Susto, Kaleo, & The Lumineers - 3/2/2017

I had been looking forward to last night ever since I purchased the tickets back in December!  Kaleo and The Lumineers...two bands that are SO good I can't choose which one I like more! 

Susto, the first opener, was a surprise; they weren't listed on the ticket, so I had no idea they were going to be performing.  When they got on the stage, they made themselves known.  They had a great presence that demanded attention, in my opinion; however, the idiots across the aisle next to me didn't seem to care.  I'm going to go off on a tangent for a brief moment and then circle back to Susta's act. 

These pricks were loud.  Not just people-talking-in-a-movie-theater-hey-be-quiet-plz loud, but rather why-didn't-you-just-go-to-a-bar loud.  They were literally yelling throughout Susta's first three songs.  They probably continued to talk throughout additional songs, but I got sick of it and went and asked security what I should do.  Some people might think I'm a jerk for doing this, but that just means you're probably okay with talking throughout a musical performance.  I wanted to enjoy the show that I paid to see with my parents for my dad's birthday.  Let me elaborate a bit on my point. 

Being on the stage is not easy.  When you talk throughout a performance, you're not only pissing off fans who paid (why do people pay to be annoying and disrespectful?) but you're being incredibly rude to the band performing onstage.  The people who come early enough to see the openers - shocking - actually want to see the openers.  I know!  It's crazy!  From another perspective, as a musical artist, I understand firsthand what it feels like to be performing and no one is listening to you.  It sucks.  It's discouraging and it's...it's just freaking rude.  I can't stress enough how disrespectful it is and how much it just doesn't make sense to me.  You can talk.  You can comment to your friends.  I'm not demanding you sit in silence throughout the concert.  Just be respectful and maintain a reasonable volume. 

Because of those loud people, however, my mom, dad, and myself all got moved from the nosebleeds...to the orchestra.  So talk on, people.  Talk on. 

Back to Susto!  I immediately went online and 'liked' their Facebook page.  After hearing them, I wanted to keep track of them.  Susto has a spunk - a total "stick it to the man!" kind of attitude.  Just check out their lyrics to "Cosmic Cowboy." 

"I'm a southern man but I'm and atheist - a puddin-swamp kid with tattooed fists. 

I'm never in the middle and always on top, always screamin' fuck the cops! 

I'm a cosmic cowboy.  I'm a cosmic cowboy." 

Now of course I'm not saying "Hey that's cool - be an atheist and f&%* the cops!"  I'm objectively stating that these guys have a stick-it attitude and they make themselves heard.  For that, I respect them.  It takes guts to sing such anti messages like that.  The band almost had a country sound - much like the Lumineers - and the lead vocalist even embodied a bit of the Lumineers' lead singers vocal style in that it was full of rasp.  Compared to that, though, this guy's rasp and grit was untamed.  It almost sounded weathered - and not in a bad way...in a sexy way!  His voice was great, and you can tell they've been performing frequently and for consecutive nights.  Apparently, "Susto" is a Latin American term that roughly translates as "panic attack."  It fits them perfectly.  I'm excited to see where Susto goes, because they've got it. 

KALEO!  My goodness, Kaleo.  The very instant Kaleo took the stage, I knew it was going to be a hell of a show.  If you have never heard JJ's voice, stop reading this and go listen to a Kaleo song...and then come back...if you want. 

Every song has it's own personality, but they're all tied together by a common thread that is tight, precise, perfected element that Kaleo manages to bring so effortlessly.  I seriously don't understand this guy's voice.  I don't think I heard him miss a note in the entire set!  If the band ever fell out of time or made a mistake, I sure as hell didn't pick up on it.  Kaleo's set sounded like someone was playing a perfectly-produced album through a large sound system. Obviously, the front of house and other audio people did a great job too because it sounded so perfect.  The drums were a great volume, which is huge for me since a lot of times the toms hit pretty hard and can drive me nuts if they resonate for too long after each hit (that "tin can" sound).  When they performed "All The Pretty Girls," one of Kaleo's well-knowns, JJ sang the entire tune in a gorgeous, smooth, fluttery falsetto.  For the record, I'm pretty sure this guy has a higher range than me or Adam Levine.  JJ went from singing these pretty - beautiful - notes to straight up rock and roll vocals, yells, growls and all in Kaleo's - what I call - "dirty," guitar-driven songs.  The set consisted of mostly songs from their new A/B album, from this smooth, loving, high-pitched "All The Pretty Girls" to "Broken Bones" to "Way Down We Go," their first single that gave them the push they needed to be heard.  Man, I'm glad they were heard and I'm glad I was there last night to hear them.  Kaleo won my heart over, completely.  They deserve to be headlining. 

Last but not least, The Lumineers were the headliner of the night!  They performed several of their new songs from "Cleopatra" as well as from their first release, the self-titled "The Lumineers."  The production amped up - the light show was much more active, the volume was significantly louder than for the previous two acts, and people were on their feet, singing and moving to the songs they knew - and the ones they didn't!  The energy brought by The Lumineers was awesome, and their stage presence was fun.  Again, this was almost like popping in the CD and cranking up the volume in a massive room. 

Literally the only thing I didn't like about this performance was when it got political.  I challenge you to not get offended like pretty much everyone on the internet usually does to anything and everything nowadays. 

Let me put this out there.  I pay to go to a concert to support the artist.  I don't care what you believe in.  I don't care what color you are or where you come from.  I don't think there's any way humanly possible for me to care less than I already do about who you voted for in our last election.  If we voted for different candidates, cool beans.  Let's have a HEALTHY - keyword HEALTHY - debate and discuss the pros and cons like the grown ups we are.  Let's not be hateful and insane - because what I've seen with the keyboards online can only be defined as insane.  It does absolutely nothing for both parties involved when you spread hate, condemn, and trash talk.  So stop.  Anger and hate are toxic and will kill you in time.  All the negative emotions are poison for your body and spirit, and people need to stop and just be freaking nice and understanding.  You can believe whatever you want, but don't abhor another person because they don't have your brain and upbringing. 

Music, to me, is a gift.  It is a divine, beautiful, and spiritual experience that brings people from all different walks of life together.  Music transcends.  It goes above and beyond boundaries - religious, political, and even language.  At least, that's how I see it.  To me, music isn't an escape, but it's a way of life.  It detracts the negative and leaves me feeling restored.  It's therapeutic and healing.  It's almost like magic. 

Toward the end of The Lumineers set, Wesley, the lead singer, replaced some lyrics in one of their well-known songs from the first album with some new lyrics that were basically "I didn't vote for --."  Instantly, my vibe was killed.  It's quite simple really...I just didn't come to the show to hear voting opinions.  I just wanted to hear music and get away from that for a while.  Signing on Facebook - politics.  Twitter - politics.  Literally everywhere, people are groaning and bitching about what IS.  You have every right to have an opinion and talk about it, but I'm tired of people condemning others for thinking differently than they do.  Remember, thinking differently and that BEING OKAY is supposed to be one of the awesome things about this country.  I think a lot of people forget about what is beautiful and special that we have right in front of us every single day.  We have a lot of good stuff going on, but everyone always seems to focus on the negative.  I don't know why.  I guess that's just because I don't.  Protest peacefully and talk about it all you want, but stop condemning and spreading the message of hate when you're claiming to fight for, in short, "love." 

It was a great show altogether, though.  The Lumineers performed some oldie-but-goodies on a second stage that had been set up at front of house...literally right behind me and my family.  Wesley said it was basically to be reminiscent of back when they played in tiny, small venues and bars.  Being right there, at the foot of the stage - that can never be replaced. 

The entire lineup was perfect.  Each act complemented the others 110%, even if the order had been rearranged.  I will say, though, for me, Kaleo was absolutely killer! 

Thanks for reading my review!  Questions or comments, you know where to find me!

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