Red Sun Rising, direct support on the Pop Evil Rock ‘N’ Roll Now Tour: Right Now tour, made a stop at House of Blues in Chicago. Their 50-minute set included songs from their 2015 release, Polyester Zeal, along with a very powerful Alanis Morissette cover.
They started with Amnesia, a fairly well known song, especially with this Chicago crowd, and lead singer Mike Protich, who also played guitar, came out to applause from the crowd. I’ve always found this song to be quite addictive sounding and the band played it perfectly. Watch the very funny and clever video here.
This lead into Unnatural and My Muse, a song with pretty spectacular harmonies, and crunching guitar riffs from guitarists Ryan Williams and Dave McGarry. During Push, Mike Protich got his groove on as he moved about the stage, long arms outstretch in a flowing motion. He used a second mic for part of the song to provide a cool distortion on his voice. Between the song and some of his body movements while standing on a riser, I couldn’t help but hear a similarity to Stone Temple Pilots and see familiarity in moves Scott Weiland was known for. Whether or not it was intentional, the song held the attention of the crowd.
Red Sun Rising did a great job of spreading out their most popular songs and by the midway point, they had played The Otherside. Another well received song which included fans singing along with the chorus. An unexpected surprise came with the next song, a cover of Alanis Morrissette’s Uninvited. While it was the most mellow part of their set, with bassist Ricky Miller and Dave McGarry each sitting on an amp for part of the song. it was an amazing fit vocally. Not only did Mike sing it beautifully, the backing vocals by Dave made the song over the top and hypnotic sounding.
Mike told the crowd they were nearing the end of their tour cycle and the crowd responded positively when he said they planned to write their second album. He said they had a new, unfinished, idea they wanted to try out. The Running Man, as noted on the set list, had a great pace, was super catchy sounding, and I can see it easily getting stuck in your head after a few listens.
They closed out their set with fast-paced, hard-driving Imitation, which was accentuated by Pat Gerasia’s drumming. All night he consistently provided in time beats and it was fun to watch his facial expressions as they tended to change depending on how fast or slow he was playing. If the night would have ended at this point, it would have been a great exclamation point to the entire set, however they weren’t quite done yet. They closed out the set with what some could argue is one of their biggest hits. Emotionless also appeared to receive the loudest cheers from the crowd once the opening notes started. Mike used a shaker, a sound that’s heard on the original recording, and Dave played acoustic guitar. By the time they hit the first chorus, the combination of music and Mike’s powerful vocals let everyone know just how dedicated a band Red Sun Rising is to not only their fans, but to anyone willing to give them a listen.
Unfortunately, the band recently posted on their Facebook page they were no longer playing the remaining February dates on this particular tour. Find other scheduled tour dates here.