Split Lip Rayfield / Photo by Fally Afani

To give you an idea of how it felt to go to Split Lip Rayfield’s barn-burner-of-a-show on Sunday, more than 800 people RSVP’d to a venue with not even half of that capacity.

It was a tale of two celebrations. For Lucia, it was celebrating three years as a successful venue and popular watering hole in Downtown Lawrence (an impressive feat of its own considering the revolving door of new businesses that skyrocketing rent keeps out). For everyone else, it was a pre-Winfield party (as was the night before with the Dewayn Brothers).

Split Lip Rayfield / Photo by Fally Afani

Lawrence tends to lean towards rounding out the weekend with bluegrass and folk. So when Split Lip Rayfield announced a surprise pop-up event just days prior, attendance was damn near mandatory for half the town. It was just packed. People showed up early, wearing little more than sundresses and a pair of flip flops. They knew it was going to get crowdy (crowded and rowdy), as well as a little moist.

There were no openers, just Split Lip. With speeds so thrilling on the frets, the band plowed through no less than 25 songs. If you stand up close, you can see dust flying off of gas-tank-bassist Jeff Eaton’s fingers and dissolving in the air. Though they all take turns on the mic for vocals, fans tend to love it when they all lean into the middle mic to harmonize.

You can watch a clip from the night below. No, there’s nothing wrong with the video. It’s not sped up. They really are that fast (it’s hard to believe that some songs clock in at around one minute).







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.

Leave a Reply