Los Angeles band Badflower celebrated the release of their debut album ‘OK, I’M SICK’ with a sold out show at El Rey Theater in central LA.
I saw the first fans waiting outside the venue a few hours before the doors opened. That is very impressive considering this band has only released two EP’s thus far. As Badflower enter the stage, you can tell that the band is excited and sort of blown away by the response from the screaming crowd.
The band members are almost as excited as the support band Fencer. I want to mention Fencer because I was highly surprised by their performance and filled with joy after seeing the huge smiles on the three members. They gave us a rock’n’roll show that surely warmed up the enthusiastic audience. They also made me understand that blonde lead singers are definitely a thing now. Unfortunately, the other support band, the brits in Pretty Vicious, had to cancel due to the lead singer’s voice issue.
A few songs into Badflower’s set, frontman Josh Katz tells us that the album, released today, went straight up to the top of the alternative album in the U.S.. You can almost see tears of joy in his eyes throughout the whole show.
“We’ve never played this one before, and I know many of you guys like it a lot…”, Katz says nervously before playing a first ever live version of ‘Promise Me’. And honestly, you cannot tell that this is the first time. As the first chorus begins, I’m convinced that this band has a bright future. This song might be one of the most mainstream appealing songs the band has released so far, and it actually makes my mind travel back in time to the emo years when My Chemical Romance’s ‘The Black Parade’ was peaking. Most other Badflower songs, especially the earlier ones, are more of the garage rock sound. It’s raw and it’s rock’n’roll. Certainly, the kind of music that sounds even better on stage. However, all the mixed genre genes reveal that this band might not have found their sound yet. With that being said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Badflower seems to have the ability to make everything work on stage. Even the cover of Tears For Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, a seemingly odd choice, fits perfectly into the set.
The energy of the band just keep increasing throughout the show, and at the end of the night, Katz is on the floor and even one of their crew members heads out on not one, but two stagedives from the stage. Also, we’d like to give a shout-out to the bass player Alex Espiritu, who’s energy and involvement also proved that this band has outgrown small stages and is ready for the next step in their career.
By: Rosanna Rundlof
Live photos: Gosia Machaczka