By OLIVIA BURGER
A milestone for any band is the transition from playing as an opening act to headlining its own tour.
For the past two years Los Angeles-based indie rock band Bad Suns have been making this transition, one small North American tour at a time.
Opening for bands like Halsey, The Neighbourhood and The 1975 in the past, Bad Suns have gained recognition among edgy preteens and alternative indie junkies, quickly gaining their own dedicated fan base.
The band is composed of front man Christo Bowman, bassist Gavin Bennett, drummer Miles Morris and guitarist Ray Libby.
As part of their Heartbreaker tour, the boys of Bad Suns made a stop at the Club at Stage AE in Pittsburgh Thursday night, promoting their recently released sophomore album “Disappear Here.”
Although only at the small club setting at Stage AE, the show was a sold-out event and the venue was packed.
Opening for the evening was From Indian Lakes, an indie rock band from, well, Indian Lakes, Calif.
Led by Joey Vannucchi, the band did a decent job prepping the venue for the Bad Suns with its short set list featuring its alternative dream pop sound.
From Indian Lakes can be described as a vibe band, with its sound being acceptably pleasant but hardly memorable and with no clear distinction of what lyrics were being sung.
Nonetheless, the new band provided moody background music that set the stage for the main act while late attendees trickled in.
Bad Suns took the stage around 9:30 p.m. and opened with their first single from their sophomore album of the same name, “Disappear Here.”
The set list then transitioned to two other songs from the new album, “Patience” and “Even in My Dreams, I Can’t Win.”
The remainder of the concert cleverly mixed songs from the band’s first album “Language and Perspective” with songs from “Disappear Here.”
Although the albums were written years apart, many of the songs carry a similar upbeat dance vibe masking emotional lyrics, and easily pair together.
The band kept its dress and set design for this tour fairly simple.
Band members were dressed head to toe in their own merchandise, with lead singer Bowman sporting a black bomber jacket with “heartbreaker” written on the back.
The set consisted of a simple blue sheet draped across the back of the stage, reminiscent of the blue sheets featured on the cover art for “Disappear Here.”
Above center stage featured a bedazzled cutout of the band’s logo, which created a fun disco atmosphere when colors from the lighting show bounced off onto the crowd.
Bowman was as charming as every band front man should be, keeping the crowd entertained and engaged with his expressive face and hoppy dance moves reminiscent of a young Bruce Springsteen.
The band played and sounded similar to all of its recordings, with Bowman’s vocals on point and the instrumentals sounding more electric live.
The band ended the regular show with its most popular song which peaked on U.S. alternative charts in 2013, “Cardiac Arrest.”
For the encore the band saved its best bops, “Rearview,” “Heartbreaker” and “Salt.”
There were very few standout memorable moments of the concert; rather, all of the songs blended together as one energetic haze of feel-good music.
With a tour featuring multiple sold-out venues and the band’s success with its sophomore album, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Bad Suns playing the main stage at Stage AE next time they make a stop in the Burgh.
All photos taken by Olivia Burger – Knight