The nearly all late teen/college-age crowd comprised of mostly females packed The Ready Room Sunday night in St. Louis for a triple bill of swoon-worthy and downright solid bands each bringing their own concrete twist to punk and rock ’n’ roll.
The lights shifted and the crowd went wild when headliners Bad Suns took to the stage right on schedule. On the second night of their Mystic Truth fall tour, Bad Suns launched right into “Away We Go” off their third studio album released this past spring (which, according to Bowman, is “about finding the extraordinary in very simple things, even though we’re living in a very dark time right now”). Transitioning straight into “Daft Pretty Boys,” it was almost hard to hear the band over the screams and cheers of the crowd. Powering through, Bad Suns continued with another new hit “We Move Like the Ocean.” The alt-power pop band, known for its modern indie sound mixed with post-punk delivered a much harder-hitting, driving sound in their live performance than what one will find on their studio albums.
“Do you guys want to f*cking dance?” frontman Christo Bowman asked with his engaging smile before bursting into “Transpose.” Partway through the song, Bowman said “St. Louis, this feels just like home tonight;” eliciting an even higher decibel of cheers from the enrapt crowd.
Songs such as “Starjumper” started out slower, almost ballad-like until the band, consisting of Gavin Bennett (bass/keyboard), Miles Morris (drums) Ray Libby (guitar), and Bowman, eventually turned up the amps and slammed into stronger, harder riffs. At this point, Bowman was on the railing playing into the crowd.
Nearly an hour into the set, the crowd had not run out of deafening cheers to greet “Hold Your Fire” (which Billboard states “Bad Suns haven’t lost their anthemic dream-pop sound — and their latest single is proof of that”).
Bad Suns ended the night on a high note with “One Magic Moment,” appropriate for every adoring fan in the audience.
Ultra Q, known as Mt. Eddy until earlier this spring, kicked off the night with a full, robust sound playing mostly from their new EP which dropped “like two seconds ago” according to frontman Jakob Danger (in reality it was just last week) which included the title track “We’re Starting to Get Along.”
Drummer Chris Malaspina’s driving beat kept the band moving forward.
And yes, Danger’s resemblance to SWMRS drummer and Green Day’s lead singer is because they’re all related. However, that shouldn’t be the reason you check out Ultra Q as they hold their own with their compelling post-punk sound.
Up next, Liily wowed the crowd with their non-stop high-energy, straightforward psychedelic punk. Lead singer Dylan Nash seemed to channel a combination of Mick Jagger, Matt Schultz and even Jim Morrison’s swagger and essence in his performance.
Among their frenetic set, they played “Toro” “I Can Fool Anybody in This Town” and their newest song “Wash” that will drop on Friday, September 13.
Their set ended as abruptly as it started. Keep an eye out for this four-member (maybe now five-member) band as, at the young ages of 19, they have a big future ahead of them.
By the end of the night, my 18- to 25-year-old self would have been figuring out all the ways to meet members of each of these bands.
Find ALL the photos from each band: http://bit.ly/BadSuns19cz