Review: Bad Suns play a remarkable live show

Bad Suns played a concert at the Imperial on October 23, with opening act COIN leaving a good impression on fans and newbies alike.

COIN played to a somewhat empty floor as people got drinks and starting filling in to join the crowd. Their set was highly energetic and the lead singer was interacting enthusiastically with the audience — the performer-spectator relationship going as far as little quirks and conversations between songs, giving a very genuine feeling about the band. Their music was typical of an indie rock band with upbeat tempos and melodic choruses, as well as a prominent bass-line that was very welcomed. COIN’s performance certainly warmed up the audience before the headliners took their spot.

The California-based band opened with the titular song of their new album, Disappear Here. The atmosphere they created with their sound was electric and the audience was eating it up. They mixed in some fan favourites from the first album, but ultimately tried to stick to promoting their sophomore album. The music generally stuck to what you would expect from indie rock, with some slower tempo songs thrown in the mix — but the live execution of the music is what separates Bad Suns from a generic, new age rock band.    

The most notable thing about the show by far was the band’s ability to play live. They’re not a band that rely on the studio to fix up their sound — I would argue that they sounded better live than on the album. Christo Bowman’s voice was strong and his falsetto was noteworthy. Punchy guitar riffs flowed through several songs and added to the energy of the crowd. The performance was the farthest thing from pretentious as is expected with some bands.

However, the “two-way conversation” that was promised fell short. While the members of the band were connecting well with the crowd during their performance, there was minimal communication between songs and most of Christo’s closing remarks were completely drowned out by the ongoing instrumental close of their final song. A battery pack mishap left time for one of the band members to step up and fill the silence, but the break was ultimately awkward and clumsy.

The light show was also slightly distracting. COIN pumped up the audience and Bad Suns performed incredibly well live — but the lack of connection between the band and the crowd took away from an otherwise good show.