Sundara Karma Live: A Cathartic Experience

It is fairly impossible for me to put into words just exactly what I experienced last night, but I’m going to try. Over the past few months, one band has come to mean more to me than I can say. That band is Sundara Karma. There has never been another band that I connected to on such an emotional level. When I can’t find the words, Sundara Karma find them for me. And last night, I finally got to see them perform.

The British rockers played to a packed room at Songbyrd Café in Washington, DC. The stage was lit by a backdrop of string lights, giving the appearance of a starry night. When Sundara Karma took the stage, I was overcome with a sense of elation. I was finally hearing the songs I love so dearly being performed live. Oscar’s unique voice rang throughout the room as he belted out the lyrics to the opening song, “A Young Understanding.” It was hard to see little other than the members’ silhouettes moving in the darkness, but I didn’t care. To be quite honest, I kept my eyes closed for the majority of the set, just letting the music wash over me and getting lost in the sensation of it. The crowd cheered loudly when Oscar led the band into “Flame,” fans singing along to the familiar tune. The highlight of the set for me was the performance of “Happy Family,” my favorite song. Tears came to my eyes as Oscar delivered the poignant lyrics with incredible emotion. The band closed their set with “Loveblood,” a tale of starcrossed lovers. 

As the band played their final note, I knew that this had been the best show I had ever witnessed. For me, it was nothing short of cathartic. Even though their set only consisted of eight songs, it left me on cloud nine, all of the stresses of the day gone. Oscar Lulu has the ability to pack more meaning into a three-minute song than other artists could ever dream of putting into an entire album, making Sundara Karma’s music my greatest comfort in life. Seeing them live only amplified that. If you ever have the chance to see them, just do it. You will not regret it.

Gig Review: Joe Dolman

Featured Image via Joe Dolman

From singing Ed Sheeran covers on YouTube to taking on his own material, Joe Dolman is doing what he loves to do and that is very evident from his music.

Joe is in his final year at uni and is currently balancing his time between this UK tour which ends tonight in Sheffield and writing his dissertation at service stations.

I heard about Joe Dolman through Mandy who was sadly unable to make it to Joe’s London date. Luckily for me, however, his penultimate gig was in Leeds….shot gun there!

The gig which was due to take place at the Milo wine bar changed venue at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances to the Fox and Newt. Fortunately as I was running early anyway I managed to hop on over to the other side of town with plenty of time to spare.

Lauren Rycroft was the first act of the evening and her gorgeously angelic vocals mixed beautifully with melancholy poetic lyrics.

Tiger Twins brought a rock element to the evening with an enthusiastic and hilarious set. Indeed their tale about being told that they were playing a gig at Milo that night was one of the comedic highlights of the evening.

Joe Dolman’s acoustic set included favourites such as “Learning To Fly” and “Addicted To You” as well as new song “Nervous” and I loved his ‘crisp’ vocals, gentle instrumental hooks and beautiful lyrics.

The low-point of the evening was actually the highlight as Joe experienced some technical problems with the speakers and the sound guys were called on to fix things. Cue the impromptu mashup-covers of Smash Mouth and Busted as well as story time from Tiger Twins.

Show Review: Bad Suns at the Underground

This past Sunday, Bad Suns returned to Charlotte, NC to grace the stage of one of Charlotte’s newest venues, the Underground. After waiting several hours in the cold, everyone was extremely relieved to be let into the venue. As the show was sold out, the venue was packed wall to wall with fans young and old.

From Indian Lakes opened the show, getting the crowd warmed up for the main event. Their set was followed by what can only be described as trance-like music, making Bad Suns’ entrance that much more explosive.

It’s been a pleasure to see Bad Suns continue to top themselves, constantly improving their live show. This one was easily the best performance I’ve seen from them. They opened with the title track from their latest album, “Disappear Here,” and Christo’s vocals were barely audible over the screams of the crowd. 

Bad Suns certainly know how to entertain a crowd, whether playing older fan favorites such as “Cardiac Arrest” and “We Move Like The Ocean” or newer tracks like “Daft Pretty Boys” and “Patience.” Every song was met with enthusiasm. Christo came into the crowd during “Sleep Paralysis,” leaving me clinging to the barricade as screaming girls tried to make their way to him. He stood on the barricade right beside me during “Rearview,” stepping on my elbow a few times and leaving me with some pretty brusies (not that I’m complaining). 

They closed the night with what is arguably their best live song, and one of my personal favorites, “Salt.” Christo reached out to the crowd one final time before making his retreat. Miles threw his drumsticks out and I was lucky enough to catch one of them. They left a crowd full of satisfied fans, just like they always do.

As I stood in the merch queue, I began to really think about their shows. From the beginning, these boys have been something special to me. For me, their shows have never been about their looks or trying to touch Christo or any of the superficial things that draw some people to their shows. It’s always been about the music. I’ll be quite honest and say that I keep my eyes closed during the majority of their shows. I just want to shut the world out and get lost in the music, and their shows are one of the few things that give me that escape. I leave their shows totally stress-free, something I can rarely ever say. For that, I will always be grateful to them. If you’ve never seen Bad Suns live before, it’s something you just have to experience for yourself. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next time I am lucky enough to see Bad Suns again. 

Check out some of my favorite photos l took of their set Sunday night below.

Gig Review: Zach Lount

Featured Image via Twitter

On the 7th and 8th of March Zach Lount, front man of King No One, performed an acoustic solo piano (and guitar) set and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t bring tears to my eyes.

This was the first time that Zach had done this type of solo gig (although as I went on the second night, it was technically the second) and his nervous banter was evidence of this, yet the seasoned showman needn’t have worried as the room was full of die-hard King No One fans who were lapping up his every word.

The set included a beautifully stripped back, acoustic versions of some of King No One’s best-loved tracks including “Say My Name,” “Millennium” and the latest single “Antichrist.”

When it was released, “Antichrist” actually overtook Ed Sheeran’s entire new album on Spotify’s top 50 viral charts!

The acoustic tracks performed on either piano or guitar as they were originally conceived highlighted the rich musicality and profound lyrics. It was a huge privilege to hear my favourite KNO songs in this form…now there’s one to tell the grandkids!

Another highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the as of yet unreleased single “Supernova.”

Indie rockers King No One are one of the biggest ticket-selling emerging artists in the UK right now, having sold out many of their gigs on their two UK tours in 2016.  KNO take to the road once again at the end of March.

The Hunna Prove They’ve “Still Got Blood” In DC

The Hunna, an up-and-coming band from the UK, recently embarked on their very first North American tour. One of the first stops was Washington, DC at DC9 on June 14th. Not knowing what to expect from this young band, the anticipation was high in the crowd. Would The Hunna live up to the hype around them?

Starting with the fan favorite single “You and Me” and ending with a new track to be released on their debut album, The Hunna wowed the crowd from start to finish. It is truly amazing to see a band perform with such raw energy to such a small room. I imagine they would perform with that energy whether they were playing to a room of twenty or to a sold-out arena.

Even after the show ended, The Hunna were gracious enough to meet all of their fans. If there is one thing that will help this band go far (and trust me, they WILL go far), it is the fact that there are amazing people behind the outstanding music. They were just as nice as anyone could hope for them to be. They left fans with the promise to return later in the year.

Check out the rest of their North American tour dates and make sure to catch them if they’re coming near you! Get tickets here.

The Hunna Tour

Image via The Hunna

You can pre-order their debut album 100, to be released August 26th, here.

The Hunna 100

Image via The Hunna

Lewis Del Mar Gets “Loud(y)” In Dallas

Lewis Del Mar, fronted by Danny Miller and Max Harwood, opened a sold-out show for Børns at Granada Theater in Dallas, TX on June 6th. The duo was joined on stage by their friends, who all sound absolutely amazing together. They opened the show with “Memories,” which immediately captured the attention of the audience. As their set went on they continued to amaze everyone with their raw yet energetic music. It seemed like this show was the first time many people in the audience had heard of them, but they definitely left a lasting impression on them. At one point the girl behind me excitedly asked, “Do you know who this is?” to which I proudly replied, “Lewis Del Mar, they’re amazing!”

I had been waiting to see these guys for a while, so to see them play to a sold-out crowd in Dallas was great. Seeing them on stage was unlike anything else, as you could tell how passionate they truly were about performing. I don’t think Max stopped smiling for even a brief second while drumming! As captivating as their set was, the second they started playing “Loud(y),” their most well-known song, I knew the show was about to be over. I immediately wished I was going to get to see them again soon as I had fallen in love with their music even more.

Overall, their set ranks as one of the best that I have seen. It had everything you could ever want in a show and more. I highly recommend everyone go and see them when they play near you.

Tour Dates:

    JUN 16       ALBANY, NY       
    JUL 13        INDIANAPOLIS, IN   
    JUL 15        MADISON, WI       
    JUL 16        DAVENPORT, IA   
    JUL 17        KANSAS CITY, KS   
    JUL 18        OKLAHOMA CITY, OK       
    JUL 21        OMAHA, NE       
    JUL 22        LOUIS, MO       
    JUL 23        DETROIT, MI       
    JUL 26        MILWAUKEE, WI   
    JUL 27        MINNEAPOLIS, MN   
    JUL 28        CHICAGO, IL       
    JUL 29        CHICAGO, IL   
  AUG 02      ASPEN, CO       
  AUG 03      LAKE CITY, UT                                                                                                                              AUG 05      SANTA MONICA, CA   
  AUG 06      SAN FRANCISCO, CA                                                                                                            AUG 12       SOMERSET, WI   
  AUG 27    LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM          SEP 02    SEATTLE, WA       
  SEP 04    DENVER, CO       
  SEP 10    ELIZABETHTOWN, NY       
  SEP 18    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA       
  SEP 23    LAS VEGAS, NV   
  OCT 01    AUSTIN, TX   

Atlas Genius’ Show Was “A Perfect End” To A Tuesday Night

Last Tuesday, April 26th, Australian indie-rock band Atlas Genius captivated Dallas fans with a show we all wished would never end. The band opened the show with their latest single, “Stockholm,” and from the very beginning radiated with energy. On this particular night, there was bad weather with the possibility of tornadoes, but it didn’t seem to phase the band or even the fans as the crowded venue was focused on having a good time.

Atlas Genius previously mentioned they were trying out a few songs they hadn’t played live before, and it was definitely a good decision. “Where I Belong,” one of these new songs, mesmerized the audience, and it may have been one of the best songs of the night. Keith swapped his guitar for a tambourine and took the audience to another level. This song also showed how important the band’s lighting was. Atlas Genius’ live set has been known for the amazing light show that compliments their wonderful songs, and they once again wowed the audience with it. The transition from “The Stone Mill” into “Molecules,” one that fans go crazy for, was accompanied by a series of flashing lights that would amaze anyone. Little things like this just added to the overall charisma and charm of their set.

Later on in the night Atlas Genius did 3 covers, 2 of which were unexpected. They covered “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” “Hotline Bling,” and “The Hills,” which they have a recorded version of. The crowd seemed to get a bit nostalgic when they began the Tears For Fears cover and everyone sang along loudly. Next was their cover of Hotline Bling. When I heard that they were going to cover Hotline Bling, I was initially very nervous because it is a song I strongly dislike, but they killed it. Something about the way they made it their own made it more enjoyable. After their “last song” the guys returned to the stage for an encore which included “The Hills,” and they definitely made that song their own. This was a special song to me as I have loved their cover since they released a recorded version of it in November. If a cover could be perfect then it would be this one. It was very popular with the audience, especially since it was a song almost everyone knew. All three of these covers showcased not only the band’s versatility but also their talent since these weren’t songs one would think Atlas Genius would cover.

During the night Keith made sure to make his way around the stage and to interact with fans, as did Blake (Straus) and Alex (Marans).  Keith’s alluring vocals mixed with his strong interaction with the crowd made for the perfect show. This was one of the best shows I have been to as it bypassed my expectations greatly. Not only are the guys in Atlas Genius extremely talented, but they are also very genuine, which seems to be a rare thing nowadays. I highly recommend seeing these guys live if you get the chance. You may even find your new favorite band.