Keo and Them / Photo by Fally Afani

I know Lawrence is seen as a music town, but trust us when we say that some of the best music in Lawrence right now is coming from Wichita. The city has consistently for the past year (and then some) been providing a pipeline of nonstop killer musical acts. Friday night’s lineup at the Replay solidified their position as the big music-maker in the great state of Kansas.

Keo and Them / Photo by Fally Afani

Case in point: Keo and Them. We caught wind of this band a few months ago at the Replay, and were thrilled to see them come back on an all-Wichita lineup. This is a band that mixes so many genres, yet has the power to create a silky smooth sound that had the audience just eating out of the palm of their hand. Their no-frills Midwestern sensibility approach to funk and R&B was enhanced by sultry vocals, thick bass lines, and a guitarist who absolutely shredded, but with intention. They were instantly likable but never had to boost their volume to gain everyone’s attention. We want you to think about that for a moment, what a band with a certain level of gentleness has to do to get everyone’s attention over the batshit madness of the obnoxiously loud dance floor outside. There are a lot of good bands coming out of Wichita right now. Keo and Them are hands down the best one.

Marrice Anthony / Photo by Fally Afani

This was part of a lineup organized by rapper Marrice Anthony, who performed along with fellow rappers F.Y.I. and shvkir (pronounced Sha-KEAR). Our apologies for not snagging photos of 27 Club, who also performed. The talent in this entire lineup from Marrice’s label was unbelievable. It immediately brought back all the good vibes of the 2015 music scene in Lawrence (before everyone had to go get competitive and one-up each other, yeesh). What a time to be a music fan in Wichita! You’ve got the best of the best, and the vibes to prove it.

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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