Rock duo Illiterate Light bring their wild live show to Uptown’s Encore April 27

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Illiterate Light. // Photo by Travis Legg

Illiterate Light is one of those bands that you need to see to believe. Luckily, KC has an opportunity to hop on the IL bandwagon tomorrow night.

Ahead of their show on April 27th at Encore in Uptown Theater, we were able to chat with the power duo Illiterate Light—singer-guitarist Jeff Gorman and drummer Jake Cochran—on their way to their next tour stop in Columbia, MO.

We hit on everything from their decision to remain a duo to their hand in creating bike-powered festival stages. 

The Pitch: How’s it going? Where are you guys right now? 

Gorman: I’m doing well, we’re in the car heading from Omaha to Columbia. We’re excited to be back in Kansas City. We’ve always had a good time there. 

How has this leg of the tour been so far? 

Gorman: So we kicked off about ten days ago. We left the East Coast and then had a night in Nashville and then the tour officially started in Indianapolis. This is about a month-long run, and it’s been really fun. Some great shows this past weekend in Minneapolis and Chicago.

Will you get a break after this run? 

Gorman: Yeah, we do. We are working even though we just put out Sunburned, our album that came out in January, we’ve got another one that we’re working on. So we’re just kind of piecing together what our schedule will look like when we get off the road. But really, we have about six weeks after we finish this tour, where we get to finish up that album and tidy up loose ends before our summer schedule gets pretty intense.

How was the audience been reacting to your show on this tour? 

Gorman: It’s been great. A lot of people are pretty surprised when they see us because it’s just Jake and I up there and we don’t play the tracks or anything. And you know, we’re pretty loud and heavy and really try to have a good time and entertain folks and just enjoy ourselves. We feel like the reception has been really solid. 

What has been the most fun song to perform? 

Cochran: I think currently my favorite song is off our new record. It’s called “Light Me Up.” It was one of the first songs written for the album and set the mood for the whole thing. Playing it live sort of brings a new energy to it. There’s this bridge section that’s kind of unhinged. I like to have a lot of fun with that portion of the show, it usually ends with me jumping into the crowd and causing a bit of chaos. 

You’ve been known for creating bike-powered stages. Can you talk to me about that?

Gorman: In 2011/2012 we would travel from town to town performing different shows and we would bike between cities. We were carrying with us on a trailer this bicycle-powered generator and that’s how we powered the shows. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when we were playing at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, and we powered one of the stages there with a bike-powered generator and solar panels. Fans could come up to the stage and pedal for the length of a song and would get a t-shirt in exchange. It was a cool experience. 

What’s next for you guys after this tour? 

Gorman: We’re going to be hosting our stage at Newport Folk Festival this summer and we’ve got a lot of summer and fall tour dates we’re about to announce. We will be in the studio finishing up our next album but we’re still going to focus on promoting Sunburn. We’re hoping to have another stop in KC during the fall. 

Illiterate Light will be at the Encore Room with Mo Lowda & The Humble on Thursday, April 27th at 9:30 pm. Tickets are available here.

Categories: Music