If anyone told me that the slightly chubby kid with a bowl cut who I saw walking around my elementary school campus would become a rockstar, I probably would not have believed them. Bad Suns, fronted by lead singer Christo Bowman (aforementioned chubby bowl cut kid), showed that they are a force to be reckoned with after playing their second sold out show at the Fonda Theatre, closing out their “Outskirts of Paradise” summer tour.
Opening with “Disappear Here,” the title track off Bad Suns’ newest release, the crowd went absolutely wild, jumping and screaming along, and giving all of their energy to the band. The band, comprised of Bowman, Ray Libby on lead guitar, Gavin Bennett on bass, and Miles Morris on drums, fed off that energy and gave an absolutely stellar performance, keeping the audience dancing and singing through their set. Whether Bowman stood on top of the crowd while singing, or the band got everyone to jump simultaneously, the audience was always captivated.
This show was especially meaningful to the band for a few reasons. After 5 years together as a band, to be able to play a sold out show in their hometown is always remarkable. Through asking how many people in the audience were from LA, the Valley (woo!), and out of town, it became evident that many had traveled from long and far just to see the band and support them. In addition, once the clock struck midnight about two-thirds of the way into their set, their debut album, Language & Perspective, turned three. The band momentarily paused their set to wish a happy birthday to the album that helped take them off the ground, and noted that they never could have imagined how well the album did when they first released it.
During their most popular song, Cardiac Arrest, the crowd was the loudest they had been all night. However, other lesser known songs brought my favorite moments of the night. During “Off She Goes,” Bowman asked that everyone pull out their phone and turn their flash on, and the audience complied and made the room look absolutely stunning. Seeing the lights flashing from the floor all the way up to the balcony was gorgeous, and made the Fonda feel like a kind of home, where everyone was sharing a common thread with each other even though they had never met.
After suffering a concussion the day before the last Bad Suns show I was going to attend, I am more than happy that I finally got to see the band live, and they certainly lived up to my expectations. Their talent and passion for their craft was evident in their performance, and was truly wonderful to see. And one more thing — make sure to always be nice to the chubby kid with a bowl cut, because one day they could grow up to be a superstar.
Setlist: Disappear Here / Love Like Revenge / Take My Love and Run / Patience / Even in My Dreams, I Can’t Win / Dancing On Quicksand / Sleep Paralysis / Transpose / Daft Pretty Boys / Swimming in the Moonlight / We Move Like The Ocean / Violet / 20 Years / Off She Goes / Maybe We’re Meant to Be Alone / Outskirts of Paradise / Cardiac Arrest / Rearview (Encore) / Heartbreaker (Encore) / Salt (Encore)