I have nothing but respect for musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously, who focus more on enjoying a performance than a perfect performance. On Wednesday, October 11, I had the privilege of seeing the band White Reaper, a garage punk band, perform at Stickyz Rock-n-Roll Chicken Shack in Little Rock, and they are exactly the kind of band who focuses on delivering a good time. I was vaguely familiar with their music beforehand, but not to the point where I was able to sing along with any of the songs. I expected it to be weird because I’ve never been to a concert where I didn’t know any of the lyrics, but it really didn’t hinder my enjoyment.
The music was alive and the band was brimming with energy. They had a smoke machine and the bassist was sporting a black, velvet cape. They made jokes about the pumpkin spice chicken the venue offered. At one point, the lead singer forgot the lyrics to a song and started making up words. It was impossible not to grin and be swept away by how utterly dynamic the show was.
The dynamic of the crowd is a different story. It started with one girl jumping around and knocking into people who clearly did not appreciate it. It was distracting at best. Soon, though, it became a group of people trying (and failing) to start a mosh pit. The audience consisted of about thirty people (and that might be a generous estimate) and the majority of us were just trying to enjoy the music. Others were getting frustrated and the group’s moshing attempts were clearly falling flat, but they kept trying until the band left the stage. My friend and I eventually moved to the other side of the crowd, where we were able to enjoy the concert much more, but my mood had already been soured at that point. If I had been able to focus on the band throughout the entire performance, I doubt I would have a single complaint, because White Reaper knows how to put on a show.
After the concert, I briefly chatted with all the members of the band. They were really appreciative to have the opportunity to perform at Stickyz that night, and they were taken aback that my friend and I traveled over an hour to see them perform.
Despite any annoyances I may have experienced, I hope White Reaper comes back to Arkansas (they said they would like to) because I would love to see them again.
White Reaper currently has two EP’s and two full albums released, which can be found on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and Pandora.