Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s performance celebrated the band’s new album, “How to: Friend, Love, Freefall.” But you wouldn’t have thought that at the beginning of their performance, which mostly consisted of oldies.
It was a tactic. They were building up the crowd’s energy. The band opened with one of their popular songs, “First Class.”
This was my first time seeing Rainbow Kitten Surprise live. I only recently discovered the band, and I must say, when everyone started dissonantly singing along, I wanted to join in.
Melo jumped around the stage like a cat. Charlie Holt, the bassist, bobbed his head feverishly while he twirled his hands in the air.
It felt like we were in a cult — in the good kind of way, of course.
But before they could perform the new album, they certainly teased the audience. "OK, well that’s it. We have one more song for you guys. Thanks for coming out!”
They had only been performing for about 30 minutes. The crowd jokingly pleaded with cheers and claps because they knew the band wouldn’t let them off that easily.
And finally, the gentle words of “Pacific Love” from their new album silenced the audience. The band then transitioned into the dramatic drumming of the next song, “Mission to Mars.” Everyone truly faded into the lyrics, “Fading, faded, we never made it, faded.”
One thing is for sure — the band is versatile. Their new album shows their ability to balance difference genres. We see a louder appearance of R&B and hip-hop in this album in comparison to the band's former albums, which give off stronger hints of spiritual and folk.
Beginning the night with their older songs gave the band a way of showing the progression of their albums and their increasing incorporation of different styles into their music. They’re definitely trying to make sure there is a song for everyone.
The demographic of the audience certainly supported that. Fans ranged from high school to middle-aged adults with a wide consistency of man buns, flannels and colorful T-shirts.
And speaking of clothes, come the end of night, the band eventually unbuttoned their shirts. I definitely wanted to unbutton my clothes (metaphorically because I was wearing long-sleeves), but for different reasons — especially when Melo went solo on the piano toward the end of the show.
The band finished the show with a twist on their song, “Run,” from their second album, ending the night in an atypical fashion. After standing for four hours, I left The Ritz with heavy, numb legs.
I wouldn’t have had it any other way.