The Front Bottoms at The Granada Theater


From the second you walked in the door of The Granada Theater the teenage angst in the crowd was palpable. As the last opener left the stage, the impatience to hear the headliner was slowly increasing and you knew the instant one chord was played all hell would break loose. The audience looked exactly like you would expect the fan-base of an American indie rock band to look like. There were enough denim jackets with patches and camo print to last a lifetime.

The frontman of The Front Bottoms, Brian Sella, began their set by introducing his “father” (not really his father) to the crowd. As his “father” waved to the sea of super-fans familiar with The Front Bottoms discography, everyone knew what song was about to be played. As the crowd finished yelling their greetings, Father from their self-titled album, The Front Bottoms started playing. The energy of the show started off high and never tapered down. From the first note until the end of the encore, listeners were dancing, crowd surfing, and singing along to every lyric.

If you’re one to spend a large amount of your free time listening to The Front Bottoms you’ll probably come to the show with a long list of songs you desperately need to hear live. According to those most emotionally involved, this list included The Plan (F*ck Jobs), Ginger, Maps, Flashlight, HELP, and Laugh Till I Cry. If your dream setlist included those songs, you surely walked out of The Granada high on the fumes of rock songs past.

new-hdr-bgThe Front Bottoms, an indie-rock band borne out of New Jersey, supply listeners with a very real and very raw depiction of life. Every song is filled with honest thoughts that everybody must think at one time or another, but never have the guts to say out loud. When it comes to the music, however, The Front Bottoms introduce sounds that might be labeled anything other than real. Along with a few guitars, keys, and a drum kit, they also incorporate a trumpet into many of their songs, causing the music to become epically danceable, and unforgivingly entertaining.

While the end of the show grew closer and closer and Brian started making hints towards every song possibly being their last, the crowd was not finished. The band walked off the stage, the lights turned low, and the audience began begging for “just one more song.” Although another hour long set would have been preferred, The Front Bottoms finished the show right with 12 Feet Deep and Twin Sized Mattress. A hundred sweaty bodies then filed out the door of The Granada looking for trouble and singing,

“Ladies and gentlemen

the DJ just threw up

on the dance floor

Party is over

It’s time to go

It’s time to go”.

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Deafheaven at The Granada Theater

IMG_3405_smCan a metal concert be called euphoric? Yes, yes it can when it actually is. Deafheaven managed to be both headbangingly awesome and euphoric all in one show. This was my first time seeing Deafheaven, and my first time being at the Granada in Lawrence. It’s clear the place is a small theater that was converted into a smaller concert hall. There are no guard rails around the stage, so I was right against it. If I wanted to I could have easily hopped myself up onto the stage at any moment.

The opening band was a black metal band called Tribulations. They were actually from Sweden. They came out in full black metal garb, which consists of skeletal face paint, black clothes, and a HEAVY dousing of baby powder that emitted from them like a ghostly cloud whenever they threw their long locks back behind them. They didn’t say much, actually they didn’t say anything at all to the crowd. But, they played hard, they screamed hard, and they were all over the stage. In the end I was just happy to have some Black metal played in the little town of Kansas, so I head banged to them and swayed around. However, I didn’t break a sweat — and to me that’s not a good sign. If you aren’t breathless and covered in your own (plus other people’s) sweat, then it’s not good metal.

That all changed when Deafheaven came onstage. Even sitting here typing this I get the chills from the memory. They were simply dressed, jeans and t-shirts although George the lead singer was donned in all black. They spoke not a word but when their guitarist and lead musician Kerry McCoy hit the first chord of euphoria, and we were off to Nirvana. Their sound enveloped you, carted you away to the sky. They took you high with George’s screams, heavy percussion, deep bass, and two guitarists. Electricity coursed through you and those you stood next to you. One song in and my shoulders were already aching from thrashing to the beat. Then they pulled you down, gently with long riffs, and slow drum beats that made you recall back to the 80’s metal you listened to with your parents. The soft tones of Metallica/Boston influences that the band has openly admitted to being influenced gave you a sense of familiarity. George would not sing during these moments. He instead moved with the crowd, swaying his arms around like a conductor over this symphony of euphoria. Up and down we went for just a little over an hour, but it felt like forever while at the same time feeling like no time at all. I didn’t want to leave, didn’t want the lights to come on.

E4A0474Before the rest of the world catches on to them and they get to big. Before they move to stages that are unreachable, where they are no longer close enough to be touched by men and women alike. Deafheaven came to the little converted Granada theater and made it so I got to be a part of a musical experience that left me exhausted, sweaty, but above all else, elated. The world outside with all its problems felt simple and far away to me. In the end, Deafheaven cannot come back around soon enough.

You can hear music similar to Deafheaven on Sarina’s specialty show, “The Witching Hour”, Monday nights from 8-9pm. Keep up with more metal musings through her Twitter account, @Witchinghour919.


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KSDB Staff Spotlight: Tana Akers

TanaName: Tana Akers
Twitter: @tanaakers
Position at KSDB: Production Director
Year in School: Senior
Major / Minor: Journalism & Digital Media, Electronic Focus
Hometown: Topeka, KS

How’d you get involved with KSDB?
I had friends that were in radio for a few years and they had a lot of fun with it. I talked to my friend Jay about cohosting a show. I was pretty quiet and nervous every time I went on, even though I had a ton of fun. It made it easier having someone else there, and that was that. I was really excited about it, and I still am, even though I don’t have a show this semester.

What exactly does your job entail?
My job entails the production work at KSDB. That means anything you hear in between songs was made by myself or my predecessor. This can range from liners to PSAs to announcing upcoming KSDB events and even highlighting on other campus organization functions. Essentially, anything that isn’t an actual song is made by the production director. 

Favorite part about your position? Or the station?
My favorite part about the station is our Classroom Series that started up last year. My “thing” is videography and editing. I love it almost as much as I love music. Being able to combine the two to film local bands is incredible. It adds a lot to our station and I think it’s a great way for listeners to become engaged with us. [View Tana’s killer work over on our YouTube channel here.]

What’s your biggest goal for the semester?
I want KSDB to become a bigger part of the community. I’d love to have an end of the semester bash with some local acts.

downloadGive us 3 albums or artists you’ve been vibing with lately.
The Story So Far – pretty much all of their discography. I started listening to them at the beginning of summer and they’re awesome. I don’t know why I never checked them out earlier. I love unique voices, and Parker Cannon definitely has one. You can hear a lot of his emotion in his voice during the acoustic songs.
Hermitude – Dark Night Sweet Light. I’d never really listened to electronic music, but when I picked this up at the station, I couldn’t stop listening. There are quite a few tracks on there that are some sweet tunes to drive to.
Teen Men – Teen Men. This album came out back in June, but I’m still jamming to it. It holds two members from The Spinto Band. There’s still definitely that Spinto feel, but it’s a little sweeter.

And, a guilty pleasure?
Probably Grey’s Anatomy. It’s probably the worst show I’ve ever seen, but I’ve been so invested with it for so long, I can’t look away. I will give them props for their soundtracks. They always seem to find some cool music.

Tana’s incredible production work can be heard throughout several of our on-air liners and PSAs as well as seen in the footage she masters for KSDB’s Classroom Series. View her video for our recent CS guests Psychic Heat below:

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DJ Spotlight: Dylan Swoyer

Dylan is a veteran DJ here at 91.9 KSDB and can be heard once a week during our nightly hip-hop rotations. Similar to our other DJ Spotlights, we want you to get to know more about the student voices you hear on-air. Here’s a little bit about Dylan.

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1. Who are you listening to currently?

YG, Sky Ferreira, and Mick Jenkins.

2. What was the first concert you ever went to?

Outside of Backstreet Boys when I was 6 (no shame), the first real concert
I went to was Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Beaumont in high school. Best show
I’ve seen was Death Grips earlier this year at the Granada.

3. Why did you get involved in KSDB?

I’m a civil engineering major who got involved with KSDB in the summer of
2014 because my brother, Jordan, was the program director at the time. I
have had a DJ shift each semester. I made the switch from alternative to
hip hop last spring and show no signs of turning back. I have a co-host for
the first time this semester (David Dougherty) and I’m really enjoying the
change it brings from just a solo shift.

4. Do you think The Sandlot was overrated or underrated?

I’ve seen the Sandlot close to 100 times so no, it’s not overrated.

5. What’s something else we should know?

I have season tickets for Sporting KC and really just enjoy all sports –
especially these Royals playoff runs. I’m loving student radio and will
definitely continue to be involved until I graduate (hopefully soon but not
too soon). I’m enjoying watching the music scene around Manhattan grow
slowly but surely.

Be sure to tune into 91.9 KSDB Manhattan to hear Dylan every Tuesday at 9:30!

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