One of the region’s most treasured musical resources is celebrating, and they’ve called up a few old friends for the task. High Dive Records, out of Kansas City, is a label that really rallies for its artists and provides massive support for the locals. This weekend, they’ll be celebrating 10 years with a two-day festival at Record Bar. A ton of fan favorites are on the lineup, including The Creepy Jingles, Thimastr, and Ebony Tusks. But we’ve also spotted some names we haven’t seen in a while, including Lawrence’s Fourth of July.
Fourth of July played a farewell show at the Replay in 2013, so this is also sort of a 10 year reunion for them as well. It’s no easy task, now that their members live all over the country. Frontman Brendan Hangauer says it feels like more than a reunion. With members coming from as far as Iowa and Arizona (and one special guest, Dri, coming in from the coast), the reunion’s expected to be a big draw. “I felt very nervous about it to be honest with you because I work on new stuff all the time, but I don’t play old songs ever,” says Hangauer. “So I was like, how am I going to remember all of these songs? So I’ve been practicing by myself, but we finally had practice together and it was like riding a bike.”
It’s easy to fall into that old feeling when the band is like family. In fact, Fourth of July is a family affair, with two sets of brothers and childhood friends making up the lineup. Despite hailing from Kansas City, keeping the band in Lawrence played a big part with the band’s longevity at the time. “The group of people that we had, just the time in Lawrence, a ton of creative people all working together… it was such a great time,” recalls Hangauer. “A ton of creative people all working together, it was such a great time. I felt being in Lawrence, I cherished that time so much and just being able to not only hang out with my friends, but make art with my friends. It was just kind of a beautiful time.”
Because the band’s members are so scattered, there aren’t plans to do any more shows. Hangauer is primarily focused on his solo project, Empty Moon. He says that’s where the music keeps flowing freely. “I just can’t stop doing it. It’s just something that I’ve done as soon as I learned to play guitar, I started writing my own songs in 8th grade, it’s something that I think I would do it no matter what,” he says. “My goal is to keep recording and putting out music— and even if it wasn’t coming out, I would still be doing it, it’s just part of my life.”
Fourth of July plays Saturday, June 10th at Record Bar. Full lineup below: