Have you ever seen a band just knock it out of the park during their first time in town? If you were at the Jazzhaus on Friday night, you did.

Friendly Thieves / Photo by Fally Afani

It’s hard to believe that this was Friendly Thieves’ first show in Lawrence. It almost felt like they were old friends because the energy they brought was infectious. Immediately, the Kansas City band commanded the room by sending their sax man to the back of the venue. He started up the set solo, with a slow walk towards the stage. From there, he hardly stood still while the band wailed away one funky tune after another, a mixture of covers and originals while their enigmatic frontperson wailed away and dazzled everyone with her powerful vocals. It took about half a song before people started getting out of their seats and dancing. Friendly Thieves has it all– a singer who can belt it out, a sax man who CAN’T SIT STILL, and beats to conjure even the stuffiest to saunter over and boogie. Considering the warm reception they got, we’re certain they’ll return to Lawrence soon.

Flash Floods / Photo by Fally Afani

Flash Floods followed with an equally enthusiastic crowd of their own. Since their December release, the trio has garnered quite a following in Lawrence. It doesn’t hurt that they’re well-liked townies, but mostly it’s their no-frills nature and laid back demeanor that audiences are gravitating towards. They have a strong enough stage presence that they weren’t swallowed by the largeness of the Jazzhaus stage. Rather, they held their own and kept belting out crowd-pleasers from their latest album, Halfway to Anywhere.

Photos from the night below.



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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