Monday, February 29, 2016

55th western farm show championship pull

The annual Western Farm Show descended upon Kansas City, holding a Truck and Tractor Pull at Kemper Arena.  Some folks we knew were unable to attend, so we jumped at the opportunity to use their tickets.  We had a fun night filled with an overabundance of air and noise pollution, as diesel fumes, roaring engines and screaming superchargers filled the air inside the old arena.

While unable to count particulate matter, Security seemed to have a good sense of the danger to second and third levels.  They chased us off the second level after only three trucks made their run.  It worked out for the better though.  A General Admission event, we ducked in and out of several aisles on the first floor before settling on front row seat at midfield.  The air was noticeable of a higher quality too, but the noise levels were much higher.

Recalling an app on the phone for monitoring decibel levels, the event averaged 85 dB, and peaked at 98.6 dB.  Undoubtedly, hearing protection was required.  We neglected to bring any, and for the most part it was not completely necessary; that is, until near the end, when the “noisy boys” made their debut in their Modified 2WD Trucks.

Some no longer really resembled trucks in the traditional sense, and they were loud.  We noted children everywhere using hearing protection earlier, but when these started up, hearing protection appeared everywhere.  Thinking we could suffer through a few rounds, after the first one made its run, we grabbed the spare napkin and divided it between us.  It was not the best, but worked in a pinch.

Very few mishaps occurred otherwise. A couple of uncooperative clutches prevented a few tractors from running at all.  The only Dodge running in the 4x4 competition blew something halfway down the track and left a nice puddle of oil of some sort.  The road crew quickly cleared that up, and did a great job of maintaining a solid field of play throughout the event. Late in the night, one of the tractors bounced the sled a bit much too, and an intermission ensued while the grounds crew worked on the re-enabling the beast.

The whole thing lasted much longer than the 3½ hours indicated on the web site.  We left after five hours, before the Limited Pro Stock Tractors took the stage.  They are the only missing run from the video below.  If you were there, share your own into the album too, if you like.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

easyrider djembe chaos

Hard to believe that a gap of more than 15 days between events occurred between February and March 2003, but that is exactly what happened.  I have no idea why, or if there really was any reason.  Perhaps, we were all just storing up energy for the one event that promised to move Kansas City, promising to be the biggest yet.

Chaos Theory descended upon the Uptown Theater in mid-March, and everyone turned out.  The line to get was out the door and down the block.  It remained that way for the first few hours of the event.   Local promotion group PhukBed had outdone themselves bringing in Baby Anne, Charles Feelgood, Dara, and John Kelley, along with Stan Doublin from St Louis, and a solid local supporting cast.  It was wild night of dancing, and there was not one unhappy soul in the house. It was one of the first events in a long time where the crowd stayed until last beat dropped, and had to be told to get out.  Nobody wanted the night to end.

Seemingly, everyone spent the remainder of the month winding down.  The next week a group of local “Students Against Repression” staged an event protesting the invasion of Iraq that occurred just a few days earlier.  They filled the NextSpace Gallery with Spoken Word pronouncements against the Bush administration to a backdrop of beats to a supportive crowd.  While they regrouped a week later to reemphasize points they missed on the first night, there was not quite as much support.

In between the two events, one of the best performances to grace the halls of The Cup & Saucer featured local percussionists Djembe Kahn pounding an array of fantastic tribal beats in their Drum Circle consisting primary of the Djembe.  A one of a kind performance that consumed the entire room in tribal beats of a different flavor, holding the audience captivated.

We stopped in on the Aqua Lounge one night for a few cocktails with friends, after the second Students Against Repression event.  A rumor had circulated that DJ Roland was taking some time out to get behind the decks in public again.  It was good to hear him play out after what seemed like a very long hiatus, but that place was just too small.  Clearly designed for little more than standing around drinking, any sort of dancing was awkward at best.  It was fun though, and good to see some old faces, and meet some new folks.

The next day found us down at the Convention Center for the Easyriders’ Bike Show for a different sort of event.  While it did include a performance by the infamous Edgar Winter Band, as well as some interesting sideshows like a Trophy Girl Contest and Fashion show, the bikes were the real attraction.  I walked away with some great shots.  Looking I wish I had the camera I do now.

The month ended as it had several months prior, and would for many months to come, with an alternative lifestyle performance by Inferno de L’Impur at Davey’s Uptown.  The evening’s fare included suspension, plastic wrap, body paint, shots and spankings all around. This little monthly show was beginning to attract quite a dedicated audience.  Unfortunately, thanks to Whitesnake and their little mishap at a Rhode Island nightclub the month before, fire performances were no longer part of the act.

Access to photos from these events is now available through the story archive, which is really the only access point for the photos now... and likely forever.  Stay tuned for more.  This is one of the very months that had any sort of extended gap.  The events and number of photos only intensified.