Story and Photos: Haley Mullenix
Friday (10/21) I was lucky enough to join The Velveteers on their last night of tour. The show tonight took place in Manhattan, Kansas, at The Press, a historic pressing facility turned into a concert and event space.
This show was a two hour drive from my home base of Kansas City, but to see The Velveteers it was well worth it! In fact the first time I took photos of a show was for The Velveteers on their home turf of Colorado. I had seen the band as an opener a few times and the first time I ever saw them take the stage my jaw dropped. This trio is full of power, and they are completely hypnotizing when they perform.
Before The Velveteers took the stage, they were preceded by Godzillionaire, a local band from Lawrence, Kansas. You may have heard their music which has been featured in Hulu’s They Come Knocking. If you live in Kansas it's possible you’ve seen them perform at other local spaces too. Lead singer Mark Hennessey, asked the crowd if anyone had ever seen them perform in a basement which garnered a few whoops and cheers. Mike took the stage in a Carhartt beanie and a black cape and I knew we were in for a real treat.
Overall the band seemed to just be doing what they love. It felt like a solid group of buddies who found a mutual love for creating and playing music. Mark told a couple “dad jokes” and played air guitar while guitarist Ben White shredded away. Joining them was Michael Dye on bass and Cody Romaine on drums. They thanked The Velveteers immensely and were soon joining the crowd to watch their set.
When the time came, the trio took the stage one at a time. Baby Pottersmith was first, followed by Jonny Fig and finally Demi Demitro. Baby and Jonny both play on a conjoined drum kit and together create an incredibly enticing experience for the crowd. Demi's vocals are spellbinding and her baritone guitar wraps up the whole package.
Going to a Velveteers show is honestly a must. The trio is very interactive with the crowd and their music is the kind you feel in your chest. Demi took the mic to ask the crowd, “Have you ever been to a rock show before?” followed with, “Well you’re gonna have to prove it to us!”
The drumming duo proved to be very versatile. Jonny often turned to his left to play a set of keys with a guitar rigged above them. He also occasionally joined Demi on guitar at the front of the stage. Baby played keys briefly this night as well and often takes a drum towards the crowd for a lucky audience member to hold while Baby drums over their head.
Demi is a powerhouse and that energy is palpable when she plays. A few times throughout the set she brought that energy straight into the crowd. Hopping off the stage she joined the crowd in their jumping and moshing all while still singing! At one point she even rode on the band's crewmember/friend/makeup artist Ivey’s shoulders for a ride throughout the crowd! A favorite interaction of mine though is when she hands her guitar off to someone in the crowd to hold while she plays and uses their phone as a slide.
Not only is the way they perform mesmerizing, but everything else is too! Including the instruments, like Demi's custom baritone Gretsch that glitters or the holographic wrapped drum kit. The band's makeup, which is often done by Ivey Peacock, is always eye-catching and their outfits are always great too! Often featuring lots of animal print, sparkles, and a touch of pink.
Ending the show Demi stood with a foot on each bass drum, holding her guitar out to the crowd. Jumping off, the band began smashing and throwing their instruments around the stage with such fervor they were met with encouraging cheers from the crowd. The band put on an amazing set, as they always seem to do and shortly after they made their way to the merch stand to meet and talk with fans.
With their catchy lyrics, in sync drumming and lively demeanor The Velveteers are sure to grab your attention. The best way to hear them is to hear them live. Though this was the last date of their tour they have a couple dates in December opening for Greta Van Fleet in New Jersey. As well as a couple headlining shows in January in Colorado.
The Velveteers recently released a music video for their new single, “See Me”, directed, filmed, and edited all by the band themselves! Be sure to check it out as well as the band's debut album Nightmare Daydream which is streaming everywhere! Follow them on all their social media to stay up to date on what they do next!
It is always such a pleasure to go to a show by The Velveteers, so thank you to the band and team for having me!
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