Ha Ha Tonka, Making Movies, Hilary Scott at Plush 11/29/13

Ha Ha Tonka forges ahead with their Thanksgiving tradition of touring the Midwest, this time in support of their new album Lessons. This time last year they sold out Off Broadway. This year they packed it in at Plush.

As far as the complete album, one might venture to say Lessons is their best release to date, though it takes a few listens to really get there. Their previous release, Death of a Decade, lends its more memorable moments to be instant, whereas Lessons is a grower. Which is fitting since Lessons is the maturity of a Missouri rock and roll band, with more cerebral, more complex emotions.

Show Highlight: A predominantly impromptu performance of Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly” for the double encore. They jokingly riffed on the song earlier in the day for their in-studio with KDHX. We know of at least one dad who suffered severe eargasm upon recognizing the tune being performed live.

Sweet Surprise: The addition of James Cleare (The Spring Standards) on keys and rhythm guitar. That makes “unofficial fifth member” status.

Supporting Bands:

Hilary Scott and the New County Line (St. Louis)

This was an EP release show for HS&TNCL. This new one’s titled Flowers on Mars and was tracked at Sawhorse. The sweetheart folk duo of Hilary Scott and hubby AJ Gennaro brought the full band out for a play by play of their new EP, capping their set off with a dreamy cover of Ben Harper’s “I Shall Not Walk Alone.”

Making Movies (Kansas City)

Making Movies shows hippies everywhere that dreadlocks are meant for head banging. In short, they’re a rock and roll band laden with latin percussion. Hips did shake.

Hilary Scott and the New County Line

IMG_4892IMG_4879Making Movies

Ha Ha Tonka

IMG_5010IMG_5007IMG_5115The drunken crowd heckles bassist Luke Long to “Take it off!

He obliges with a striptease and a pull-up, exposing a respectable ratio of chest / hair.