Split Lip Rayfield (early all-ages patio show)

with The Ants

Replay Lounge

Seven months after losing their close friend and band mate Kirk Rundstrom to cancer, Eric Mardis, Wayne Gottstein, and Jeff Eaton played again at the Walnut Valley Festival. Their long-standing midnight Friday slot on Stage 5 was a particularly moving show. Midway through the set, Mardis began to mention the thing that was on everyone's mind... before he could even finish saying Rundstrom's name, the overflow crowd of several hundred-if not well over a thousand-erupted in a roar of cheering and 'Kirk' chants that would last several minutes. The moment must have been emotional for nearly all present, even those not familiar with the band's turbulent recent history.If that show had somewhat somber beginning-it surely lacked the vim so characteristic of every previous Split Lip show, even the recent ones with Rundstrom at his weakest-everything thereafter was played as if the band was still trying to win over the crowd. The energy between the band and the crowd was contagious, just like always-the crowd singing along ever more loudy, the band playing ever more intensely. It's good to see the Split Lip family very much alive.Tickets available at the Jackpot Saloon.

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