“This is the last time you’re going to see this lineup in a club this size.”
While Badflower singer Josh Katz was mostly being tongue-in-cheek, there’s no doubt that this statement will come to pass. Badflower, Weathers and Dead Poet Society blew the doors off Mesa’s Club Red on Tuesday for a night filled with hip shaking and head banging.
Heavy rocking Dead Poet Society opened the show with a slow burning set that culminated in singer Jack Underkofler launching himself into the audience. The Massachusetts quartet played perfectly off each other, riffing through older songs and new tracks like “.swvrm.” The band got a huge response from the early crowd, many of whom crowded the barricade to catch Underkofler and shout the words to most of the set. DPS closed with a bang, illuminating the stage-filling lightscreen behind them with their band name before bowing out for the following acts.
Like Badflower, Weathers is a band on the cusp of monumental success. The members are barely into their early 20’s, but their music and lyrics are having a profound impact on a growing fanbase. The odd band out on the rock-heavy lineup, Weathers took the stage intent on making their audience party like it’s “1983”. Singer Cameron Boyer was all swagger, strutting and gyrating like a young Elvis. It’s also impossible to deny that the band is devastatingly attractive, and the crowd cheered as much for that as for their stellar tunes.
Much of Weathers’ music focuses on their personal struggles with mental health, with songs like “Problems” and “Happy Pills” resonating with millennial fans. Jaws dropped midset for an unexpected (and entirely killer) partial cover of My Chemical Romance’s wall-scaling anthem, “Famous Last Words”, leading into new single “Lonely Vampire”. Weathers closed with radio hit “I’m Not Ok”, squeezing every drop of energy from the fans and leaving them fully hyped for Badflower.
Blinding lights filled Club Red’s space as the light board flashed with a longing text exchange that had the audience alert and laughing. Katz, guitarist Joey Morrow, bassist Alex Espiritu and drummer Anthony Sonetti kicked off their hour-plus set with “Wide Eyes” and “x ANA x” as the pit churned with excited fans. It’s been years since they’ve done a proper headlining run and the anticipation was overwhelmed by the crowd’s genuine enthusiasm. With the release of debut album OK, I’m Sick, listeners were madly excited to hear the new tracks live.
The band got political on “Die”, their middle finger to the Trump administration, and introspective on “24”. Katz is open and unashamed about his struggles with his mental health and he dedicated the band’s set to everyone who help keep him alive and pursuing his dream. Badflower’s chosen cover mashup included “Champagne Supernova” and “Mother Mary” for a rambling midset interlude that still managed to showcase each member before a full cover of Billie Eilish’s “bury a friend”.
Katz ended the main set by encouraging the audience to chant loudly for an encore so the band could stand backstage and send videos to their moms- and the crowd was more than happy to oblige after “Girlfriend”. They quickly returned for “Heroin”, “Ghost” and “Promise Me”, ending a night that truly proves that the next time we see this lineup, it’ll undoubtedly be in stadiums.
Check out more photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel