Review: Bad Suns, with Liily and Ultra Q, Saturday night at the Granada
with Liily and Ultra Q
Saturday, September 7
The demise of guitar-based music is a much-commented-about phenomenon these days, but Saturday night’s Bad Suns show at the Granada was a crash course in anthemic, teen-focused rock and roll. The line outside stretched nearly half a block, and by the time Bad Suns took the stage a little before 10 p.m., the venue was jam-packed. Hundreds of teens were X’d up and packed against the stage, ready to sing along as the Los Angeles-based band kicked off the fall leg of its Mystic Truth tour in Lawrence.
The music of Bad Suns is, at its base, pretty formulaic—jangly intro, big soaring build, rocking middle, jangly bridge, rise to powerful conclusion—but it’s well-executed, and the inclusion of occasional dancey bits in many of the band’s cuts kept things interesting. The light show, which saw Bad Suns bathed in an ever-changing swirl of blues and reds, made for a visually arresting set, even if the music was a bit predictable.
I’d given a listen to a few cuts from Los Angeles’ Liily ahead of the show, and wasn’t particularly hooked. That changed about one song into the band’s set. Go see this band live: They’re frenetic, snotty, energetic as hell.
Openers Ultra Q also hail from Los Angeles. Formerly known as Mt. Eddy, the group, fronted by Jakob Danger, was playing its first lengthy string of dates after debuting under the new name back in May. Danger seemed a little nervous in front of the crowd, which was already sizable by the time Ultra Q took the stage at 8. He mentioned something about being scared, but by the time the quartet worked through its first couple of songs, its Jam-influenced rock had hooked the crowd and won Ultra Q some new fans.
All photos by Nick Spacek