Underground Press: Kill Vargas

The members of Kill Vargas, a local rock band, perform a set for the Eagle's Underground Press series at Harvester Arts. (Matt Riedl/The Wichita Eagle/Dec. 15, 2016)
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The members of Kill Vargas, a local rock band, perform a set for the Eagle's Underground Press series at Harvester Arts. (Matt Riedl/The Wichita Eagle/Dec. 15, 2016)

Keeper of the Plans

Looking for things to do? Matt Riedl is your go-to guy for entertainment, art and culture news in Wichita.

Keeper of the Plans

Local band’s free show this weekend so big they had to rent out a theater

December 06, 2017 11:46 AM

Kill Vargas has no shortage of buzz in Wichita.

The local punk-rock band, made up entirely of kids under 21, has been thoroughly hyped by everyone from Downtown Wichita to local blogs to the Eagle itself.

Last summer, Kill Vargas – playing with fellow young bands Tideway and The Cavves – rocked downtown’s Gallery Alley so hard that rocking there was disallowed shortly thereafter.

So this time the three bands are taking their show on the road.

Kill Vargas, Tideway and The Cavves are hosting an all-ages show at the Crown Uptown Theatre at 6 p.m. Saturday, an event expected to attract hundreds of local music lovers. The band Salt Creek, from Nebraska, also is coming down to perform.

In contrast to shows at Barleycorn’s or The Donut Whole, this show will be professionally produced and lit – giving it “more of a concert feel,” said Logan Bush, drummer of Kill Vargas.

“Most of our shows are DIY – bands bringing (sound) systems from their houses,” he said. “This one’s going to be a fully produced show, so we’ll definitely sound better and louder. It’ll just be a cooler atmosphere.”

Kill Vargas released its EP, “Tunnel Vision,” earlier this year, and will release a split EP with Tideway at the show on Saturday.

The show will double as a release party for The Cavves, a local surf-rock group putting out its first record.

Admission to the show is free and open to all ages.

Local music promoter Adam Hartke is producing the show, which will “hopefully open the doors for some development in the all-ages realm and give some opportunities for young people.”

It’s been a common refrain among local musicians for years that Wichita lacks affordable, accessible all-ages venues – and that the local music scene suffers as a result.

“(The show Saturday) is definitely a step in the right direction,” Hartke said. “Our city as a whole really needs to take a step back and look at all the awesome (performing) artists that we have ... and start to understand the spaces they need in order to perfect their craft, and try to have a nurturing environment for those things.

“Without it, those things will gain momentum and then cease to exist.”

Bush, who said Kill Vargas has played as an opening act at the Crown years ago, said he “got butterflies” seeing the band’s name on the Crown marquee recently.

“I’d always had it in the back of my mind to play there again, but I always figured we’d be opening for somebody years down the road,” he said. “We’re just really excited to play this show with all our friends – that’s the most exciting part.”

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

Kill Vargas, Tideway and The Cavves

When: 6-11 p.m. Sat.

Where: Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas

What: Professionally produced concert featuring popular local bands Kill Vargas, Tideway, The Cavves and Salt Creek, from Nebraska. Two new CDs from the bands will be released that night.

Admission: Free