So as a birthday present to myself, I took a road trip to Lawrence, Kansas, five hours from St. Louis to see the Movement and SOJA. I have to say that even I am impressed with my dedication (some of my law school friends called it, well, crazy). I have seen SOJA in concert at least once and the Movement a good amount of times thanks to j. Lawrence is where Kansas University is located and to say it is a college town would be an understatement. I was very unimpressed with the venue, The Bottleneck, it was small, which was nice, but the vibe was not what I expect out of these shows. Jacob Hemphill, the lead singer of SOJA came out on stage, clearly sick and struggling, and asked everyone not to blow smoke in his face because he would have a hard time singing (since the venue was so small) but the college kids refused to listen. Song after song they continued to blow smoke in his face to the point where he and the saxophonist had to leave the stage. Since SOJA was not feeling the vibe, neither was I, I had a hard time focusing on their show when people all around me were making the band uncomfortable. I have to say that if SOJA would have stopped in St. Louis, none of this would have been an issue (at least I hope not), I hope the next time around they ditch Kansas and stop in St. Louis. With all that said, I still thoroughly enjoyed seeing two of my favorite bands share a stage.
However, the real story here might be the opening band “Kids these Days.” I am not saying that SOJA and the Movement weren’t amazing because they never let me down, but the opening band really caught me off guard. This band has a really young and fresh sound. They combine rap, reggae, a little soul, and overall good vibes. I was not completely impressed until the only girl in the band came off the keyboard and sung one of their songs and blew the crowd away. Her voice was absolutely incredible and gave me goosebumps. I am not sure why she is stuck behind the keyboard and why the band doesn’t showcase her dynamite voice more often. Their next CD has the song that she performed called “Walking Down the Line,” you can hear it on their Facebook Page “Walking Down the Line”. I hope people take the chance to listen to some of their music because you might just be impressed by this young and talented band. Take a listen. c.
P.S. it is times like these where I wish I was a big shot producer so I could steal this girl and show her to everyone because she was that good.