Whatever Chicago’s Abbey Pub is named for it is more than your typical city music bar. While lacking the history of some small venues, it at least has a great stage and an upper level. They can even boast to hosting Dinosaur Jr. a few years back. Divino Nino precursored Kansas Bible Company on Thursday, July 23rd with some solid Latin American alternative rock and Hawley before them.
What has to be understood about Kansas Bible Company is that they are a relaxed group. When they play live with their massive horn section, some of them will be head-banging, some will be dancing, and some will just be standing to the side focusing on performing well. They are anything but pretentious. They smile while they play and the lyrics mimic a celebration, if a pained one at times. The horns create a grandiose feeling of energy.
Kansas Bible Company opened with “E’lyse’es 99,84” off of their most recent release, the Dad’s Day EP, which is a solid soft rock song. They next romped into what appeared to be two raucous new songs, as they have a new full-length album in the works. These two numbers were more rock oriented than Kansas Bible Company traditionally is, relying on heavy bass lines and some combined vocals. They grooved right into “Samurai Surf Babes” and then “Jesus the Horse Thief”. The latter may have been the high point as this piece is just so full of energy. Next, “This is about that long spiral of our existence we sometimes find ourselves on…” Jake Miller siphoned from “Sunglasses” to lead into the Dad’s Day track, “Stone in the Water”, which is a loud psychedelic number.
They played “How To Build a Planet” at the end, one of the most anthemistic songs ever, and they shared the stage with a guest eleventh member and third saxophonist who played a solo. They ended with a Beatles cover of “I Want You”, the lyrics of which go, “I want you so bad / It’s driving me mad.” At the end of it, vocalist Jake Miller had his hands behind his head, clearly emotional. It is a way overused cliché, but there really is just something about a ten-man band with a five-person horn section playing live on a small stage. There is just something unique about it.