Somekindawonderful, Bad Suns, and New Politics at The Rock
Somekindawonderful, Bad Suns, New Politics at The Rock in Tucson, AZ 10/29
by Samantha Battaglini
On Wednesdaym October 29th, I trekked down to Tucson, AZ (my hometown) with my lovely “amiga” Emily to see New Politics take the stage, along with Bad Suns and SomeKindaWonderful, at The Rock. Previously, I have only seen local compilations and “Battle of the Bands” type shows at The Rock, so I was excited to see a headlining tour there.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Bad Suns before they took stage. Bad Suns is composed of four talented musicians- Christo Bowman, singer/guitarist; Gavin Bennett, bassist; Ray Libby, guitarist; and Miles Morris Kottak, drummer. Bowman describes their excitement being on tour and, quite simply, the opportunity to play live music. Bad Suns are a Los Angeles based band that came together in 2012. “We all had a natural passion for music, and that brought us all together,” said Bowman. Bad Suns toured with The 1975 in spring of 2014 and just started on the Everywhere I Go Tour with headliner New Politics, and SomeKindaWonderful. When asked what their favorite song to play on tour was, Bowman stopped and looked at his band mates. After thinking, Bowman stated, “There’s not one I favor more than the others…they are all fun in different ways.” The band just released their first full length album, Language and Perspective, in summer 2014. The band pulled inspiration from popular bands such as The Strokes, The Cure, and Arctic Monkeys. Bennett recalled a memorable set they played at a festival in San Diego. He describes how it was the first time outside of their hometown that they noticed an overwhelming fan base. “There was a sea of people, and they were all going for it.” Bad Suns have been steadily rising in popularity since the release of their album. So, there you have it. Four guys, one band, and a genuine love for music.
All of that, before the show even started.
Now to the performance: SomeKindaWonderful took stage with a unique, eccentric style. Like their name would suggest, they are their own kind of wonderful. Their set felt like something from the 90’s—it was relevant but still somehow nostalgic with upbeat music and a distinct rap influence. Lead singer Jordy Towers claimed his favorite artist of all time was Tupac, which was proceeded by the band performing their own indie break-down of Tupac’s “California Love,” easily the catchiest tune of the evening. Watch out for this whirlwind band; music aside, they know how to put on a good show.
The atmosphere glared over a bit as Bad Suns took stage. Playing over half of their debut album in their just over 30-minute set, Bad Suns spent very little time talking and a lot of time rocking out. The crowd was most responsive when they played their hit single “Cardiac Arrest,” but the biggest crowd pleaser was their ability to play almost every song they’ve released during the set. Everyone got to hear their favorite Bad Suns song.
And finally, the headliner.
I want to preface the “New Politics” portion of this article with telling you all that I went to this concert to see Bad Suns in particular, not New Politics. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent many car rides jamming out to “Harlem” on repeat, my voice over-powering that of my stereo system; however, I was most inclined to drive all the way down to Tucson to see Bad Suns. While all bands that performed proved my drive well-worth it, New Politics completely blew me away.
They opened with “Tonight You’re Perfect,” and damn, they were. New Politics is the perfect blend of pop and rock- the lead singer’s constant jumping contrasted with that of the guitarist head-banging around stage. The lead singer also frequently took musical interludes to break-dance and do back flips off of the drum platform. Twice the lights went out and the crowd came forth with a deafening roar, pleading for just “one more song!”. Lead singer David Boyd propelled his sweaty body into the audience during the second to last song “Yea, Yea, Yea.” After an intense breakdance show and a couple backflips, New Politics said their thank-you’s and their goodbyes and amped up the crowd one last time by closing with “Harlem” off their 2013 album, A Bad Girl in Harlem. The energy from the crowd matched the enthusiasm and genuine happiness of the entirety of New Politics throughout the show. Equally as talented as they are adorable: New Politics.
Coming to a city near you.