CFE Arena – Orlando, FL • 7.6.16
by Christopher Long
It was a bona-fide mob scene. By 5:30pm, the line for tonight’s show already was wrapped around Orlando’s 10,000-seat CFE Arena – hundreds (and hundreds) of beautiful-looking, primarily teenage enthusiasts, all dressed to impressed. And while most of these early birds had likely plunked-down their hard-earned “Washingtons” to see the evening’s dubious, computer-generated pop headliner, many others braved the near-100 degree swelter in hopes of securing a prime General Admission perch from which to take in the more established, rock opener.
“Ladies and gentlemen – we are Bad Suns,” frontman/guitarist Christo Bowman announced humbly as his LA-based combo took the stage at 8pm – amid a thunderous roar from the estimated 4,500 fans.
Taking somewhat of a proactive approach to promotion, Bad Suns embarked on the current national summer concert tour, a full two months prior to the release of their long-awaited sophomore record, Disappear Here. And immediately upon breaking into their opening tune, the title track from their latest offering, the band had young girls dancing in the aisles, and singing throughout the venue – an honest and pure display of approval that would hardly subside at any time during the 35-minute performance.
In stark contrast to the headliner’s retina-searing, hi-tech production, Bad Suns played it straight. Bathed in simple blue light, the band offered little banter – relying merely on their arsenal of well-crafted and crunchy, hook-laden songs as the sole means of wowing the masses. In fact, Bowman even ended each tune with a cordial bow.
Although the Bad Suns’ guitar-driven, high-energy set reflected primarily tried and true fan favorites from their 2014 debut album, Language & Perspective – selections that included “We Move Like the Ocean,” “Transpose,” “Pretend” and the duper-popular, “Cardiac Arrest,” the faithful flock was apprised of the band’s soon-to-be-released record. “We thought we’d do some new music tonight,” Bowman announced, as he led his crew into one of their latest – the well-received, “Heartbreaker.”
A clear reference to the recent rash of global terrorist shootings, bombings and murders, Bowman encouraged all to, “Stick together and take care of each other,” as he relinquished his guitar and then immediately engaged fans in a one-on-one exchange from behind the security barricade during a rousing version of “Rearview.”
In sum, Bad Suns truly delivered the goods. They looked great, sounded great and performed masterfully. And their new songs were, in a word – superb. As for the show-closing tune, “Salt” – a well-played choice, indeed. And the crowd goes wild!