Friday, July 03, 2015

@Failure Live at Liberty Hall

It’s not often Lawrence, Kansas, gets things just a little ahead of the rest of the country but on July 2, 2015, at Liberty Hall, we got to see a much beloved band flexing its muscles. Failure played the first show of their 2015 tour here last night to a very respectful crowd of devotees ranging in age from their 20s to 60s, from people who had seen the band before and a majority who hadn’t. The opening act, Kansas City’s Sundiver, primed the crowd with an interesting, sonically challenging set but everyone was there for the headliner.

Starting with ‘Hot Traveler’, the first song off their ‘new masterpiece’ The Heart Is A Monster, the band was a little stiff. They loosened up as the crowd was obviously into it. Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kellii Scott sounded album-perfect despite a snafu with Edwards’ guitar before the second song. When they got into ‘A.M. Amnesia’, they were having fun, moving around the stage and showing off a little for all of us.

Fantastic Planet was immediately represented when they played ‘Another Space Song’ then ‘Sergeant Politeness’ and Magnified was served with ‘Frogs’. The crowd bounced and banged their heads along with the thundering drums and gut-punching basslines. Edwards and Andrews interchanged playing bass and guitar all night with Edwards managing keyboards and the programming.

They played lots of new material during their ninety minute set including ‘Counterfeit Sky’ and ‘Otherwhere’ but it was ‘Mulholland Drive’ that was the centerpiece. Every song was tight and sounded exactly the way they should have. With the majority of the set coming from Planet and Monster, it felt like Combined with the set’s end of ‘The Nurse Who Loved Me’, Failure proved without equivocation they are as inventive as ever. This tour should serve as notice that Failure is relevant to the current music scene. It may have been eighteen years since they were noticed but now is their time. If they are in your town, or your area, go see the show. It may not be another eighteen years before they come around again, but don’t miss the chance to see them.

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