Editor’s note: On Saturday, the Lawrence scene was graced with a performance that will surely haunt us for the rest of our days. Monzie Leo and the Big Sky burned with fire, leaving a mess of casualties at the Replay. We left disoriented, but one thing was for sure: the Lawrence music scene will never be the same.
“It’s a super gypsy merch table. We don’t sell t-shirts.”
Monzie Leo (the alter-ego to local musician-about-town Joel Brummett) was going over his art and poetry for sale just before he took the stage at the Replay on Saturday night. A small booth at the Replay was scattered with homemade demos (stuffed with personalized messages and quotes), intense poetry and some art-pieces made out of felt. Included were felt avocado and taco patches.
Monzie Leo’s music is also a colorful, thoughtful, and artistic scatter. You will not find a more raw performer in Lawrence. Rough around the edges doesn’t even cut it.
Monzie Leo and the Big Sky began with somewhat of a symphonic battle cry. Accompanied by a drummer and a mustachioed washboard madman, the song lit a fire under everyone’s butt, and the crowd came pouring in from outside. The bearded boss steadied himself onstage, as though about to unleash a world of fury, and belted “Oh darlin! Don’t you forget me! Don’t you forget my rage!” It was hypnotizing, and his faithful army whooped and hollered for their jaded and enraged leader. Here’s what it sounded like:
The set then transitioned into a chaotic rampage of cursing and poetic justice. We heard a lot of “Fuck you!” and “You’re going to die!” But beneath all that aggressiveness lurks a poetic masterpiece. A melodious monster, if you will.
The performance was jaw dropping.
Watch out, there’s a fire in Monzie Leo’s belly, and if you’re lucky enough it just might burn you.