Rainbow Kitten Surprise / Mt. Joy @ Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Nick Paruch
Rainbow Kitten Surprise Grows Up

In just five short years and three albums, Rainbow Kitten Surprise has reached a, dare I say, “Fever Pitch” with fans. They went from playing small clubs in 2016 to music festivals in 2017 including an afternoon show at the ACL Music Fest. Last May, they sold out the 1000-seat Granada Theater and this month Rainbow sold out the 4000-seat Bomb Factory. And as soon as Sam Melo, Darrick “Bozzy” Keller, Ethan Goodpaster, Charlie Holt, and Jess Haney entered the stage, it became very apparent that a bigger venue is exactly what they needed to fully embody the Rainbow Kitten Surprise Experience.

The night began simple enough with “Matchbox” and “It’s Called: Freefall” from their latest album. The crowd quickly responded as did the band as they launched into “Hide”.  Sam exudes an infectious energy as the lyrics and dancing flow from his body connecting with the fans on a spiritual level. Charlie’s rhythmic vibe takes that energy to another level through interactions with his bandmates and the audience. Bozzy while not as natural as Sam certainly was not afraid to show off this moves. Jess is content at pounding his kit and smiling the whole night. And Ethan though not a dancer certainly can make his guitar sing.

As you are watching the Rainbow experience unfold you realize that while the stage antics and laser lights are thoroughly entertaining, the musical performance radiating from the stage is incredible. The band is so tight but without feeling over rehearsed and they definitely sound better live than recorded. This was very evident during the middle of the set “Seven”, “Devil Like Me” and “Cocaine Jesus” sounded incredible and had everyone singing along and dancing in place.

Their twenty-song set list covered all three releases, giving everyone at the show a chance to sing along to their favorites. Rainbow announced the final song of the night, "That's My Shit," a semi-rap duet between Sam and Bozzy left the crowd ready for more. After a short break the band returned and kicked off “Fever Pitch”, a song that many had waited a night to hear. Then Sam called out the fans by saying, "Everything's bigger in Texas? Bullshit, do you mind? If you really don't mind, then turn the fuck up please”. The crowd responded by singing even louder for “Recktify” and “Run”.  And with that Rainbow Kitten Surprise left the stage leaving everyone in awe in what had just happened and disappointment in the fact that it was over.

My times the warmup band is just a spot filler while the crowd filters in for the main event. But for this tour Rainbow selected Mt. Joy to join them and it was an excellent choice. Yes, they have a similar fan base due to their indie folk alternative styles but Mt. Joy has much more to offer. This group which consists of Matt Quinn, Sam Cooper, Sotiris Eliopoulos, Jackie Miclau, and Michael Byrnes. They have quickly created a dedicated following after the release of their first studio album in March of 2018. This album included “Astrovan”, a single originally released in 2016 and their two most popular songs, “Silver Lining” and Jenny Jenkins”.

Mt. Joy’s performance was very well executed but there was a demure sense about them. Most likely due to inexperience.  They certainly do not possess the stage presence of Rainbow Kitten Surprise but they sounded great and the fans responded whole heartedly. I look forward to watching this band evolve and become a headline performer.

Photos of the show are below:

Mt. Joy
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Contributed by Nick Paruch
Rainbow Kitten Surprise / Mt. Joy @ Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX Rainbow Kitten Surprise / Mt. Joy @ Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on March 02, 2019 Rating: 5
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