Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Live Review:

The Bottleneck - 11/20/07 - Lawrence, Kansas

Despite a low pre-Thanksgiving turnout, Annuals played the Bottleneck like it was packed by a sold out crowd. Lawrence was their final show of the tour, and the band emerged tired but ready for one last night of revelry.

Within seconds of opener “Complete or Completing” Annuals sprang to life. They followed up with “Nah Kaseyi,” a Be He Me discard that, for a B-side, testifies to the band's talent. Frontman Adam Baker showed off not only his vocal range but his drumming chops on “Fair” and “Ease My Mind,” the only song in the band’s repertoire written and sung by guitarist Kenny Florence.

Before the show we asked the band if they would play the anthemic “Brother,” and drummer Nick Radford promised it would “blow [our] minds.” He didn’t lie. The song translated amazingly into a live setting. I felt chills as the Grizzly-Bear-esque ambience of the opening segued into the song’s commanding conclusion, and longed to dance like a wild beast despite this oh-so-mild crowd. Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull joined the band onstage, a fitting contribution considering MO covered “Brother” on the bands’ split 7” (have a listen here.) Baker’s onstage enthusiasm brought even more life to one of the best songs of 2006, and his bandmates proved they were no slackers in the talent department.

As we speak the band is journeying back home to North Carolina, where they’ll rest and record Be He Me’s follow up. Here’s hoping that when they tour for that album, Kansas can give them the turnout they deserve.

Stay tuned for our pre-show interview with the band.

Annuals play “Fair” at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas:

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