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Backseat Lovers In Kansas City!

Story and photos: Haley Mullenix

Last Friday (7/21), The Backseat Lovers kicked off the second leg of their Waiting to Spill World Tour at Grinders here in Kansas City. Fans lined up as early as 10am for a spot on the barricade, bearing the heat and definite sunburns for their favorite band.

The Backseat Lovers first album, When We Were Friends which they released independently in 2019 put them on the map. With singles like “Maple Syrup” and “Kilby Girl” the latter of which garnered over 200 million streams on Spotify, it’s no surprise the band has been able to hold the attention of many. With their latest release Waiting to Spill they move into a heavier rock sound that’s moody in the best of ways both lyrically and sonically.

Joining The Backseat Lovers and opening the night was Bendigo Fletcher. This quintet from Louisville, Kentucky have a folky mysticism about their sound that feels inviting and cozy. Definitely needed on your bonfire playlists. The band consists of guitarist Andrew Shupert, Drummer Chris Weis, Connor Powel on Bass, Evan Wagner on keys, and lead singer Ryan Anderson.

Their folky sound was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd. They jumped and sang along, even yelling out requests! One of which Ryan met with a “We got you!” Their set was accompanied by a bucket hat, cut off flannel and bolo ties which honestly added to their grounded melodic presence. I was personally so excited to have finally seen Bendigo Fletcher and can’t wait to catch a set of theirs again. Check out their latest single “Uncle Mick's Firework Extravaganza” and have that bonfire!

As The Backseat Lovers took the stage the energy shifted toward that moody side with shining red lights and deep rumblings of the band taking the stage and manning their instruments. KJ Ward took to the bass, while Juice Welch got behind drums, with Jonas Swanson on guitar and Joshua Harmon on vocals and guitar. The band played a mix of their new album and classic hits, making sure to add in an acoustic set as well!

I personally saw the band perform at Bonnaroo last year and had a blast! I was ecstatic to hear they were coming to town and knew they’d put on an amazing headlining show. Their first single, “Growing/Dying” from their latest and first major label release is a personal favorite as it embodies that heavier rock sound instrumentally but is paired with soft yet passionate vocals from Joshua.

The Backseat Lovers have such a dedicated fan base, and a palpable passion for the art they’re creating! I can't wait to see how they grow from here. Be sure to check them out if you haven’t already and catch them at a headlining show or even a festival later this year!

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