XPN Fest Recap: The Suffers make their set a family affair - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
The Suffers | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Starting with a team huddle, the energy at the Marina Stage was electric even before the sweet, sweet tunes of The Suffers began. Having played XPN Fest last year, the crowd knew exactly what was in store for them. And they were ready to party. Someone even brought a beach ball, folks — it was that level of ready.

Kicking the shindig off was hit “Make Some Room,” in which the group’s uberly charismatic frontwoman, Kam Franklin, began by explaining the meaning behind making food for someone you love — then asking the crowd if she could make us a sandwich. Sadly, our initial less-than-thunderous response was not up to her standards, but it was okay though because she graciously bestowed upon us another opportunity, saying she believes in “second chances and second helpings.”

That was the moment I became solidly certain that I really, really liked this lady and wished that she could be my best friend and/or energetic and wise mentor in life. Though I don’t think that can become a reality as they have to go off and tour and spread their spicy music vibes across the lands, I at least got my wish for their forty-five minute set.

That’s because when you’re at The Suffers show, you’re not just a person in the crowd. The Houston nine-piece doesn’t let that happen; they welcome you in and make you feel like you’re a part of their fun, crazy family. It’s a simultaneously heartwarming and wild experience that results from the group’s palpable aura of genuine love and kindness.

And don’t worry, they welcome in anybody and everybody to this family — including the youngins. The Suffers demonstrated this as they ended their set with amazing “Kidz Bop version” covers of Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” and Three 6 Mafia’s “Hard Out Here for a Pimp;” i.e. they replaced some choice words with “yams” and “young entrepreneurs” for a segment of Hip Hop 101.

It’s choices like these that made the end of The Suffers set such a sad farewell. Leaving with a group bow of friendship, the crowd found solace in the chance to see them again later tonight at BB&T, and with the knowledge of having found a new family in music.

Make Some Room
I Think I Love You
Do Whatever
The Beginning
Hard Out Here for a Pimp (Three 6 Mafia cover, “kids edit”)
SpottieOttieDopaliscious (Outkast cover, “kids edit”)

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