I have to admit, it was this band’s name that initially caught my attention. The band name, Rainbow Kitten Surprise conjures up internet memes mixed with my healthy childhood obsession of Lisa Frank everything. Though, don’t let their name fool you, they are no joke!
When my friend shared them with me (yes, sometimes my friends have heard of bands before me) I instantly thought of old Kings of Leon. I’m taking Aha Shake Heartbreak and Youth & Young Manhood, the albums before KOL sold out to the masses and let go of their vintage flare in exchange for lighting sex on fire or whatever. I guess sex sells but I sincerely missed the old KOL sound. Similar to Kings of Leon, RKS puts an emphasis on guitar with deep lyrical meaning through introspective, poetic lyricism. Sam Melo’s uniquely raspy voice is is all tied together with melodic harmonies and deep baselines that are the icing on the cake.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise hails from North Carolina starting as a college dorm passion project. Though, you wouldn’t know it as they seem like old pros at the music scene. I had the pleasure of witnessing the five guys in action at Rickshaw Stop for the first of two shows on a Sunday. They did not for one second, lose their energy on stage. Maybe it was being crammed in the tour van and the need to finally move around before hitting the road again, but something tells me these guys are not only amazing musicians but epic performers. They had the entire crowd jumping up and down as Melo wildly danced to the music as if his life depended on it. Peering out with crazy eyes at the crowd through his insanely bushy beard and band hat to support the opener, Caamp (also amazing and worth a listen).
Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get RKS back in SF for Outside Lands Festival. For those of you making the pilgrimage to Bonnaroo be sure to check out Rainbow Kitten Surprise. You will not be disappointed!