Music » Critics' Picks

Vedera/All-American Rejects

7 p.m. Thursday, April 9. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

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Success has not ruined Vedera. Nor has it tarnished the Kansas City quartet's youthful innocence. Once an all-ages local favorite, the band signed to Epic and shortly after began hitting the road with heavyweights like the Fray, Eisley, Jason Mraz and, currently, All-American Rejects. Then the song placements came — at last count — five on The Hills alone. But hard-learned experience (such as the December 2008 van accident that hospitalized its sound man) and personal integrity — anchored in class-act frontwoman Kristen May — have kept these rising tykes grounded in reality. The group's sound, on the other hand, has grown into an elevating swell of epic, guitar-powered pop with swooning melodies and deeply earnest lyrics. When May asks, "Is there anything left in this world that will satisfy me?" you know there's more to this band than seeing its name in lights. Look for Vedera's long-awaited Epic debut LP later this year.

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