If it wasn’t for all the cellphones you’d swear that it was 1992. Not in content but in community, not in aesthetics but in applied theoretical actions. It’s a pretty impressive accomplishment for an album with the name 1992.
Its June 8th, 2018. The time is 11:07pm at the Monarch Theater in downtown Phoenix, AZ. Kyle Burkett is periodically having drinks with friends and posing for photos while trying to navigate his way backstage through and against a current that has been building throughout the night. That natural flow is the energy he has created with his music. It has been enhanced with the setting of the Monarch Theater and consistently amazing host, IKON Radio. He’s greeted and embraced by a ratio of 1 out of every 4 people he passes on a night where it’s hard to not bump into someone unless you’re in a bathroom stall. He stops to interact and reciprocate the love they show him, he’s relaxed and calm. The venue has been packed since the doors opened. It’s an hour before he takes the stage but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him.
Fellow artists Reno Rich and Wrangler Dan laugh with him over old memories with new insights. The backstage rooms fills with artists & media showing love to Kyle Burkett and slowly empties as his moment approaches. As he watches Reno open up for him you see the prideful swelling of his chest when the crowd sings along with his childhood friend. As Reno finishes his set the energy is peaked. The night has been building to this thanks to help from performances in the Fireplace Room showcasing some beginners and newcomers, all the way to the Scarlet Room sets with Schizo, Benzo, Dirtsquad, Apiphany & Chris Massiv among choice others. Hats that were tossed into the crowd are being put away and drinks are being polished off as Kyle is all smiles, mic in hand.
When everyone sings your first song it’s an awesome moment. When they sing every song it’s an artist’s dream. “Ten Toes Down” got the greatest response, as the lead single with a beautiful visual it’s no wonder it did. “Patient” had a good reaction and the way the people were feeling it might have been a nice surprise for Kyle Burkett. But the surprises kept coming not only when the words and the mouths of the fans were synched on “Never Switch” as it’s a deeply personal song on the album but especially when people were screaming, actually screaming, the chorus of “Miserable At Best." The biggest surprise definitely came with the emotional reception and outpouring he crowd showed on “Save The Rest”. Encore was the echoed opinion and solidified a powerful performance from him and an overall captivating event from Respect The Underground.
As observers turned to fans, trying to mouth words to songs they were still adding to their Spotify playlists. As he humbly exited the stage to let other artists perform and as fans turned to paparazzi clamoring for a chance to ride the wave, you could feel the current swell to its peak. Kyle Burkett didn’t sail off into a sea of admiration and photographs it’s more like the tide pulled him in.