Editor’s note: We loved Nicholas Stahl’s album reviews so much, we decided to let him try reviewing a live event. Here is his first stab at a concert review on I Heart Local Music.

As I strolled into the Jackpot, I saw the same crowd as usual. Unfortunately, there were not more people there, but hey, at least you are reading this.. My goal is to make sure that next time is different.


Mouthbreathers were in the middle of their set. It’s always nice to see familiar faces on stage. Those dudes are veterans of the Larryville music scene. I don’t know much about putting music into “genres” but I would have to throw Mouthbreathers into a power pop-punk, minus the Simple Plan type of label. The infectious nature of their sound leads me towards a pop feel, but shhhhhhhhh, don’t tell their angry side. There is nothing sissy about their set. “Listen or fuck off” should be the Mouthbreathers slogan.

Broken Water

Then, Broken Water started. I was enjoying myself rather nicely, that is, until the end of the third song. The drummer called out the sound guy about feedback in the monitors. When he tried to explain why there were a few difficulties, she snapped back about how she went to school for sound engineering and he was not doing his job correctly.

I understand that the Jackpot has experienced some issues with their sound system, but it is extremely unprofessional to insult the sound guy over the PA for everyone to hear. Welcome to touring, things happen. I don’t care what sound engineering school you took a class or two at. There is no reason to be rude to one of the nicest sound guys in town. The worst part is that I really enjoyed Broken Water’s set. I thought it sounded great. Unfortunately, the obnoxious rudeness of a band member lead to most of the crowd migrating back towards the bar to watch the basketball game. Lawrence prides itself on pure songwriting ability and humble musicians. If you cannot carry your set through the shitty sound of a Midwestern town, maybe you shouldn’t book the Jackpot on a Monday night.

Muscle Worship

As for Muscle Worship, my favorite explanation of this band comes from my good friend and bandmate, Mitch. He once told me, “I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single thing in Muscle Worship’s music that I completely understand, but I know it is incredible.” That is exactly how I feel about this band. They completely blow me away every time I see them. Those four dudes are beyond loud. When I say beyond loud, that is not a bad thing. Ear protection is recommended but they are not loud in an abrasive sense.

Muscle Worship

Muscle Worship can jump back and fourth between the strangest of beats and make it seems so natural. At one point during the set I glanced over at Seth (Rooftop Vigilantes drummer and Replay sound guy) to see him just shaking his head in disbelief of the sheer power of Muscle Worship. Sean, Nathan, Dan and Billy all have such a unique sound and style when playing their instruments. Muscle Worship’s sound is unmistakable; hopefully soon to be iconic on a wider than Lawrence scale. If you haven’t seen Muscle Worship yet, please try, for your own sake.

-Nicholas Stahl



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.


  • Richard or Chip?, May 11, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    We’re happy that we can now read thoughts about local shows in a timely fashion. Long live I Heart Local Music. And this line makes us laugh:

    “If you cannot carry your set through the shitty sound of a Midwestern town, maybe you shouldn’t book the Jackpot on a Monday night.”

  • Duckie, May 14, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    Congrats to the Broken Water drummer for building her own “area of concentration” at the Evergreen State College. If only KU would let its students create a major based on underwater basket weaving, audio production and being a turd. At least Oly’s got the market cornered. How can ANYONE yell at Mike Powers? He’s so tender.

    I hate how much I dug this band. Dig the review and the blog y’all.

Leave a Reply