As someone who has been active with the local and regional music scenes for over a decade, it was impossible not to hear about El Monstero over and over again throughout the years from musicians I had come to know. The only problem? St Louis might be close to Kansas City, but a four hour drive isn't always an easy thing to accomplish with high gas prices and busy schedules. So, having missed the yearly Christmas shows in St Louis every single year, I finally got a chance to see the Pink Floyd cover band at their first Kansas City show.
The night began with sirens and handheld spotlights as the band kicked into "In the Flesh pt 2" with Mark Thomas Quinn appearing on the balcony to the crowd's left holding a speakerphone . From there, he joined the rest of the band on stage and I began to notice, as the show progressed, a lack of theatrics I'd seen in videos of prior shows. While "Another Brick in the Wall (pt 1)" featured a robed teacher with a yardstick, there were no 'kids' on stage during the song. In fact, they didn't even show up for part 2 performed toward the end of set one, despite its early appearance on the setlist.
"Young Lust" did feature two women at either side of the stage on stripper poles, and a few ladies on stage, though it just didn't have that feel I was picturing. "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" was a great song to experience from the back of the crowd, as the blue lights flooded the stage and white lights bounced off the disco ball above the crowd. Diamonds were all around the room -- a great way to end the set after an hour and ten minutes.
The band departed the stage for an intermission, though I'm not sure that everyone in the crowd understood this, despite the "intermission" lit up on the backdrop on stage. After about twenty minutes, they resurfaced with "Have a Cigar."
Unfortunately, due to circumstances, I ended up missing the majority of the second set and can make no comment on the performance other than they sounded just as good from the next room as they did in the same room. I walked back into the room to an explosion of confetti at the end of the set -- another hour and forty minutes, or so. A picture perfect sight in the beautiful theater.
Though overall I feel that the St. Louis shows are far and wide a more spectacular event -- for now -- these musicians are talented, well-respected people and sound fantastic live. The Uptown Theatre had a good draw and Kansas City can look forward to El Monstero bringing more lights, more props, more back up singers, more special guests, more EVERYTHING for future shows.
Review by: Jennifer Long
- El Monstero's official website
- El Monstero on Facebook