An Evening With Rainbow Kitten Surprise
RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE
Touring in promotion of their latest album, “How to: Friend, Love, Freefall,” released back in 2018, Rainbow Kitten Surprise – also known as “RKS” – brought their invigorating live set to Houston, Texas. Joining them was opener Mt. Joy, riding the success of a trickle of singles dating back to 2016 and culminating in a self-titled debut album, “Mt. Joy.” Though both groups provided a taste of indie-folk-inspired-rock, each provided its own unique display of influences and performance style.
Starting the evening was Mt. Joy, comprised of five young musicians who stepped into the realm of writing songs without any expectation of stardom. It’s this humbleness and gracious attitude, however, that has led them to just that. Upon the release of their first single, “Astrovan,” the group’s first song skyrocketed and immediately led to touring with large scale artists and performing at major festivals across the U.S. Slowly but surely, the group solidified its place in the flooded space of pop-hits, by taking a mellow route to fans hearts - combining vulnerability and simplicity with vibrant vocals that carefully display the underlying emotions of each track.
Performing to a sold-out arena of what originally seemed to be RKS fans, it became quickly evident that an overwhelming number of attendees not only came to see the headliner but to enjoy the musings of Mt. Joy for an hour before the main act. Words echoed not only from stage but from fans lips throughout the room, with hands raised high to feel a sense of connection to the group even from afar. By the end of their set it was evident that Mt. Joy was on a path to great success. The connection they shared with fans was nothing short of familial.
Following a brief intermission, RKS jolted onto a dark stage and ripped through “When It Lands,” “Counting Cards,” and “All’s Well That Ends.” Surprising to some fans, and perfectly expected by others, the indie-folk-rock group from North Carolina turned the mellow sounds of Mt. Joy on their head and rampaged around the stage for their entire set. Lasers flooded overhead. Pirouettes, leaps, and crashes to the floor overwhelmed lead singer Sam Mello. And sweat dripped from fans attempting to keep up with the beautiful chaos displayed on stage. With a name like Rainbow Kitten Surprise, the show was just as unorthodox as one would think. Combining a fantastic light show with an outpour of folk-inspired rock music created the perfect escape from reality for the duration of the show.
After the rambunctious opening, the band weaved its way through a discography dating back to 2013 when the band’s first full-length album was released. Songs like “Cocaine Jesus” of the self-titled album released in 2015 and “Devil Like Me” inspired good and bad singers alike to belt every word to two of the top songs of the group. Eventually after ripping through 17 songs straight, RKS exited the stage hastily and waited for riotous roars to call them back for the final set of the evening. Beginning the encore with “Fever Pitch,” RKS quickly followed with “Hide” – a smash hit from the latest album – and “Run” – the first song on the “RKS” titled album of 2015. Over too soon, the band made its final exit as the house lights came on and displayed a venue in which no fans appeared to leave at any point during the set. Clearly, every song was worth listening to and seeing performed live.
Photography by Marshall Heins II
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