Bad Suns rocked the UI Homecoming Concert

Bad may be in the name, but there wasn’t anything bad about Bad Suns and The Greeting Committee on the Pentacrest stage Oct. 19. 

Scope productions once again brought a great amount of talent to Iowa City after last year’s Homecoming performance by internet sensation and thick girls empowerer Lizzo. 

Greeting Committee Vocalist Addie Sartino. Photo by Meria Ivy, VERVE Creative Director.

The Greeting Committee took no time to kick off their set, sending palpable shock waves of excitement rolling off the more than 150 student attendees. Vocalist Addie Sartino sprinted on to the stage in a powder blue blazer and matching pants. From then on, the crowd was captivated by their electrifying energy.  

Bassist Pierce Turcotte on the saxophone. Photo by Meria Ivy.

Sartino didn’t just make the crowd jump along; she made them get low, squatting as low as possible before blasting into a series of jumps. She went against the traditional cues that performers give their audience. Sartino kept the crowd on their toes always surprising the audience with her next move. 

The Kansas City-based band powered through their set. They had saxophone shredding by bassist Pierce Turcotte. He entranced the audience with a cacophony of sounds, manipulating his instrument to make concertgoers feel apart of his energy. While guitarist Brandon Yangmi, spun and danced barefoot across the stage.

Bad Suns started their set with “Away We Go,” and away they went toward an evening full of their pop-rock hits. The energy kept growing as the crowd jumped on their own volition. 

The four-piece group from Los Angeles features lead singer Christo Bowman, guitarist Ray Libby, bassist Gavin Bennett, and drummer Miles Morris. They came onstage in nonchalant fashion, clad in the rock essentials of denim and leather with a classy, retro twist to their look. They had the stripes and exposed chests of the 70s but with blazer and dress shoes.

Their next track was “We Move Like The Ocean.” It became clear that they were the real deal with a sound authentic to their studio recordings but an ardent vigor one can only attribute to great stage performance. 

Bad Suns lead singer Christo Bowman. Photo by Meria Ivy.

They continued to smoothly transition through their tracks, as Bowman entertained with charming choreography, embracing the edge of the stage, drawing massive cheers from the crowd.  

As they moved forward through the night, the crowd joined in as backing vocalists. Bowman taught them three words, creating a melodic harmony between performer and audience in their song “Hold your Fire.”  

Guitarist Ray Libby. Photo by Meria Ivy.

Then, the crowd taught the band two words, “Go Hawks!” The University of Iowa fans led a chant of “Go Hawks!” as the guitarist bobbed to the chant and Bowman cheered, and said, “Sports, I assume.” 

They then headed into one of the most emotionally charged songs of the evening. “This Was a Home Once” details the changes that happen as you leave your childhood and move to adulthood. 

The bittersweet nostalgia of “This Was a Home Once” didn’t linger long as Bowman said, “Iowa City, you feel like home tonight.”  

“Daft Pretty Boys” followed with its driving beat and some of the night’s highest notes in the backing vocals. This song makes it hard for a crowd not to jump and dance along. Before ending their set, Sartino got close and personal as she surfed through the crowd. 

The lights dimmed, and the notes faded after playing one of their most popular songs: “Cardiac Arrest.” As bright yellow stage lights shined on them and scattered through the crowd, Libby smirked and brought some suave footwork as Bowman belted the night’s last lyrics.  

After the lights were down and the guitars were put on their stands, the crowd wanted more. Chants of “One more song,” emerged from the crowd but to no avail. As the chants continued, finally people—and security—decided it was time to leave. 

Even without an encore song, Bad Suns finished a night of incredible talent that started with the massive amount of energy The Greeting Committee created. They made for an impressive kick-off to homecoming weekend.

Photo by Meria Ivy.

Leave a Comment