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Photo gallery by Lucas Carpenter, Story by Stevie Ervay, Poster by Nick Howland
Maybe it was the audience member who yelled, “Tomorrow is yesterday!”, or the impromptu dance party the staff had at the end of the evening, but there was something special about this Sofar.
Spring has finally sprung (sorry for the trite language) in Kansas City, and the city is feeling it. On an otherwise average Thursday in the Crossroads, the arts district was bustling; something I noticed as we loaded into East + West, a suave menswear store located off of 18th and Grand.
The crowd flowed into the room pretty quickly – packing out the house well before J. Taylor took the stage. The second Taylor hit his first note, the room fell silent. No one dared to make a sound, as Taylor’s soft guitar and lulling voice filled the room with quiet, meditative intentions. J. Taylor, the stage name for singer-songwriter Jordan Thompson, masterfully blends his gospel roots with a new take on dynamic soundscapes.
As the energy grew in the fashion hub, Dedric Clark, frontman for Duluth-based The Social Animals, sang us a set riddled with songs about drugs and loss. His pared down acoustic approach to the otherwise pop rock songs of The Social Animals had us all hooked, and wanting more. It was punchy, it was relatable, it was fun.
Closing out the evening was one of Kansas City’s hardest working emcee and producer: Duncan Burnett. Backed by a drummer (Sam Sartorius) and guitarist (Jeff Stocks), this completes the RIOT. Burnett performs his special kind of hip hop with his heart on his sleeve. His songs carry heavy messages of faith, love, and social commentary. By the end of the set, the whole room was ready to party.