From tiny shows in Tucson clubs to The Van Buren last week, Bad Suns’ career trajectory is shooting them straight to the top. The California quartet drew an impressive weekday crowd for the Phoenix stop of their Mystic Truth Tour, joined by Liily and Ultra Q.
Ultra Q (formerly known as Mt. Eddy), have rebranded and are ready to rock. The band already had quite a following, proven by the uncontrollable screaming from the first few rows of the audience. With the release of their first EP barely behind them, Ultra Q played all of those tracks, adding in a few from their Mt. Eddy days (to the absolute delight of longtime fans). Singer Jakob Danger crooned through much of the lead vocals, turning things over to guitarist Enzo Malaspina for one of the band’s punk-inspired tracks. Ultra Q brought their indie vibe to the start of the show, tinging their set with hints of heavier rock and punk and making them a fantastic fit on a stellar bill.
Liily was direct support for the night, starting a set that seemed to vibe with Ultra Q before abruptly veering off into a wild, unpredictable time. Singer Dylan Nash howled and flailed, staring down his audience as the band thrashed away behind him. The group played songs from their debut EP, turning a surprised crowd into a whole new group of fans by the end of their set. Drummer Maxx Morando played with his entire body, crashing the cymbals so hard that one went flying across the stage midset (as Morando grinned sheepishly while his bandmates chased it down). Liily was the dark horse of the night, fully captivating The Van Buren as they closed things out with hit single, “Toro”.
Blinding light beams hailed the arrival of Bad Suns’ rousing opening performance of “Away We Go”. The first song already had the crowd nearly drowning out the band, who in turn filled their setlist with upbeat tracks from their entire catalog. This tour was in celebration of their newest album Mystic Truth, with songs like “Howling at the Sun” and “Hold Your Fire” getting huge responses from the fans.
It was the throwback tracks, however, that shook the floor. “Rearview” really got the dance party going, along with “Transpose” and a teaser acoustic intro to “Dancing on Quicksand”. Singer Christo Bowman was the quintessential frontman, never fazed by the band’s manic lights as he hit every falsetto and encouraged the audience to sing ever louder. Bad Suns closed their main set with “Salt” and “Starjumper” before quickly returning to end the night with “Cardiac Arrest” and “One Magic Moment”. Fittingly, this last song encapsulates the feeling of each Bad Suns show- a magical time that fans wish lasted longer than that moment.
Check out more photos from the show below!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel