Rozwell Kid ended their 2018 U.S.A. tour last night with a “hometown show” at 123 Pleasant in Morgantown, West Virginia – a place where they played some of their first ever shows. Kelsie Cannon and Slow Mass opened the show. I caught Rozwell Kid twice last year in Frederick (The Thing (Year Two) and an epic “Precious Art” album release house show with Gloop opening). I had to make the drive to catch them again, they were truly captivating both times.
Kelsie Cannon – Slow expansive indie rock from her first two solo songs. Once a band was backing her, simple chord driven songs meshed with a soft airy voice full of emotion. Many of Kelsie Cannon’s songs seem melodramatic, making for a perfect hipster sound. Cool keyboard melodies are a nice touch to top it off. The best song of the set by far was what they said was their newest song, which I can only guess might be called “Kiss Me Again” – It contained so many catchy elements and it could be a solid power pop hit.
Slow Mass – Diverse beats with sparing instrumentation. Reverby vocals illuminated their indie landscape (until they asked for the sound man to take it off). Feedback drenched noise leads calm slow sections to chaotic heavy math rock jams.
Rozwell Kid – This band is simply one of most fun live acts you can see. The show was absolutely packed and for good reason. 123 Pleasant is an intimate space with cool seating and has two separate rooms (left and right from the stage) that make a show even more breathable. I highly recommend it.
Wasting no time, the group launched into an electrifying version of “Angus Soundtrack Deep Cut” from their EP Good Graphics. This set the tone for the rock that would melt faces off throughout the night.
Next, their single from their latest album Precious Art, “UHF On DVD”. It’s truly a genius poppy indie tune with brilliant the“woo” hooks that Rozwell Kid is known for. The number references Weird Al’s movie masterpiece “UHF”, a beloved film of the band; with a chorus of “And all I want is to be home with you eating tacos and watching UHF on DVD.”
Frontman Jordan Hudkins then made an announcement that the band had added an additional member. Turns out it’s a mid-sized teddy bear who is named Keith (an audience suggestion from a past show they played after they rescued the bear from an Indianapolis Goodwill store). Keith was instantly a fan favorite and many chants “bear-ed” his name the rest of the show.
More fan favorites followed suit. “Halloween 3.5”, the brilliant and catchy “Total Mess” started by Sean Hallock on the ‘trap drum kit’, “Boomerang” and my personal favorite Rozwell Kid song “Sick Jackets. They’re such a tight live unit and go from song to song without hesitation, nailing every dual guitar solo, drumbeat/fill, bassline and vocal part seamlessly.
Hudkins asked Keith if he wanted to stage dive but he was too shy, so he graced the crowd with his incredible drumming skills.
Every member brings so much energy to the show and gets the crowd engaged. So many mega singalongs happen including “Birthday Sombrero” and a version of “Booger” played by just Hudkins solo. Only Rozwell Kid has you singing along emotionally with a song that has nose picking as the subject.
“Kangaroo Pocket” has the crowd ecstatic and is the band’s most notable song on Spotify, having just reached over one million plays.
The set ended on the magical song “Wish Man” that clocks in under a minute and the forever clever “Wendy’s Trash Can”. The night ended on a high note as Keith finally soared through the crowd on a stage dive.
Rozwell Kid is a force of indie energy that cannot be stopped. You must go see them. I made the two and a half hour drive and it was an act of kindness to a band that I saw twice last year for $20 (only $5 the second time!). Thanks for rocking my world and making life fun, Rozwell Kid. See ya next time!