David Hasselhoff On Acid had a way of taking their listener on a ride that not many other bands have. Even in an overcrowded, and almost rank club, their set feels very personal and intimate, and they stand tall as a creative juggernaut in the local scene. Their crowd response alone speaks volumes on the level of respect and love this city has for them, and the music they’ve created for the last five years, making their most recent show at the Riot Room on December 26th a very bittersweet ending to a great run.
For me, the show started with the Jorge Arana Trio. I had heard so much about them, and also being in a 3-piece instrumental band, I felt I had a duty to see them live (and I’m glad I did). They take the mature, progressive sound of modern jazz and beat it down with a barrage of pure chaos, creating a soundscape unlike any I’ve experienced before. Jorge himself switches between guitar and keys mid-song with such fluidity, and leaves no gap, no breather. His tube-powered, monster of a keyboard was wired to his pedal board for extra effect. At some points, there was no difference in tone between the over-driven board, and the over-exerted guitar. Without the aid of a very strong rhythm section, who knows wether or not this train could keep on its course, but it did, and I want more still. Jorge Arana Trio is one band you shouldn’t be sleeping on, and I highly suggest you go out and see them.
Next up was the almighty At The Left Hand of God. These guys have been through hell and back as a local band, after getting most of their gear stolen from their practice spot, it’s a miracle that they have continued this far. Their sound takes all the good from many metal sub genres and melds it in a very powerful way. Thrashy, in-your-face riffs into Earth-shattering breakdowns, these guys do it all like the pros. With a tightness you don’t normally get from your everyday local band, it’s no wonder these guys are greatly admired. This was close to the tenth time I had seen ATLHOG, and they have yet to disappoint. Go forth, take part in the brutality, and get wasted. They won’t let you down.
Oh, Hasselhoff. It’s hard to say anything about them that hasn’t been said. They’re one of the most technically-sound bands I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. But what really grabs me, is that you can tell they have been playing together for a very long time. Even a first-timer can pick up on how all instruments flow as one. They had a sound that couldn’t be found many other places, and wasn’t as appreciated as it should’ve been. This was not the case tonight. I had to push to get into the crowd, which is a rare occurrence at such a show. It was beautiful, and I hope KC’s love for unorthodox, avant-garde music doesn’t fade. DHOA left a stamp on Kansas City that will be heard for a long time to come.