Two sold out shows at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. The first show was in such high demand that the band had to add a second show a week later. Obviously, this shows that people like Bad Suns. It shows that they are talented and their music is well-received by fans. And yet, the band was awestruck and incredibly gracious throughout both shows. I couldn’t help but stare at Christo, the lead of the band, and see the complete shock on his face that his band, this small band from Woodland Hills, sold out the Fonda. It was magical and inspiring to see the amazement on the guys’ faces as they performed. It was as if they were born to play together.
I have had the opportunity to see Bad Suns three times now. Once when they opened up for Halsey on her Badlands tour, and twice when they headlined on their Outskirts of Paradise tour. Yes, I didn’t get to hear as many songs as I would have liked to when they toured with Halsey. Yes, I saw them twice in two weeks this year. And yet, I feel as though they perform even better with each show they play. Bad Suns put on such an amazing show, and I can’t wait to see what amazing things that they will do in the future.
//JUNE 16, 2017//
If we're perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I got in line (four hours early) to experience this concert. I knew that Bad Suns’ new album, Disappear Here, was incredible, and I knew that I was about to have a fun night with one of my best friends. That being said, I was skeptical of the opening acts. I had never heard of Field Medic or Hunny before, and the people sitting near us were adamant in telling those around them that the opening acts were less-than-ideal. So, it is safe to say that I was a little apprehensive going to the concert to hear two small bands for a few hours while I waited for Bad Suns to come on.
Field Medic was up first. When the lights turned off, and the curtain came up, I was surprised to see that the “band” was composed of a skinny, ginger-haired guy, his guitar, and a cassette tape player. He started off the show with an acoustic love song, with an off-tune guitar and a folk-like voice. It was peculiar, to say the least, and I jumped to conclusions, quickly, in thinking that this set was going to be a long one. However, he re-tuned his guitar and started rocking out. It took him a hot minute to get the hang of being on stage, but his self-deprecating love songs and unapologetic realness about life were relatable and refreshing. While his set was a bit more mellow than expected, it was enjoyable and refreshing. My friend equated him to “Vance Joy if he was drunk and/or high more often,” and I think that that is the best way to describe Field Medic. I don’t relay this information as a way to be mean; I simply feel as though that is the perfect description of Field Medic. The music was enjoyable, relaxing, and whimsical, and I think it perfectly exemplifies his self-proclaimed persona of being a “dead kid from the golden state.”
Shortly after Field Medic came Hunny. The crowd was visibly (and audibly) more hyped for them, so I was excited to see what I was in for. The band sauntered out in some peculiar outfit choices; the lead singer, Jason Yarger, came out in a leather duster jacket, the keyboardist, Kevin Gerimmett, donned a sparkly bomber jacket and some high-waisted jeans à la 80’s rock band. Joey Anderson, the band’s drummer, rocked a rad pink, cow print cowboy hat, and the guitarists, Jake Goldstein and Greg Horne, chose simple suit jackets and slacks. Their outfit choices definitely made things interesting, but their music was where I really became hooked. As soon as the music started, I felt as though I belonged in a cliché 80’s film, and I was totally here for it. The band put on an amazing show, and the music was upbeat and incredibly easy to dance to, despite me not knowing the words to any of the songs. Perhaps the most memorable song from their set was a medley of, quite possibly, the most random mix of songs ever played together (included, but not limited to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, “All Star” by Smash Mouth, and “Oops!...I Did It Again” by Britney Spears), and it was incredible. As random as it was, it really made everyone that much more ready to party once Bad Suns came out.
//JUNE 23, 2017//
If we're perfectly honest, I bought tickets for this show on a complete whim. I left the show the week before wanting more, but being hesitant to buy a ticket, for I had no one to go with (and very little money). Somehow, magically, a friend reached out to me after seeing pictures from the concert, and invited me to see them again! Obviously, I immediately jumped at the chance to be able to experience another night of magic and wonder with Bad Suns. I was bummed to hear that Field Medic and Hunny weren’t the opening act again, but I was intrigued by The Marías and The Chain Gang of 1974.
Before the concert even started, I was already stoked to see where the night would take me. I met some amazing people while waiting for The Marías set, and we bonded throughout the show. Although I didn’t know much about the band, I was excited to see The Marías; before they came on, I learned that this show would be their biggest yet, and it was the one-year anniversary of them being a band! As soon as they stepped out, I was enamored by the band’s lead singer, Maria Zardoya; her pixie-like stature and adorable choppy bob and bangs were beautiful, and she pulled off a (homemade, I would later learn) red velvet jumpsuit like it was her birthright. Her siren-like vocals were entrancing and beautiful, and the jazzy feel of the music made it easy to bob and sway along to the new band’s tunes. The unique vocals and eclectic musical accompaniments gave a soothing and sexy feel to the set, and I was left wanting more. As if the set couldn’t get any more magical, Zardoya sang two songs in Spanish, making me a delighted and proud Latina. As unbelievable as the set was, I was super bummed to find that The Marías only have one song available on SoundCloud, Spotify, and iTunes. But, I cannot wait to hear their debut EP, coming out this fall.
The Chain Gang of 1974
With The Marías slaying their (way too short) set, I was excited to see what The Chain Gang of 1974 would bring. As soon as their set began, however, I became incredibly disillusioned. They began the set with alarmingly loud guitars and drums that left my ears ringing after each song, and the lead singer’s constant flailing made it difficult to focus on the music. I really, really wanted to enjoy the set, but the off-pitch singing and overt cockiness made that difficult. Even though the set was only 15 minutes longer than The Marías’, it felt as though it went on for over an hour. As difficult as the set was to listen to, I came to the conclusion that their pre-recorded pieces are more bearable, but are still not necessarily my cup of tea.
Once the opening acts were done, it was time to be graced by Bad Suns’ presence. The energy in the room was absolutely electric, and the crowd went wild as soon as the band stepped on stage. Tonight was the last night of the Outskirts of Paradise tour, and the excitement in both fans and the band was undeniable. The band played all of their hits and were incredibly interactive with the crowd. Christo had gone into the crowd at the previous show, but it was much less terrifying this time around; the crowd was much stronger and ready to hold him up, and Christo’s excitement and pride only made fans that much happier to hold him up. Throughout the concert, the band was sure to share their pride to be from LA, and their pride was reflected on locals, as well. Their gratitude for fans was beautiful to see and was only heightened when we got to spend the first few minutes of Language and Perspective’s third birthday with the band. As if the show couldn’t get any better, Christo’s girlfriend was in the crowd, and each love-struck look he gave her gave fans an insight into their relationship. The electric and supportive vibe throughout the concert made everyone feel so comfortable, as though we were all family, as though we all belonged to something bigger. Fans were able to forget about their problems with ease once the band started playing, and love shared between the band and the fans only made the concert all the more unforgettable. Although the show was much too short, it was apparent that Bad Suns’ gratitude and love for their fans would go on for a long time to come. As rough as it will be to wait for another tour to come to LA, I cannot wait to see what amazing things Bad Suns will accomplish next.