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.