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The Wildcat

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The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Bad Suns Radiates at House of Blues Show

Culture Editor Sofia Rodriguez reviews Bad Suns’ Nov. 17 OC concert.
Sofia Rodriguez
Bad Suns lead singer, Christo Bowman, steps off-stage and into the hands of fans at the band’s House of Blues show on Nov. 17. The L.A.-native band was in town to promote their latest EP, Infinite Joy.

To celebrate their latest release, Infinite Joy, Los Angeles indie outfit Bad Suns transformed House of Blues Anaheim into a realm of sonic fervor and audience frenzy on Nov. 17.

Bad Suns broke into the alternative rock scene with their 2013 Transpose EP, standing out from the crowded alt-rock scene with punchy riffs and polished vocals layered with robust electronic production. Since then, they’ve toured with The 1975 and Halsey, stacking their discography with four studio albums and over a dozen singles. 

Their newest EP, Infinite Joy, released on Spotify on Nov. 17, and a celebration for the achievement took place the very same night at House of Blues Anaheim.

SoCal band HUNNY warmed up the audience with an energetic opening set featuring shadowboxing and quips from lead singer Jason Yarger.  

After HUNNY’s exit, the Bad Suns tech crew flooded the stage with royal blue lights, moved moon rock props in front of electronic setups, and set an LED planet in the center-back of the stage, a fitting backdrop for Bad Suns’ celestial-inspired EP.

The audience didn’t have to wait long for lead singer Christopher “Christo” Bowman, drummer Mike Morris, and bassist/keyboardist Gavin Bennett to don their instruments amidst the strobing blue lights. 

The band opened with the fan-favorite “Swimming in the Moonlight” to the enthusiastic screams of the crowd. 

They swept off into their dynamic setlist from there, using instrumental or vocal transitions to segue between the songs.

Bad Suns’ performance elicited a euphoric, party-like atmosphere. Proclamations of adoration for Anaheim and occasional interjections between lyrics (like “I just love you when you’re mad” from “Dancing on Quicksand” paired with an ad-libbed “Yeah, I do.”) added personal embellishments.

Bowman often called on the audience to jump at certain points in the songs and encouraged call-and-response singing to engage the crowd.

The real highlight, however, was Bowman’s venture into the crowd halfway through the set.

During “Sleep Paralysis,” Bowman stepped off stage and into the crowd, eliciting screams from the crowd as attendees pushed to the left side of the stage in an attempt to get closer to the frontman. Fans held him aloft, while Bowman hoisted his microphone above the crush of people beneath him. While Morris and Bennett provided an instrumental crescendo, Bowman sang from above the crowd. 

When “Sleep Paralysis” ended, Bowman didn’t return to the stage. Instead, as his bandmates queued the opening notes to “Rearview,” he parted the crowd and made his way to the back corner of the venue with hundreds of phones documenting his every step and performance of “Rearview.” When he returned to the stage, he asked the audience to jump and “get low” for the pre-chorus. At the audience’s compliance, he continued: “We’re gonna sing the chorus of this song together — ‘Sunset in the rearview, losing your control.’ When we get to that line, what happens is, we all lose control, okay?” 

The audience did, in fact, lose control, flailing and screaming at Bowman’s cue. 

The audience breathless, Bad Suns closed the song and segued into another fan-favorite, “Heartbreaker.” 

They continued with a mashup of “Salt,” from their first full album, 2014’s Language & Perspective, which transitioned into a cover of The Cardigan’s 1996 “Lovesong.” 

As they subsequently played  “Living or Dying” and “Everything is…” off of Infinite Joy, the audience mimicked the energy of the flashing stage lights. 

Despite the Infinite Joy EP releasing just that morning, many show-goers already had lyrics memorized — and for those who didn’t, frenzied dancing made up for it. 

Bad Suns later toned their energy down with a stripped version of “Violet,” ramped it up again with a strobe light-infused “Cardiac Arrest” and “Life Was Easier When I Only Cared About Me,” then closed the set with the beloved “Daft Pretty Boys.”

The final song, arguably their most popular, compelled an emotional sing-along from the show’s crowd, a fitting close to a concert that brought “infinite joy” to the House of Blues Anaheim on Nov. 17. 

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About the Contributor
Sofia Rodriguez
Sofia Rodriguez, Culture Editor
Sofia Rodriguez, sophomore, is enthusiastic about her first year on staff as Culture Editor of the Wildcat. In addition to her involvement in journalism, Sofia plans to become an active student leader on campus by joining HOSA, Book Club, and NHS. Off campus, Sofia has dedicated her time to other philanthropic causes, including joining and serving in the National Charity League. When Sofia is not busy writing, she delves into fiction and poetry writing. An avid music lover, Sofia also collects vinyl and attends live concerts. 
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