We’re not going to lie, the last couple of years have been rough for emerging bands. The pandemic put a halt to all things live music, and that included any potential creation of local bands from the college scene. Even in the year after the shutdown, new bands weren’t forming. Now, finally, over the last couple of months, we’re seeing bands emerge from the college scene. At the top of that list is Captain Howdy & The Sunset Serenaders.

When they played as part of a stacked local lineup at The Bottleneck on Friday night, you could immediately feel the energy in the room change. The crowd was over the top and filled with that young energy we’ve been missing from shows in Lawrence over the course of the pandemic. Every musician in that band is outrageous. They can effortlessly play their guitar parts while flailing around with the confidence and recklessness that only a college student can get away with. By the end of the set, they were dogpiling each other. It was an absolute delight to watch a band embody the very nature of youthfulness.

We’d recommend seeing them soon. Lucky for you, they have another show coming up in September. They’ll hit the Replay on Thursday, September 8th, at 6:00 p.m. for an early, all-ages matinee (which is good, since we noticed every member of this band sporting the coveted underage “X” on their hands).



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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