False Flag brings true rock
Saturday night, I went to Kirby's to check out False Flag specifically. They've been playing out for a number of years now and I still had not seen them live.
I walked in to Kirby's and the first thing I noticed was the rich, warm and balanced sound. The Clairaudients, who were in town from Kansas City, had set up drums, two guitars, bass and keyboards in such a manner that it was comfortable to listen to: warm and powerful. Brodie Wellman from Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy was on hand running sound. Sound in Kirby's can be tricky for a large act. Wellman and the band did an amazing job rendering damn near perfect sound.
The Clairaudients are a great band. On stage they worked very well together, each member played their part to create a whole piece of art. The music is in some ways more jazz than rock, and owes a lot to that early 2000s indie rock. It's a sound I've always enjoyed. It has the power and passion of rock 'n' roll but none of the pretense.
I'm always impressed with large bands that can find a way to fit themselves sonicly and physically in the postage stamp that is Kirby's Beerstore. The crowd seemed entranced by the sound this band was putting out. I could barely tear myself away to get a beer.
False Flag brought the straight-up rock with Tracy Sailor and Jeret Schisler on guitars, Randy Moore on bass and Rhea Sewell on drums.
This is a band of good friends; they've been playing together in various acts over the last 15 years. There is a natural comfort and familiarity that vibrates off of this band.
False Flag's music is loud punk rock 'n' roll with pop sensibility.
There are some wonderful rock songs they've put together. Especially the super hooky "You Really Don't Know."
Jeret's guitar playing never lets me down. He's a punk-rock shredder. Rhea is a great drummer with a good swinging hard rock feel, she's always reminded me of Keith Moon and John Bonham. Tracy's vocals are right on time with the vibe of this band. Every one in the band sings, mostly Tracy and Jeret out front, but there are harmonies and interplay that stand out in the songs. You can also check out False Flag on Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/falseflagict.
You can catch False Flag this Friday at John Barleycorn's with the Joy Coughs, which are another fantastic Wichita punk-rock band. That will be a great show, you should go. There, I have spoken, get yourself to Barleycorn's, I'll see you there.
I left before the final act, Valaska, from Downers Grove, Ill., got up to play. After listening to his music on Reverbnation (http://www.reverbnation.com/valaska), leaving was a mistake. He has a tone similar to Elliot Smith. Gripping, lovely, passionate heartfelt and sincere.
My only complaint is that the fitting of these two bands together is a bit odd. The Clairaudients took me to a warm kind place in a smooth riding modern luxury car and then suddenly it morphed into a 1970 hot rod Camero that smells of gasoline and oil but is capable of bending light in the blower. I like them both, but I need a neck brace now.