Highly Suspect Castle Theater – Bloomington, IL (September 24, 2017)

Anticipation. Excitement. Exhilaration. Waiting outside of a concert venue for two to three hours before the event. Driving four to eight hours just to arrive. Trekking around two to three different states in a three-day time period. The M.C.I.D. (My Crew Is Dope) group of fans is one big family and will go to great lengths to see the band Highly Suspect perform live.

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From teenagers to persons well into their fifties, the audience of fans at the Castle Theater is diverse. The show is sold out and the venue is packed. Furthermore, the temperature outside is in the 90’s and it is sweltering. However, it does not dissuade the fans. The fans are getting warmed up by the DJ, not that they already weren’t hyped just to be there. DJ Redbees is currently touring with Highly Suspect and plays house and hip hop mixes before the show and during the sets in between acts.

An hour into the show after the tantalizing trio band, Bones (the show opener) performs, Highly Suspect has commandeered the stage. They begin the show with their remake of the band Real Life’s hit song from the 1980’s, ‘Send Me An Angel’. A soft, sweet love ballad, however amped up with guitar shredding by band member guitarist, Rich Meyer and lead singer/guitarist Johnny Stevens.

As the band continues to play, they play songs from their albums, “The Boy Who Died Wolf” and “Mister Asylum”. Playing heavy hitters such as ‘F.W.Y.T.’, ‘Bath Salts’, and ‘My Name is Human’. We get to the song ‘Lydia’, which has had major play on radio stations the past year. Johnny Stevens begins by playing guitar, with a guitar wailing, elongated opening. He sings the song, stops after the chorus, lights a cigarette, puts on an M.C.I.D. hat, stands in the middle of the stage smoking the cigarette and the fans go wild. During the whole concert, anything Johnny Stevens did made the fans euphorically beatific. At one point, he stood in the middle of the stage and just stuck out his tongue, in a libidinous manner and the crowd went wild (primarily the females).

The antics of the band attract the crowd and the music entrances. Attending a Highly Suspect concert is more than your average concert experience. From band/crowd interactions to feeling like you are part of a their M.C.I.D. family, to listening to such great rock musical and lyrical excellence, a person will feel as though they are on a musical escapade by seeing Highly Suspect live.