In pursuit of their “Outskirts of Paradise” tour, Bad Suns made their return to A&R Music Bar in Columbus. Almost immediately following their phase of being just the opening act, the indie pop-rockers have become notorious for selling out their venues. It was no surprise when the SOLD OUT posts began running on social media, months before the show on June 9. Nor was it a surprise to see the early strain of fans lined up and wrapped around the venue before the show. To pass the hours by, fans chatted and made Bad Suns chalk art (inspired by the band’s famous sun emblem design) on the sidewalks up to the building, and even the brick sides of the building itself.
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Columbus has a lot of love for Bad Suns, and has remained loyal from the start. The band also sold out the same venue on their first headlining tour in 2015. However much has happened in between, including the release of their second studio album, ‘Disappear Here.’ The quartet has made leaps and bounds in the last few years. Old fans were able to see the remarkable change in confidence and ease, specifically in frontman Christo Bowman.
Indie rock group HUNNY set the stage and woke up the young crowd. The mostly-female dominated crowd received the opener well with dancing and delighted cheers, although nothing could have held up to the power that Bowman had over the crowd. The show started up with newest title track, ‘Disappear Here,’ and was followed up with older favorite, ‘Quicksand.’ Most of the 90-minute set was arranged to pleasantly offer up a rotating mix of both old and new material.
Back to Bowman- the vocalist not only makes the stage his own, but he takes hold of the entire venue. This was the biggest difference between their last Columbus performance, giving possibly one of the most interactive performances that A&R has seen as of late. Any frontman that has the courage to insert himself into a sold-out crowd of screaming women deserves recognition. Bowman’s way of doing this not only included leaning into the front row and letting them support him, but also walking into the hands of the audience. As in walking across the hands of fans, letting them hold him up, and continuing to sing and perform literally without missing a beat. He later followed this feat up by jumping into the crowd, and singing eye-level amongst them.
The dancing, screaming, and singing never ceased from the audience. Surprisingly, older fans (both in terms of age and longevity) seemed to know the recent hits, and vice versa for newer fans. It was obvious to point out the newer, x-hand branded fans as they were the ones dancing the hardest. Who could blame them? Bad Suns offers up an ingenious combination of self-questioning and sometimes heartbreaking lyrics, with poppy instrumentation that you can’t help but dance to. Somehow, the medley is perfect.
Encore choices ‘Heartbreaker’ and ultimately, ’Salt’ are some of the best representers of Bad Suns’ style. Which, they will be showcasing, for the remainder of the month of June for the rest of their tour. Most of these U.S. dates (all but one) have already sold out, so keep your eye out on the boards for tickets. The band will begin to tour across the world this coming Fall. Regardless, this is not the last that you have seen from Bad Suns.