▣Fete Music Hall | Providence, RI ▣Friday, November 3rd 2017
Massachusetts own, Highly Suspect, rocked Fete Music Hall in Providence, Rhode Island and took their crowd through a wave of emotions. The band seemed to be all business at first, but managed to eventually let loose and have fun.
After arriving shortly after 8 pm to the club, I was immediately taken aback by the music coming from the stage from the night’s second opening band, Bones UK. The rock trio, hailing from the UK, consisted of two girls up-front on guitars, and a guy on drums in the back. Their lead singer played the bass guitar, while the backup vocals were provided by their guitar player. Their unique rock sound, accompanied by raw lyrics, turned heads inside the small venue and definitely grabbed everyone’s attention. The lead singer was so charismatic- the band sounded so good and I will definitely be making a point to catch them again. Cheers to the guys from Bones UK on a brilliant performance.
The crowd at Fete looked alive and pumped up after Bones UK’s amazing performance. They patiently waited for Highly Suspect’s set to start, and immediately erupted with cheers when the song by 2 Chainz’ Saturday Night came on – the band’s current entrance song. As Richard Meyer (drums) and Ryan Meyer (bass, vocals) made their way up, Johnny Stevens (singer/guitarist) was introducing them on a microphone from behind the stage. Stevens would finally make his way out, and looked all business as he prepared for the set. He gave off a certain feeling of numbness as he walked onto the stage. They started the night off with Bath Salts, Lost and Bloodfeather. By the time he took us into their next one, Viper Strike, they were on fire and the crowd felt it.
A fight would break out towards the front during this performance, Stevens immediately stop playing to inform security. He would tell security to escort them all out, that he would have none of that here tonight, and added that we had to respect one and other. The crowd cheered as security would escort them out of the venue. Crowd surfing has become very common thing at a Highly Suspect concert and continued as their fans tried to make it to the front for a stage dive. Their next two songs Seratonia and Fuck Me Up, would have some of the best crowd surfing here tonight.
Things slowed down a bit when Rich took lead vocals for Round & Round before going into a fan favorite, Lydia. After, Stevens would share with the crowd that he had lost a very closed friend that day, and he explained it was really hard for him to perform because of it but he wasn’t going to cancel on us. The crowd showed their appreciation with cheers. He then dedicated the next song to her, Send Me an Angel. The 80’s Real Life cover brought Stevens to tears. His performance of the of the song was raw and heartfelt. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he handed his guitar to Rich and left the stage. Rich had a moment to shine alone on stage while performing the song Winston – a song about a dog. Stevens came back out, and was now ready to let loose and party with his fans. Starting things over with Claudeland, a drum solo from Ryan with a little help from Stevens on the keyboard- made for the perfect chance for the crowd surfers to reach the front to do back flips and handstands off the stage. It was a complete jam session for at least 10 minutes, before closing with ATL and My Name is Human.
After the final song, the crowd got louder and louder, in the hopes of hearing more amazing music. The chanting brought them back out for their encore, starting with Little One. Stevens is not only a very talented guitar player and singer, but he also effortlessly controls the stage. His vocal range perfectly matches his guitar playing abilities – truly an amazing performer. The band continued on a wave of emotions with Wolf, and finally closing with Look Alive, Stay Alive. The crowd stood still even though the band had walked off stage, almost like time had stopped for a few minutes. Highly Suspect had put on another amazing performance and shined bright despite the tragedy that happened earlier in the day. The guys from Highly Suspect are all talented musicians who always give their all on stage. Their passionate concerts are compelling and something you should have on your bucket list as a must see. I hope to see you at the next one!
Review & photos: Carlos Londono
Check out the band’s websites for more info!