Music A-chord-ing to Lillian: Played Out

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Music A-chord-ing to Lillian: Played Out

Played Out performing at Lefty's Live Music on 11/08/19.

Played Out performing at Lefty's Live Music on 11/08/19.

Photo by Lillian Kelley

Played Out performing at Lefty's Live Music on 11/08/19.

Photo by Lillian Kelley

Photo by Lillian Kelley

Played Out performing at Lefty's Live Music on 11/08/19.

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Played Out is a rock/pop punk band from Ankeny, Iowa. It consists of Cory Stark on bass and vocals; Ethan Hopkey, Josh Melvin, and Jacob Thompson on guitar; and Braxton Michael on drums. Stark and Melvin were neighbors and formed the band in January 2014 after Stark met Hopkey in high school and Michael moved to Ankeny. They started off by playing “Damnit” by Blink-182 and then the rest is history. Thompson joined the band in 2017.

Played Out’s energy on stage was unbelievable. I could tell they were having a lot of fun because they were jumping around (as you can see in the photo) and smiling at each other every once in a while. Frontman Stark was hilarious throughout the set, making jokes and complaining about Iowa weather, which they have an extremely relatable song about called “Midwestern Weather.” I still laugh about him saying, “I’m going to drop a new mixtape next week. It’s about me eating cereal for dinner and being generally sad.” 

I think the most unique thing about their performance was the raw emotion they had. They all had intense facial expressions and the lyrics could be felt in Stark’s voice, especially in their song, “Yours Truly.” Nowadays, it’s harder to find true emotion in a band with both their lyrics and personality, so I believe this really sets Played Out apart from other bands and makes them special.

After the concert, I went over to talk to the band members. They were super friendly and the most down to earth musicians I’ve ever met. We talked about music, our bands, and our lives. I even got a free “thundersnow” pin referencing their song “Midwestern Weather.”

I would 100% recommend going to see Played Out live and following their music. Their next gig is at Lefty’s on December 28, 2019. If you want to listen to their music, click here for a link to their Spotify. If you’re on Instagram, you can find them at @playedoutbnd.