5 SPOT: Five Reasons You Need To See Highly Suspect Live
Highly Suspect is a multifaceted powerhouse when it comes to being a newer musical entity in the spotlight. Within the rock scene, they are one of the most clear acts on their way to have a promising career. The band is signed to 300 Entertainment (Fetty Wap, Migos, Coheed and Cambria, etc.) and have recently announced a fall tour (dates posted at the bottom of the article). With that in mind, here's our list of reasons why you should (and, quite frankly, need) go see Highly Suspect live:
1. Massive, groovy sound out of 3 people
Yes, there are only 3 members in Highly Suspect believe it or not! The band consists of Johnny Stevens (vocals, guitar), Ryan Meyer (drums) and Rich Meyer (bass). In the conventional, stereotypical rock band, there are usually 4 or 5 members because most can't have a full enough sound without that many people. Highly Suspect does more with less in that respect. Stevens knows how to passionately sing and play catchy riffs without falling off tempo and that takes years of practice. The other members ace their own instruments and provide back vocals where they are needed to create the desired atmosphere.
2. Variety in songs
Their full length album Mister Asylum from 2015 consists of a plethora of unexpected instrumental turns. The first song on the album, title track "Mister Asylum," begins with a wavering, repetitious tremolo effect and then explodes into the beat and melody. The Grammy nominated song "Lydia" is bouncy in the verses and cogent in the choruses making it a rock anthem. On top of these examples, there are songs like "Bath Salts" that are more laid back and carefree while there are also songs like "Lost" that pick up the tempo. All in all, you can summarize these guys as a band of opposites consisting of both loud moments with blistering solos and moody moments with eerie notation at the same time.
3. Not afraid to be weird and honest
Combine the vocals with the song structures and you have something that is unique and poetically beautiful. The lyrical content is something that is totally unfiltered and we think that's the most rock n' roll thing you could be.
There are no rules with Highly Suspect.
"Mom" is a standout because he calls out his own Mother for abandoning him as a small child and it's totally heartbreaking. "And I, I won't take too much time from you / I just wanted to tell you I'm alive and doing fine / So how are you?"
The song is just riddled with powerful one liners that will hit deep. "F**k Me Up" is another unfiltered favorite because it is about his reckless lifestyle of not caring about his own well-being. Stevens sings "I need another reason to feel dead inside" to this mystery woman in the third verse and it quickly sums up the subject matter. Released after Mister Asylum, single "Serotonia," is a blues-y track beginning with the lyric line "I wish that everyone I knew was dead so that I'd never have to pick up the phone."
If that just doesn't wow you then I'm not sure what will.
4. They sound just as good as the album.
Highly Suspect has played 850+ shows in their career so they absolutely know what they are doing. They've played under pressure at the Grammy's, Conan, Late Night With Seth Myers and in front of festival crowds at Lollapalooza, SXSW, and Bonnaroo. They are a force that doesn't crack. In relation to reason number 1 on this list, their sound doesn't come across as hollow or incomplete when compared to their recorded songs even though they only have three members. They are natural performers that know how to fill in the gaps nicely of where there may be an extra recorded instrument layered at some point in a song.
Simply put: nothing feels missing, out of place, or pitchy.
5. Chance to see them at small venues before they play stadiums.
This trio has ties with people in high places. They've been on some impressive tours in the past with some big names such as Deftones, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Chevelle, My Morning Jacket, Scott Weiland, etc. Even closer to home, they've worked with producer Joel Hamilton whom has ties with Elvis Costello, the Black Keys, Wu Tang Clan, Tom Waits, and so on and so forth. Their popularity have been attracted by more and more audiences with each passing day. "Lydia" has been a huge radio hit for weeks on end and we wouldn't be surprised if whatever music the band is cooking up next will have the same path.
Recently announced fall tour dates:
9/8 Syracuse, NY @ Last Horizon
9/9 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
9/10 Detroit, MI @Shelter
9/11 Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Hall
9/13 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
9/15 Louisville, KY @ Headliners
9/16 Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
9/17 Waterloo, IA @ The Reverb Rock
9/18 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
9/21 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
9/23 Las Vegas, NV @ Life Is Beautiful
9/24 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
9/25 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
9/27 San Diego, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
9/29 Fresno, CA @ Fulton 55
9/30 San Francisco, CA @ Independent
10/1 Sacramento, CA @ Boardwalk
10/2 Reno, NV @ PB&Js
10/4 Billings, MT @ Pub Station
10/6 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
10/7 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
10/8 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
10/10 Missoula, MT @ The Palace
10/14 Nashville, TN @ Cannery
10/15 Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex Live
10/16 Dallas, TX @ Trees
10/20 Austin, TX @ Parish
10/21 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
10/22 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa
10/23 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa
10/26 Salisbury, MD @ Headquarters Live
10/27 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
10/28 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
10/29 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
11/3 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar
11/4 Asbury Park, NJ @ House of Independents
11/5 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
11/9 Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City
11/10 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
11/11 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
11/12 Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/13 Watertown, NY @ The Ballroom