The Sunflower

Me Like Bees brings the buzz to Barleycorns

Me+Like+Bees+lead+singer+Luke+Sheafer+performs+at+Barleycorn%E2%80%99s+in+Wichita.+%28Aug.+24%2C+2017%29+
Me Like Bees lead singer Luke Sheafer performs at Barleycorn’s in Wichita. (Aug. 24, 2017)

Me Like Bees lead singer Luke Sheafer performs at Barleycorn’s in Wichita. (Aug. 24, 2017)

Matt Crow

Matt Crow

Me Like Bees lead singer Luke Sheafer performs at Barleycorn’s in Wichita. (Aug. 24, 2017)

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Crystal chandeliers and a dramatic, red curtain frame the small, four-person stage at Barleycorn’s, the 240-person capacity Douglas St. bar. Although the venue may be tight on space, it’s a local ICT treasure, and, sure as hell isn’t skimping on the talent they bring through weekly.

On Aug. 24, the three-band lineup was made up of Calliope Musicals, Rudy Love Jr. and Me Like Bees. From surfer-esque, psych-grunge to blues-funk and straightforward indie-alternative, the venue was packed with creative sounds all night.

Cloaked in neon, glitter, and a mad-love for aliens, Calliope Musicals took the stage first. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the band is nothing like the stereotypical country that usually comes from the South. It instead matches beat with groups like Brick + Mortar and Grouplove.

Between the blue hair and Hawaiian T-shirts, Calliope Musicals is all about positivity, excitement, and having a good time. Amidst a kaleidoscope of backdrops, colors, and sounds, lead-singer Carrie Fussell screeches, yells and sings along to the psychedelic piano.

Although the band is made up of five musicians, don’t discount their sixth member, whose costume changes take you on a journey from an alien space ship to a jungle full of tigers.

Their set clocked in at roughly 60 minutes, and next up on the stage was Rudy Love Jr. Born and raised in the ICT, Rudy Love Jr. plays with a full band of blues-funk instrumentals that progress into rock and jazz with a smooth, groovy ambiance.

With one song blending into the next, it’s never truly clear when a new song is beginning, only clear that the tone is changing and developing throughout the set. The soul, passion and tension heard in every note of every croon displays Love’s intensity and passion for his music. After their 60-minute set, Me Like Bees was ready to hit the stage next.

From Joplin, Missouri, Me Like Bees is no strangers to the touring lifestyle. In 2014, the band embarked on the Vans Warped tour Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands competition.

After winning the highly competitive battle, the band scored a producing deal with legendary rocker John Feldmann. Feldmann is known for being a member of the punk-ska band Goldfinger as well as producing for alt-rock groups like Panic! At the Disco, All Time Low, and many more.

The crowd had dwindled in size and barely managed to stick around for Me Like Bees’ 11:30 set time.

Those who left, missed a hell of a show. The group killed their set, with lead-vocalist Luke Sheafer changing pitches masterfully as he does on the band’s albums.

The eclectic, diverse lineup flowed through the varying dynamics and sounds, and each band poured their heart out in their music.

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