If you’d forgotten what fun looked like, the miniBar show on Wednesday was a good place to start. That’s where Mean Jeans stopped with Kepi Ghoulie for a fairly jovial event.

Portland-based Mean Jeans are currently on tour with Kepi, acting as his backing band for this stretch of shows. Having that skill behind him allowed the energetic performer to go a little nuts. “These are all songs about the state of my mental health!” he would (loudly) announce before diving into a number about a brain scrambling device and launching colorful balloons into the audience.

Not to be outdone in roughhousing fun, Mean Jeans closed the night by diving into a gnarly set of party rock. This trio was all about hoopla and left the audience grinning and light on their feet. These boys like to party, and they summoned the sleepy crowd to life with a gratuitously loud noise that left patrons of the small venue with an ear-splitting good time.

This one-of-a-kind of show doesn’t find its way to such an intimate venue every day, so three local bands squeezed onto the beginning of the lineup to give Mean Jeans (this was their first time in Kansas City) and Kepi a proper welcome.

The Bad Ideas tend to just put everyone in the best mood, and their unique blend of bewitching charm made them a proper choice to start off this type of show. The Josh Berwanger Band followed, and were on point after spending all week in the studio cutting a new album. Wet Ones, comprised of members of Mouthbreathers and All Blood, insisted they’d only been a band for three weeks. But hearing those signature screams and yelps from Zach Campbell (a familiar face and busy bee in the garage scene) was both delightful and comforting.

Words and photos by Fally Afani



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.

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