November 3rd, 2016 at Brighton Music Hall
By: Ashley Juliano
Ah, Brighton Music Hall, my arch nemesis. After losing my dignity and street cred there just a few months ago, only a handful of bands could bring me to enter that venue, but Bad Suns is definitely one of them. It’s always a blast seeing this California four-piece, and this time was just as good as any I’ve been to before.
Before the night’s entrée was COIN, a Nashville-based quartet with some serious tunes. Starting with “Atlas,” their hour and a half long set flew by as the whole crowd danced along. The rest of the set continued on with hits from their debut self-titled album including “Speaking Voice”, “Holy Ghost”, and “I Don’t Wanna Dance”. Mixing punchy synth thumps in constant upbeat along with catchy guitar riffs and thunderous drums, the band had everyone nodding their heads and bouncing to the beat. Even as an opening act, it was obvious that they had quite a draw of their own, with a good amount of people singing along to every word. “Talk Too Much” was their second to last track and so much fun that I downloaded it to my phone immediately while they ended their set with “Fingers Crossed”. COIN features Joe Memmel on guitar and vocals, Ryan Winnen on drums, Zachary Dyke on bass, and Chase Lawrence on synthesizer and vocals; the latter’s stage presence was out of this world – he took over the stage during every song. I had never listened to COIN before this performance and, based on their set, feel like I could enjoy their recorded material; the only flaw I found in the performance is the volume of the instrumentals completely overpowered the vocals and I could barely hear the lyrics.
Bad Suns came out blazing with the title track off their newest album, Disappear Here. With a total of 25 bops in their discography, spanning two albums, Christo Bowman, Ray Libby, Miles Morris, and Gavin Bennett just about killed it on the stage as all of them moved, danced, and sang their hearts out. Moving quickly through “Patience”, “Even in My Dreams, I Can’t Win”, “Dancing on Quicksand”, “Sleep Paralysis”, “Transpose”, and one of my favorites, “Daft Pretty Boys,” the glitter on their faces coincided perfectly with their trippy lights, disco ball, and glittery metallic logo to present their now supersonic aesthetic. It’s a testament to how good the new album is that the crowd seemed to be more pumped for the new songs than the old, something I noticed but didn’t reciprocate. Don’t get me wrong – the new album is great, but Language & Perspective is truly a Suns classic, and features a lot more rock elements than pop. The set continued with new tracks “Swimming in the Moonlight” and “Off She Goes” (with hints of my favorite Bad Suns unreleased track “20 Years”) before slowing it down for “Maybe We’re Meant to Be Alone,” one of their only ballad-like songs. It’s always a warm atmosphere and reception when Bad Suns come to town, and this continued as they finished their set with their first hit “Cardiac Arrest” and encored with “Review”, Disappear Here hit “Heartbreaker”, and their seemingly most popular track, “Salt”. It’s clear that the band loves their new album, the band showered their Instagram feed and Twitter timeline with their progress before the release and gratitude after and was smiling just about the entire time on stage. This album gives Bad Suns a type of confidence on stage that I’ve never seen from the band before. Can’t wait for my Suns boys to come back to Boston soon and flourish into a bigger venue – hopefully one that doesn’t hate me like Brighton Music Hall does – because seeing them is always a treat.