Tuesday night. Mid Term election night in America. After a rocky two years, hearing the news that the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate and the Democrats will now control the House, I felt like I could breathe a sigh of relief. This mid-term really had brought things down to the wire, and it felt like it was time to celebrate a little. If not, relax a bit. Which brought me to Sure Sure and Wilderado at Chop Suey.
I’ve heard Sure Sure prior to this show and was very interested how they would play live. Their show description said they had an “infectious live show” which has “quickly solidified them as one of the most exciting up and coming bands out of LA”. Based on their albums they did sound like a fun experimental pop band, but I wasn’t entirely sure how it would translate to a live experience. On the other hand, I had no idea who Wilderado was going into this show. Rather than research, I wanted to be surprised.
When I got to the show, the first thing that jumped out was majority of the crowd seemed to skew to the 23 and younger range and were very enthusiastic. More than a few were sporting Sure Sure t-shirts.
Wilderado took the stage around 9pm. I’ve been to a few shows at Chop Suey, and Wilderado is the only band I’ve seen not enter through the stage door, but rather weave through the crowd and climb onto the stage from the front.
I had never heard Wilderado prior to this show, and if I were to describe their set in one word, it would be “impressive”. Granted it, it felt like they weren’t as seasoned as some other bands, but the way they played at this show it felt like these guys could be something to keep an eye out for in the future. In terms of genre, I couldn’t nail it down. One minute they were playing a rock song, then a country song, which would be followed by a hard rock song. I asked the lead guitarist after their set if he could define their genre, and he just said “We play what feels good, so I can’t nail down our genre either.” Can’t dispute that answer, their sound felt good. Also, props to them for agreeing that Seattle is the most respectful crowd they’ve played in front of (haha). As they wrapped their set, they exited the way they came in, by jumping off the stage single file, right into the crowd.
Sure Sure had one of the most unique sets I’ve seen at Chop Suey. The young crowd was very into the music which really set the tone for the rest of the show. There was a lot of dancing and jumping to music I didn’t think would garner such an involved reaction. I expected there to be audience participation with songs like “Hands Up Head Down”, but hearing songs like “Freinds”, “New Biome”, and “This Must Be the Place”, I expected more of a head bobbing reaction, but the crowd was pretty active. The crowd would only get more active when the band introduced an award for “The Best Crowd Member”, which would be presented at the end of the show. Once the prospect of being awarded “The Best Crowd Member” became a possibility, all the audience members who had already been pretty actively engaging the band, just grew way more energetic. Smart move on the band’s part. This kept the audience involvement going throughout the show.
The band themselves looked very intent in their performance. I’ve never seen a bass player so involved in crowd participation. The lead guitarist at times was rocking harder than the song seemed to warrant. While the rest of the band would be kind of grooving he would be jumping around, jamming as if the song was a harder rock song than what was being performed. This isn’t a negative as it’s always great seeing a musician enjoying his art form.
Overall, I enjoyed seeing both Sure Sure and Wilderado. I feel like Sure Sure surpassed my expectation of how they would perform live. With the recordings I’ve heard, I wasn’t expecting the audience to be as active as they were and I didn’t expect the band to kind of egg them on. Wilderado on the other hand, since it was my first time seeing/hearing them, I was thoroughly impressed. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again if they came through town.
Both bands did great and I would classify Sure Sure as a band who’s live show experience is different from how they sound in recordings. I would agree with their show description. Sure Sure definitely has an “Infectious Live Show”.