Bad Suns at Metro - A night that was anything but bad
By Rachel Kupfer
Looking up at the stage from behind the gate at Metro on Friday, eyes were drawn to the tiny mirrors covering the hanging logo of Bad Suns, the headliner scheduled for the night. The little squares reflected rainbows of light from the spotlights, and by the end of the show, it was easy to understand why the band had chosen mirrors for their set: the night provided an opportunity to forget about everything outside of the music and reflect on what was left.
The Los Angeles-based indie rock band began the Chicago night of their “Love Like Revenge Fall Tour” with “Disappear Here,” the powerful lead single from their sophomore album of the same name. Lead vocalist Christo Bowman immediately captured the crowd with the first lyrics, his velvety voice sounding just as good in person as on record.
“Is there anybody out there? Is everybody awake in here?” asked Bowman before taking off his jacket and going into “Sleep Paralysis,” a song from their debut record. The crowd went wild and sang every word. The band were on form - the sweat on guitarist Ray Libby’s face was visible from the back of the room, bassist Gavin Bennett’s long brown hair flopped up and down as he bobbed his head to the beat, and drummer Miles Morris rocked out in a vintage looking striped button up shirt. Causing screams from the audience, Bowman left the stage and crowd surfed while belting out the last few lyrics.
A few songs after, the band slowed down for an acoustic version of the chorus of “Matthew James.” The huge towers of speakers on either side of the stage were quiet for the first, and final, time of the night, and heads turned to the band as they questioned life: “I come to the conclusion we’re all clueless here,” they sang. In the intimate setting of dedicated fans, one of whom had been to 22 Bad Suns concerts, the weight of the lyrics was felt by all.
Later came “Off She Goes,” an encouraging track about self-love. “This is the best crowd of the whole damn tour!” yelled Bowman. The music flowed up and down with its beachy bass tones and pop-y synths, bringing the audience to life in an ocean of jumping and dancing bodies.
With a face full of silver glitter and a white tank top drenched in sweat, Bowman dedicated “Daft Pretty Boys” to all the “pretty, pretty” people in the crowd. “Stay right there!” he later demanded before the band left the stage and the lights went dark. They weren’t dark for long though. “I hope you guy saved some room for dessert!” Bowman cried before breaking into “Rearview,” the first song of their encore.
The band closed with “Salt,” a well-loved anthem about identity. “You think you can outdance me?” dared Bowman before he again dove into the crowd and touched, both literally and figuratively, as many audience members as possible. The lyrics of every song, about self-discovery and the trials and rewards of love, perfectly captured the emotions of everyday life with their raw, bare-all lyrics. Mixed with feel good, make-you-want-to-move rhythms and hooks, the night was a welcome break from reality. They made everything outside of the strobes, the smoke and the music disappear, and provided the audience with no other options except to sing and dance until the lights went dark and the speakers went silent for good.