Middle of the Map Fest 2015 Preview

Kansas City is at the heart of the country and the middle of the map, so it’s only natural that venues across the ‘burg welcome music as Middle of...
Middle of the Map Fest 2015 Preview

Middle of the Map Fest 2015 Preview

Kansas City is at the heart of the country and the middle of the map, so it’s only natural that venues across the ‘burg welcome music as Middle of the Map Fest, Wednesday to Saturday, April 22nd to 25th:



Uptown Theater
7:30 PM – The Noise FM
8:30 PM – The Republic Tigers
9:45 PM – OK Go

In this YouTube era, Chicago’s OK Go (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) reinvented the music video as the viral video, first with “A Million Ways” in 2005 then even more so the following year thanks to the choreographed treadmill dancing of “Here It Goes Again” (QRO live video), which earned singer/guitarist Damian Kulash an appearance on The Colbert Report – and the whole band (QRO interview) made it to the Report in 2010, in promotion for Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (QRO review). Though Colour wasn’t nearly as good as their videos or Stephen, last year’s Hungry Ghosts (QRO review) picked up the slack, and OK Go (QRO spotlight on) are an incredible group live (QRO live review), with confetti, handbells (QRO video, outdoors at a festival), playing from the crowd, and much more (QRO photos).


Strand of OaksTHURSDAY, APRIL 23rd

Uptown Theater
7:00 PM – Sean Rowe
7:45 PM – Madison Ward & The Mama Bear
8:45 PM – Strand of Oaks
10:00 PM – Iron & Wine

As Iron & Wine (QRO photos), Samuel Beam has become one of the leading voices in today’s alt-folk troubadour arena, making it to #6 on the Billboard charts with 2011’s Kiss Each Other Clean (QRO review), despite it being a bit of a slide in accomplishment. Beam & co. (QRO live review) come to Middle of the Map behind this year’s covers album with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses (QRO live review), Sing Into My Mouth.

Iron & WineWestport Saloon
7:00 PM – Jason Beers
8:00 PM – Old Sound
9:00 PM – Kasey Rausch
10:00 PM – The Hardship Letters
11:00 PM – Dusty Rust
12:00 AM – The Blue Boot Healers



PUJOLWestport Saloon
7:00 PM – Amanda Fish
8:00 PM – Billy Beale
9:00 PM – My Oh My
10:00 PM – Lauren Anderson Band
11:00 PM – The Coyote Bill Boogie Band
12:00 AM – Royalphonic
1:00 AM – Katy Guillen & The Girls

Bass Drum of DeathErnie Biggs
6:00 PM – Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
7:15 PM – PUJOL
8:30 PM – Light Music
9:45 PM – The Relationship
11:00 PM – The String & Return
12:15 AM – Bass Drum of Death
1:30 AM – Mickey Avalon

Check out “the show your mother warned you about,” Mickey Avalon (QRO live review), along with the hard-hitting likes of Bass Drum of Death (QRO photos at a festival) and PUJOL (QRO photos).

Mickey AvalonRecord Bar
6:30 PM – Timbers
7:15 PM – Atlas
8:00 PM – Yore
8:45 PM – Bonzo Madrid
9:30 PM – Ballet School
10:45 PM – Seoul
12:00 AM – Ben Kweller

Singer/songwriter Ben Kweller (QRO photos) rose from major label false starts in the nineties to success on his own terms in this century/millennium.

Riot Room
6:45 PM – Max Justus
7:30 PM – Ronnie Heart
8:15 PM – Nite
Ben Kweller9:00 PM – The Phantastics
10:00 PM – Young Ejecta
11:15 PM – Various Blonde
12:15 AM – iLLPHONiCS
1:30 AM – Four Fists

Riot Room Patio
6:45 PM – SquidsKC
7:30 PM – Stolen Nations
8:15 PM – Jorge Arana Trio
9:00 PM – Skating Polly
10:30 PM – DJ Brooks Brown
11:30 PM – DJ Timmy Tutone
12:30 AM – Mija

Lord HuronThe Outdoor Stage in The Federal Storage Lot
6:00 PM – Ghastly Menace
6:45 PM – Hembree
7:30 PM – Shiner
8:45 PM – Lord Huron
10:15 PM – Atmosphere

Los Angeles label IAMSOUND is best known for electronic acts, but found a nice local indie-folk act in Lord Huron (QRO photos in Los Angeles), who are also festival regulars (QRO photos at a festival).

The DJ/producer and rapper duo hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota (QRO photos in Middle America), has already garnered themselves the reputation of one of hip hops most cacophonous and respected acts. Known for his aggressive and energetic performances, Atmosphere’s set is a definite must-see (QRO photos at a festival).



Mills Records
2:00 PM – Poor Bishop Hooper
2:45 PM – Connor Leimer
3:30 PM – Hurley Christin
4:15 PM – Gracie Schram
5:00 PM – Thom Hoskins
5:45 PM – Damon Bailey
6:30 PM – The Blackbird Revue
Atmosphere7:15 PM – David George & A Crooked Mile
8:15 PM – Tony Lucca

Westport Saloon
2:00 PM – The Lucky
2:45 PM – Project J
3:30 PM – She’s a Keeper
4:15 PM – The Big Iron
5:00 PM – Not a Planet
6:00 PM – Clawhammer
7:00 PM – The Grisly Hand
8:00 PM – Whiskey For the Lady
9:00 PM – Good Time Charley
10:00 PM – Twenty Thousand StrongMen
11:00 PM – The Kansas City Bear Fighters
12:00 AM – Woody Pines
1:30 AM – The Souveneers

Peelander-ZErnie Biggs
7:00 PM – Scruffy & The Janitors
7:45 PM – Sie Lieben Maschinen
8:30 PM – The Slowdown
9:15 PM – Maps For Travelers
10:00 PM – Josh Berwanger Band
11:00 PM – Lot Walks
12:15 AM – Me Like Bees
1:30 AM – Peelander-Z

From the Z area of Planet Peelander comes the Japanese Action Comic Punk band Peelander-Z (QRO photos at a festival)! Think a cross between The Ramones and The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers as they come to Middle of the Map (QRO photos at a festival).

Record Bar
2:00 PM – The Invisible World
2:45 PM – Gardienne
3:30 PM – Admiral of the Red
Pianos Become the Teeth4:15 PM – La Guerre
5:00 PM – Yes You Are
6:00 PM – Your Friend
7:00 PM – Gates
8:15 PM – Loma Prieta
9:30 PM – Pianos Become the Teeth
10:45 PM – Knox Hamilton
12:00 AM – Magic Man

New England’s Magic Man (QRO live review) bring the electro-pop of last year’s debut full-length, Before the Waves (QRO review), to Middle of the Map.

Riot Room
2:00 PM – Arc Flash
Magic Man2:45 PM – Spencer Mackenzie Brown
3:30 PM – Bruiser Queen
4:15 PM – Something & The Whatevers
5:00 PM – The Sluts
6:00 PM – The Philistines
7:00 PM – My Body Sings Electric
8:15 PM – Sales
9:30 PM – Candy Claws
10:45 PM – The New Riddin
12:00 AM – Six Percent
1:15 AM – The Slackers

Skank it up with the legendary Slackers!

The SlackersRiot Room Patio
2:00 PM – Captiva
2:45 PM – Pink Royal
3:30 PM – El-Rey-Tones
4:15 PM – Kangaroo Knife Fight
5:00 PM – Anna Cole & The Other Lovers
5:45 PM – A Light Within
7:00 PM – Duncan Burnett
7:45 PM – D/WILL & Barrel Maker
8:30 PM – Ebony Tusks
9:15 PM – The Abnorm
Genevieve10:00 PM – Reach
10:45 PM – Heartfelt Anarchy
11:30 PM – Open Mike Eagle
1:00 AM – Sheppa/Body2Body

The Outdoor Stage in The Federal Storage Lot
2:00 PM – Rev Gusto
2:45 PM – Spirit Is the Spirit
3:30 PM – Westerners
4:15 PM – The Noise FM
5:15 PM – Genevieve
6:15 PM – PHOX
7:15 PM – William Elliott Whitmore
8:30 PM – Murder By Death
10:00 PM – Peter Hook & The Light

PHOXOriginally the frontman for Chicago’s indie-rock Company of Thieves, Genevieve (QRO interview) Schatz has since gone her own way (QRO photos).

Madison, Wisconsin’s musical success story of last year, PHOX have emerged from that college town in quick time, and come to Middle of the Map (QRO photos at a festival) after release of their debut, self-titled full-length.

Murder by DeathMurder By Death (QRO photos) have kept it up well since emerging out of college town Bloomington, Indiana. They’ve got a loyal fan base who will be out in force, while the band mixes between older material and tracks from this year’s Big Dark Love, 2012’s Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, and 2010’s Good Morning, Magpie (QRO review).

Peter Hook & The LightFour years ago, Peter Hook recruited a new band, The Light, and toured first the U.K. (QRO live review) and then America (QRO live review), performing the two records from his seminal original band, Joy Division, in Unknown Pleasures and Closer. Those two early eighties albums basically defined New Wave, a sound that has more than come back around in today’s acts (think Interpol, think Editors…). They have also always been shadowed by tragedy, in the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, which brought that seminal band to its end.

In 2013, Peter Hook & The Light (QRO photos in a cathedral) toured the first two records from the band that came out of the ashes of Joy Division, and which basically defined electronic dance music in the eighties, New Order, Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. The shows (QRO live review) included both records, in full – and singles & b-sides (such as the early, post-Division “Ceremony” and “In a Lonely Place”, as well as the breakthrough hits that came between the two albums, “Temptation” and “Blue Monday”). He’s since been touring both Joy & Order, in his native Britain (QRO review) as well as North America (QRO photos in U.S.), including at festivals (QRO photos at a festival).



For festival website, go here: http://www.middleofthemapfest.com/