The Suffers | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

People can have any number of reasons for listening to music; some bands you can only listen to when you’re sad, others when you’re happy or confident, some only in the morning when you’re just waking up, and others still when you’re out with friends. Above all of these categories and others, there exists a category of band that transcends time and place; a band that, when listened to, can’t help but force genuine smiles on their listeners. The Suffers are one such band.

The ten-piece Gulf Coast soul band dropped by Union Transfer on Sunday night, and effectively burned the house down. The set opened with their EP’s opening track “Make Some Room,” where lead vocalist Kam Franklin seized every opportunity to make the evening into a truly feel-good experience, telling the audience that the lyric “Do you want a sandwich? I’ll make one for you,” is not simply a lyric; in Houston, where Franklin is from, it’s a showing of love, and definitely something worth cheering for.

Franklin noted after “Make Some Room” that although they’re described as a soul band, and that’s most certainly true, they really like to employ a bit of every genre into their playing. After a night of listening, this is most certainly true; in addition to their own music, they sprinkled in several covers, including the brass interlude from Beyoncé’s “Flawless,” as well as Three 6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp.”

Some bands have trouble working smaller, less packed crowds, for various reasons; less crowd volume, less hype in the room, lower magnitude of sheer admiration for the band, et cetera. The Suffers took the small crowd to their advantage; the floor of Union Transfer, normally packed full to the point where members of the crowd can’t move, turned into a full-fledge dance floor where even Connor Barwin was grooving to highlights like “Stay,” “Giver” and “Peanuts,” the leadoff track from their upcoming debut.

Check out photos and video from the show below.