Badflower and company bring the sickness to Indianapolis
Badflower is a band I’ve been following from a distance ever since hearing their song “Soap” some three and a half years ago. In that relatively short span of time, the Los Angeles natives have gone from being an opening act for fellow rockers in clubs around the country to headlining many of those same clubs. Indianapolis’ Hi-Fi is just one such venue that serves as the perfect example of this: last month, the rock quartet headlined the same spot where they, less than two years earlier, had opened for Greta Van Fleet and Goodbye June, this time around bringing Deal Casino and Fencer along with them.
I was unfortunately unable to make it down in time to see Fencer, but I did arrive just in time to witness Deal Casino and their fuzzy, grungy blend of rock and roll. The New Jersey-based quartet did not let up, despite undergoing some technical difficulties throughout the course of their set. In fact, they used the opportunity to play one of their deeper cuts that they enjoy yet don’t always get the chance to perform live. Their set reached the peak of its intensity on “French Blonde,” one of the killer tunes from their latest LP, last year’s LLC.
Intensity is a theme that sums up the entire night rather well, and the headliners for the evening were no exception. Their raw, unbridled energy throughout made Badflower’s set one that many rock fanatics will be talking about long after the night itself. In fitting fashion the L.A. rockers kicked things off with “x ANA x,” the rowdy opener from their debut LP OK, I’M SICK, which just released a few months ago and boasts over half of the band’s setlist from the evening. Though they performed all of their most popular songs, they were also sure to hit on many of their own deep cuts, including the entirety of their Temper EP.
Frontman Josh Katz did a fine job of not only leading the band but serving as the de facto ambassador to the crowd as his captivating and charismatic self. At one point he even personally dedicated the raucous, politically-driven banger “Die” to the President and the NRA, who themselves were convening in another part of Indianapolis that very same evening, interestingly enough. Perhaps the greatest, most memorable part of Badflower’s set though came at the end of the night when the quartet switched roles and played each other’s instruments. It’s one thing to be able to play your own native instrument well; when you can play someone else’s instrument too while doing it as well as Katz and company did it, that’s a whole new level of impressive. It was a memorable way to end a fun show, no doubt, but it also explains why Badflower is already going places in music with their edgy-yet-aware blend of alternative rock.