I’m no stranger to the Lawrence Music scene. Serving as KJHK’s Assistant Live Music Director showed me the sheer diversity of the genres, sounds and people that Lawrence had to offer. So trust me when I say that LK Ultra is not only one of the best, but most important acts in the Lawrence and Kansas City music scene right now. So it was only fitting that they would be the opening band for Lawrence Field Day Fest, a three-day showcase featuring multiple venues of the best music Lawrence has to offer last night at The Bottleneck.
The band wasted no time ripping into their almost hour-long set, something the band acknowledged they didn’t do very often during their set. The group’s guitarist, singer and sometimes drummer Inez Robinson elaborated on this, saying, “It’s tiring…we were just trying to find songs that fit and not just random songs, so it was definitely weird”. This did not seem to hinder the performance at all, however, and through a mix of originals and wonderfully rocking covers of bands like Mom Jeans and Remember Sports that had everyone in the crowd mesmerized at the sheer range of the band’s performing capabilities. While the band seemed a bit nervous at first, the conversations and banter between members and the crowd between songs quickly showed me that this group thrived when they played off of each other, both in conversation and during songs. It appeared as though they were all very comfortable on stage and with each other, which helped elevate the concert and the message and made for one of the most enjoyable local shows I have attended in a long time.
While the tunes were amazing and made most of these pictures unusable because I was headbanging, one of the reasons I had to see this show was for the important message that LK Ultra conveys. Songs condemning fake emo white boys, Indigenous appropriation, and Trans issues were par for the course during their set, and it reminded me of the potential that Punk Rock and the Lawrence music scene has. LK Ultra seems to exemplify the phrase “music with a message”. It is because their message is so important to the music scene and the Lawrence community that LK Ultra has been and continues to be a breath of fresh air and a much-needed slap in the face to those who would say that punk rock and music with an edge are no longer synonymous terms. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend attending one of their shows not only for the message of inclusivity and acceptance, but also to rock out and see an amazing and heartfelt show as well.
Be sure to check out the rest of Lawrence Field Day Fest tonight (7/20) and Tomorrow (7/21) for an excellent showcase of Local Music and good times, Lawrence, Kansas-style, happening at the Bottleneck, the Jackpot, the Replay and the 8th Street Taproom.