What Basketball Game?
It was the night of the first NCAA Final Four Championship in Minnesota in over eighteen years. The defensively minded Virginia Cavaliers were slated to face the equally defensively minded Texas Tech Red Raiders in a matchup not many expected. So, naturally, I went to a concert instead.
And so did so many others. The Go Show (hosted by Go96.3) for Broods and Bad Sounds at the Amsterdam was completely sold out. When I arrived at 7:30, 30 minutes before Bad Sounds were to take the stage, there was already a sizeable crowd in front of the stage.
Friends on Stage
When Bad Sounds took the stage, it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a fun concert. And by fun, I mean legitimately fun, with the authenticity that new bands bring driving it. Their playful shoves between band members, a game of hot potato with a tambourine, the lead brothers Ewan and Callum Merrett poking fun at each other, and some lovably awkward interactions with the crowd. It’s always great to see bands legitimately enjoying their time on stage and, trust me, I’ve seen plenty who have lost their luster.
As for the music, Bad Sounds present an entirely unique sound. Imagine a very upbeat sound, something that you would listen to while walking down the street at your local college in the summer. Here’s “Wages” by Bad Sounds, picture it in your head. It’s a type of sound that is hard to categorize. I see influences from all over the place: a little RnB there, a little funk there, some distorted guitar licks, maybe some Beck too. It’s a loveable hodgepodge I’d keep my eye on in the future; they’re an undeniably fun act with a bad (the good kind of bad) sound.
A Band You Need To Hear
After an intermission of anticipation, Broods took the stage. Another sibling duo, this time from New Zealand, Broods has been, in my opinion, criminally under the radar for the bulk of their career. They started with a darker sound that found success and eventually transitioned to a more poppy sound with their latest album, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster.
Throughout their albums, their superlatives remained steadfast. Georgia Nott’s voice stands out beautifully in the soundscapes produced with her brother Caleb. You remember their standout hit “Bridges,” which was shared by Lorde. This moment was the catalyst that jumpstarted their international career.
As Good As the Studio
Broods emerged on stage wearing T-shirts with a picture of Ewan’s (From Bad Sounds) Teeth, in celebration of his birthday. From there, the music was as good as the album. Georgia’s voice sounded just like it did on the album productions, while Caleb and the rest of the accompanying band didn’t miss a beat. At the same time, the crowd was enthralled for most of the show. For many of the songs, there were points where the crowd’s sing-along ended up competing with Georgia’s voice on the microphone, a moment that brought smiles and giggles from the band. After all, it’s got to be amazing for a city in the Midwest be singing the lyrics of a duo out of New Zealand.
The set itself was quite lengthy, lasting over an hour and a half. They focused on songs from their new album like the hit single “Peach,” “Everything Goes (Wow)” and “Falling Apart” while also interjecting a few old hits like “Bridges.” All these songs were expertly performed by the band with Georgia not only belting the lyrics but also dancing around stage putting her hand out to the extremely close fans up front (there was no barricade). It was far from a static performance, and the fans ate it up.
Both bands played to the strengths of a more intimate venue like the Amsterdam. They were up close and personal with the crowd and still performed high-energy shows. While the Bad Sounds performed an upbeat set that relied on being goofy, Broods was geared to the more dramatic and moody. However, this contrast worked to provide two very distinct shows and showcased two bands that deserve more recognition.