! But these cats can groove, with quick bass licks from Smiles (Jason Schmidt), Gary Jackson on drums, and Ross Bogan on keys. It’s a party for sure with these guys around.
A longer set break started now, and the crowd was really starting to fill in as the sun was going down. Lots of beer drinking, and no beach balls bouncing around. Everone being real chill, and trying not to pass out from the mid-90 heat that fell onto KC. Up next, were Iration. I had met some people in the crowd earlier who were friends with Iration, by way of Hawaii, home base for the band. A long way from the island, but Kawaii Metal this is not – this is reggae. Along with more of the steady grooves we’d heard up until that point in the evening, Iration brought with them a light show, that was still fighting against what was left from the mid-day sun. with locals from Micah Pueschel, guitar work from Michah Brown, Adam Taylor on bass and Joe Dickens kicking it on drums.
It was full on dark by the time Dirty Heads took to the stage. Blistering beats from Dirty J and Duddy B, along with David Foral, Jon Olazabal, Matt Ochoa, and Shawn Hagood rounding things out lit up the Crossroads, in more ways than one. With rapid fire rapping over heavy bass, Dirty Heads used dark reds and greens to flood their stage with color, bringing on quite a show.
By now, Crossroads was busting at the seams, but it was time for the pit crew to slink into the night. With a groovy party on stage with killer reggae, and still the best pizza in town, a grand party was enjoyed by all.
Photos by Josh Chaikin
Words by The Angry (though slightly inebriated) Music Critic