The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Bad Suns @ The Pentacrest 10/18/19

Homecoming brings Hawkeyes both young and old to Iowa City, all in a weeklong celebration of school spirit. Downtown is painted yellow and gold—more than usual—with UI-themed decorations around ever corner. In addition to the parade, coronation, and other festivities this year came the main concert of the weekend featuring The Greeting Committee as the opener and headliner Bad Suns. The performance was organized by SCOPE Productions, a student organization which brings live entertainment to campus and the Iowa City community.

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The opener, Kansas City band The Greeting Committee, exploded onto the stage with lead singer Addie Sartino pumping up the crowd right from the start of the performance. Their indie rock is playful, energetic, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes it incredibly fun to listen to. Even those who had never heard music from the group before began to dance along to the beat. Sartino was a powerhouse in vocals and stage presence, dancing and engaging with the audience through each song.

The Greeting Committee gained popularity over the past few years after the success of the song “Hands Down” from their 2015 EP It’s Not All That Bad. A jaunty combo of guitar and tambourine give this song a lively bass that only grows as more instruments are layered in. Only continuing to grow, the group is scheduled to tour with Hippo Campus—who performed in Iowa City this past spring—throughout the rest of the fall.

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After a brief intermission, the Bad Suns began their set with a thunderous drum intro from percussionist Miles Morris. Fresh off the release of their new album Mystic Truth this spring, the alternative rock group has climbed up the charts since their hit album Disappear Here in 2016. The band’s sound is as edgy as their look, full of heart and spunk.

Mystic Truth cover art.
Image via Spotify.

Bad Suns played a mixture of songs from their new album as well as their 2014 debut, Language & Perspective, catering to both longtime fans and those who were hearing them for the first time at the homecoming performance. They commanded the stage, frontman and guitarist Christo Bowman leading the charge.

Their lyrics verge on poetic, creating a sense of awe around even the most basic of situations. “Daft Pretty Boys,” one of the group’s most popular songs, gives a lovers’ squabble a literary twist: “She’s a sunrise dressed like dusk / Going out, she’s getting into something / He’s a moth drawn to a flame / He’s going in, he’s going all or nothing.” They play with metaphors and meaning, all wrapped up in a indie bow with a slight influence by 80’s new wave, which the group leans into in their music video for “This Was A Home Once.”

The free concert drew a large crowd of students, both The Greeting Committee and Bad Suns provided a warm dose of alternative rock to the cool October night and bringing the the second to last day of Homecoming week to a joyful close.

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