Takin’ a stroll with Aaron Behrens

U-News Staff

The shrill, piercing screech of a guitar distortion and the subsequent crash into a power chord marked the beginning of the set for Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll. Hooking the audience from the start with “Day and Night,” the title track from their new EP, they did not let up. The set felt like a sneak-peak into one of the band’s jam sessions, and the entire performance was marked by how personal it was.
The Riot Room hosted this act Sept. 17, along with touring opener Ranch Ghost. The Riot Room attracts a variety of artists and acts ranging from electronic pop to thrash metal. Being a smaller venue, it tends to fill up quickly, but its size is part of its charm. To step away from the circular bar and into the dark stage space is to step into whatever realm of musical discovery awaits. Friendly staff and a good beer selection elevate this establishment, however it is the various and unique musical acts which perform here that set The Riot Room apart.
The set was thrilling. Eerie distortions, a smooth bass-line and a baritone saxophone augmented the unique sound this group has cultivated. The band’s sound feels like blues but erupts like rock in refreshing and emotive ways. What stood out most was how fluid the band was on stage. Each member of the six man ensemble ebbed and flowed with every nuance played. The band moved as a single organism. This credited not only their showmanship, but the connection each member shared and so clearly felt to his music.
Behrens’ vocals were haunting and beautiful. His stage performance was electric. Between prowling and dancing, he never seemed to stop moving. He became a performance unto himself with the sporadic presence he exuded. It spoke to how close Behrens’ felt toward his music and performance. It is a common connection an artist feels toward his or her work, but it is a rare thing to be able to witness.
After the set, lead vocalist expressed to U-News gratitude for the opportunity to play in Kansas City.
Behrens said the band’s synchronicity stems from long term companionship.
“We all grew up in Austin and around the area so when we’re up their performing it feels like we’re just old friends hanging out,” he said.
Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll is the latest project of Behrens’, who performed for several years with Thomas Ross Turner as the duo Ghostland Observatory. Behrens is currently touring with the Midnight Stroll showcasing the band’s new self-titled EP.
For fans of blues, rock, anything in between or music in general, this group is definitely worth a listen.