REVIEW: Bad Suns give a good show at Rialto
Their name may have “bad” in it but their music is far from it. The Los Angeles-based band took the Tucson stage at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, March 12.
The indie-rock band is best known for hit singles “Cardiac Arrest,” “Salt” and “We Move Like the Ocean.” Currently, the Bad Suns are on their “Away We Go” tour, which hits smaller and more intimate venues like the Rialto Theatre and the Flagstaff Green Room in Northern Arizona.
Christo Bowman on vocals, Gavin Bennett on bass, Morris Kottak on drums and Ray Libby on guitar all founded the Bad Suns in 2012 and make up the group.
Before they rocked out on stage, the opening band, Vista Kicks, warmed up the crowd. With not only an old '60/'70s style rock sound but also album covers that look like a Beatles record, the band had an authentic sound compared to most bands today.
Most songs Vista Kicks played were from their newest album, “Twenty Something Nightmare.” With the stage lights hitting all the members’ long hair and the vintage clothing they were wearing, watching them perform was like going back in time.
The sound was authentic to old rock and roll but had a little bit of a modern alternative sound. I was pleasantly surprised at how strong the beginning of their set was and will definitely be listening to them in the future.
Next came the headliner, the Bad Suns. Their strategically planned setlist allowed fans to hear new music but also have old music thrown in that everyone already knew and could sing along to. Their sound was a mix of a California beachy rock and roll sound, alternative and a hint of old traditional rock and roll.
The fans danced when popular songs came on, and the energy of the room transformed the space into a party atmosphere. The upbeat songs had a happy, carefree sound to them, which was relaxing. The band members danced a little on stage as well, and the lead singer was engaging with the crowd.
The new music they played was easy to dance to, even if fans had never heard the songs before. All of the songs had a pretty consistent sound, even the slower ones.
For being a smaller and lesser-known group, I think the Bad Suns had a very solid sound. Every song had a sense of professionality and completeness, unlike a lot of other small bands that may have a few hits but mainly bad songs overall. The Bad Suns seemed like they knew not only how to write music but how to act while performing live.
My overall favorite part of this show was that it was the first concert I have been to in a long time that preserved the traditional experience of a concert, because people were not constantly filming on their cell phones. During the slow song where people take out their flashlights on their phone and wave them in the air, a few real flames coming from lighters appeared in the sea of iPhones, which made the experience unique.
The Bad Suns had so many unique parts to their show, and I would recommend this band to anyone that likes timeless rock and roll or music with an alternative flare.
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