December 8, 2023

[Iona Brannon | The Banner]

Rainbow Kitten Surprise, a band described as anything from alternative to indie pop and folk rock, made a stop March 22 in Los Angeles, selling out the renowned Roxy Theatre.

Hailing from Boone, North Carolina, RKS was initially created by lead singer Sam Melo and guitarist Darrick “Bozzy” Keller. The name for their band came one day when, post-operation, a friend of theirs kept repeating the phrase “Rainbow Kitten Surprise.”

Touring with RKS is CAAMP, a two-man band out of Colombus, Ohio, hometown to internationally-known Twenty One Pilots and Rascal Flatts.

CAAMP opened, riling up the crowd with their fast-paced, twangy folk music, getting the audience to clap and stomp around in preparation for the rhythm-heavy performance of RKS.

When the curtains finally rose from the stage for RSK, the first song had already begun. There was no introduction, just a deep plunge into music. Melo’s confidence and clear comfort on stage created an experience that was simultaneously mesmerizing and energizing. The energy was tangible, and Melo spoke few words between songs.

[Iona Brannon | The Banner] Iona Brannon | CBU Banner

Although the stage of the Roxy Theatre is relatively small, Melo utilized all of the available space as he sang, jerking and dancing, never missing a beat.

Masked by an upbeat tempo were morbid, deeply melancholic words sang with passion by performer and audience alike.

Melo engaged with the audience throughout the show, reaching out to clutch the hands of fans as he serenaded them. He even brought the microphone to a fan and asked if she would know all the words to the next song he was going to sing.

A few feet behind his bandmates, drummer Jess Haney kept the heavy rhythm that kept the audience moving. During one of the pauses, Haney requested the audience to put their hands up and out, bobbing them to the music.

By the end of the night, every member was drenched in sweat and most of the audience as well. It was clear they had given their all, hosting the wildest dance party on the block.

[Iona Brannon | The Banner] Iona Brannon | CBU Banner

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