Bad Suns and Carlie Hanson play engaging sets to a packed TLA - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Bad Suns | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

Whoever made the decision to have singer-songwriter Carlie Hanson open up for pop/rock four-piece Bad Suns during their time in Philadelphia earlier this month quite literally set the stage for one of the most energetic performances this spring at the TLA.

To give some insight into the vibrancy of Hanson’s performance, the microphone on stage fell not once, but twice. “Got a little tangled up but we’re workin’ through it,” claimed Hanson as she promptly started her next song, that being one unreleased.

Carlie Hanson | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

The audience’s reaction to “Back in My Arms,” Hanson’s new single about her first relationship with another woman, contrasted sharply with her previous ones. Instead of whole body movements in unison with Hanson’s jumping on stage, listeners hung over the rail intently in order to absorb her words properly for the beginning half of the song. By the time the chorus came around for the second time, people were bumping their heads along in extreme interest with the fresh tune. Clearly it was well-received.

This not only foreshadows the likelihood that Carlie Hanson’s musical career will continue being warmly received, but also provided an accurate representation of what the rest of the night provided for the attendees.

Carlie Hanson | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

Headliners Bad Suns brought the punch from the moment a white strobe light landed on the face of lead singer Christo Bowman’s face. From start to finish, Bowman maintained incredible interaction with listeners in a variety of ways.

In the beginning half, he reached out over the rail among the grasping hands and sang directly to the audience members multiple times. The jumping crowd caused earthquake-like shaking of the floor during “Off She Goes,” and Bowman encouraged their response. Yet, this was most definitely not the climax of the performance.

Bad Suns | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

Coming towards the end of Bad Suns’ set, Bowman brought things up a notch. Not only did he engage from the stage, but he also crossed the pit and stood upon the rail with the help of his fans. He tried to connect with every single listener (and as far as I could see, succeeded), making the performance that much intimate.

It certainly is no wonder that during “Hold Your Fire” the audience was cheering the lyrics louder than the band themselves. Despite this, things became quiet once the band asked for the presence of lighters to be risen above heads.

Bad Suns | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN |

“Let’s light up this room like the night sky under which we wrote this song” cried Bowman, leading the band and audience into a softer, pianist melody of one of their latest hits, “Star Jumper.” This song was also the subject of one of their more popular pieces of merchandise, being mobbed with purchases at the end of the show. A minimalistic, star-like sketch was featured on a long black sleeve crew neck.

Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.

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