Last week, I was lucky enough to catch a performance by Chicago’s
Kids These Days
in DC. I had been hearing great things about the group, and was impressed by their performance on Conan, so I was eager to see if they could live up to my expectations.
As I walked into the tiny concert room, located in the back of The Black Cat in DC, I noticed many of my fellow concert goers had X’s on their hands, as they under 21; it was one of the more diverse crowds I've ever seen. Maybe it was when frontman/emcee Vic Mensa leapt onto the arms of the awaiting crowd, or maybe it was when Macie Stewart brought down the house with a powerful vocal performance on
Walking Down The Line
, but at some point, I noticed that all of the band members too had X’s on their hands as well. After gracing the stage for approximately an hour and half, I came to that the conclusion that this group really shows their youth on stage. While that may seem like a negative, I actually think it is one of their strongest attributes,
This very talented group of seven performers, all of which are under the age of 21, play with a youthful passion and hunger that makes for an incredible live experience. For example, just before performing
Don’t Harsh My Mellow
, their potent lead single off of
, emcee Vic Mensa split the crowd in two, right down the middle. The band then played the high-energy internals from the song as Vic and the group proceeded to go wild with both sides of the venue individually. Mensa demanded everyone pack in tight as they continued the song. While the crowd could not have been more than 80-90 people, they played with an exuberance and genuine love of music that made it feel like they were playing a sold out show at the Garden.
Trumpeter Nico Segal, when not adding a strong jazz influence to the group, was often cheering on the other members of the group and rapping the words alongside Mensa. Segal’s natural energy and emotion made him seem like a fan who had wondered on stage with his favorite group, which in turn, made me feel all the more connected with the group. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch this group on tour, should feel very fortunate that we were able to see this group in such the intimate venues the performed, because this group is too talented to go unnoticed and, as the grow, they will be selling out arenas instead of bars.
It will be interesting to see how this group manages to keep the same dynamic, personal performances, as their fan base grows and the venues get larger, but if anyone can pull it off its these kids. While KTD finished up their tour last week, you should keep them on your radar and jump on any chance to see them live, I promise you wont regret it.