Bad Suns shine on the UI Homecoming stage

As the main act for the annual homecoming concert put on by Scope Productions, Bad Suns, alongside their opening act The Greeting Committee, lit up the Pentacrest.


Nichole Harris

Ray Libby, guitarist for Bad Suns, performs during the Scope Productions sponsored concert on the pentacrest. The free concert was hosted by Scope Productions and was headlined by the band Bad Suns on October 18, 2019.

Kyler Johnson, Arts Reporter

As the golden sun and its all-encompassing light set on Iowa City on Oct. 18, the annual homecoming concert lit up the Pentacrest — featuring opening act The Greeting Committee and headlining band, Bad Suns. 

Bouncing far beyond the kindling energy of any normal opening act, The Greeting Committee slammed the crowd with a startling amount of stage presence. Conducting the audience into jumping, clapping, and bringing it down low, movement pulsed through every inch of the performance.

Shouting to ask how all the Hawkeyes were doing, lead singer Addie Sartino was met with an equal number of cheers. Sartino’s confidence and command worked in tandem with the audience’s energy, leading the band’s conclusion to be her passed along by the spectators hands.

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Passing the torch to the headlining group, Bad Suns opened with their song, “Away We Go.” The alternative rock band from Los Angeles carried a cool, charming energy that grooved itself into the audience’s already warm presence.

“We move like the ocean, don’t we Iowa?” lead singer, Christo Bowman, asked the crowd.

Nichole Harris
The Greeting Company’s lead singer Addison Sartino shares a personal moment with audience members as her band opens for Bad Suns. The free concert was hosted by Scope Productions and was headlined by the band Bad Suns on October 18, 2019.

Acting as not only a clever transition to their song of the same title, Bowman’s words helped make the crowd a bouncing, blue wave, painted by lights from the stage. The lights deep blue faded to a dreamy deep purple as the group dived into their next song entitled, fittingly, “Violet.”

Bowman played with the crowd throughout the evening, swinging himself around the front of the stage, leaning his body toward the audience in a teasing fashion. The crowd proceed to buzz with energy throughout the group’s playing of “Rearview.”

Looking to keep the concert moving, though, Bowman said how their next song “Swimming in the Moonlight” was meant to be played under the crisp, white beams of light that were falling from the then night sky. With smooth guitar riffs and Bowman swaying to the fluid lyrics, a revitalizing energy poured from the stage.

From revitalization, though, the group’s follow-up song “Transpose” brought back a shrouded sense of mystery to the vibe. Backdropped by a ghoulishly yellow light that trickled into a hazy orange, the visual side of the performance matched the shift in musical tone.

The crowd’s energy, however, stayed high following their next tune. Chanting “Let’s go Hawks,” it wasn’t the crowd being conducted for once, but Bowman who echoed their chant into the microphone, followed by a charmingly clueless comment with Bowman saying he had no idea what a “Hawk” was — other than likely being something to do with sports.

Nichole Harris
The audiences obliges after The Greeting Company’s lead singer Addison Sartino asks everyone to wave their hands in the air during the opening act of the Bad Suns concert. The free concert was hosted by Scope Productions and was headlined by the band Bad Suns on October 18, 2019.

The playful energy of the moment took a serious shift to the song “This Was a Home Once,” singing about coming back to a former home only to see all that is different after having changed personally. The lights danced across the crowd, giving a sense of urgency and anxiousness that can come with unexpected change.

The group, however, brought the concert to a cozy conclusion, singing their arguably most popular song, “Cardiac Arrest.” The slow, bouncing groove followed by the fading out of the lights, Iowa City’s second sunset fell upon the stage, leaving only the curious question of whether the group will ever rise in Hawkeye territory again.