Rainbow Kitten Surprise 4.28.18

The Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Words & photos by Charla Harvey

Saturday night was Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s second night in Denver of their sold out tour. They decided to add a second night because the first show sold out so fast! This Boone, North Carolina-based band is relatively new to the scene, but their fan base is growing exponentially. In fact, they have sold out 35 out of the 37 shows on this tour! They even just received praise from VICE for their new music video “Hide,” which VICE called “The Most Moving Music Video of the Year.” The video gives a voice to four drag queens’ experiences in New Orleans, and it promotes being yourself no matter what.

RKS is an alternative/indie band who have been influenced by Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon, Frank Ocean, Schoolboy Q, Lana del Rey, and the Avett Brothers. This beautiful combination of influences makes them hard to describe but easy to love. Samuel Melo is the lead vocalist and keyboardist. He also majored in dance in college, and it shows. Sam Melo is known for his energetic dance moves, running across the stage, falling on the floor, holding hands with audience members and making them melt. His dramatic moves give even more soul to the songs—a visual representation of the energy. His moves make the audience feel comfortable (and maybe even compelled) to dance too. Darrick “Bozzy” Keller and Ethan Goodpaster are both guitarists in the band. Charlie Holt is the bass guitarist. Jess Haney is the drummer. Their tour manager, Rachael McKinney, is affectionately known as their “Mom-ager.” This band’s chemistry shows that they are close friends, and they make you feel like they’re your friends too.

RKS started the night with “Fever Pitch” off their new album How To: Friend, Love, Freefall. Then they played “Goodnight Chicago” from a previous album. The audience was singing along to every word, old albums and new. Melo was dancing as usual. Charlie Holt and his long hair was also dancing and jumping around the stage, straying from his microphone at times (but luckily you can still hear him). Every member of RKS made jokes like, “Got oxygen?” as they utilized the canned oxygen while on the stage. It looked like some of the audience members needed oxygen too after watching these guys!

The lights were dim in the beginning, but quickly picked up into the colors of the rainbow, fitting their name. Throughout the show, sometimes the lights were all one color, and sometimes they used multiple colors. Their use of lights really added to the visual experience, and the sound was perfect throughout the venue. The Ogden was packed to the brim. It was very hard to move through the audience during this super sold out show. And yet somehow, everyone was still dancing!

The band left the stage only to hear every member of the audience begging for their return. After a painful wait (and getting some more oxygen), they teased the audience with just Sam Melo and Jess Han returning to the stage. Not long after, the rest of the band joined them. Even after a generously long show with 17 songs, the band and the audience seemed to still have all their energy. Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s encore was four songs! This band is an extremely talented breath of fresh air to the music scene. They are wholesome, and they use their fame to spread positivity, truth, and to give voice to those who haven’t always had one. If you don’t know Rainbow Kitten Surprise, check them out and enjoy the surprise!

Set List: Fever Pitch, Goodnight Chicago, American Shoes, Seven, Freefall, Wasted, Cold Love, Holy War, Matchbox, Moody Orange, Devil Like Me, Cocaine Jesus, First Class, Hide, Alls Well That Ends, When It Lands, Painkillers

Encore: Possum Queen, Polite Company, Recktify, Run



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