Alex Fredkin, Arts Editor
The Music Industry Club booked an amazing show Saturday night, featuring four great bands. Easy Company opened, followed by Survay Says [sic]. Next up came crowd favorites The Front Bottoms, hailing from New Jersey. They blended indie music with acoustic guitars and crashing drums to produce a high energy set. The band got the crowd excited and had everyone singing along to well known songs such as “The Beers” and “Swimming Pool.”
This gave way to the headliner for the night, Bad Rabbits. The Boston-based band put on a thrilling show featuring some electrifying funk and some groovy dance moves. Starting off the show with the track “Stick Up Kids,” the crowd immediately started singing the intro lyrics, prompting a gasp from singer Fredua Boakye, who in disbelief asks “You guys know this song?” As the crowd started chanting the band visibly ramped up the energy of their set. This type of back and forth from the audience and the band was present during the entire show. One of the best songs of the night, “Girl I’m Like Damn” starts off with a catchy synth melody recalling the best old school hip hop songs from the 80s. The band even played a bit of the melody from “Me, Myself, and I” before starting it off. Featuring the singer’s high pitched falsetto, a smooth bass line and funky drums, this song epitomizes the Bad Rabbits’ infectious swagger. People swayed back and forth in unison and clapped along when prompted by the band.
The Bad Rabbits have a very tight live show and do much more than your average band during their set. Members side-stepped left to right in perfect sync, wordlessly inviting the crowd to follow suit. The bandmates showed their playful side and chemistry with one another through banter and joking in between songs. At one point the guitarist put down his instrument to engage in a dance-off with the singer, drawing vigorous applause and shouting from the audience. Every member had a mic, with ample shouting, chanting and call and response vocals during the performance.
The Bad Rabbits have an extremely unique sound. When prompted to describe their own style, the band itself had some trouble. Guitarist Santiago Araujo said “It’s a mix of all of our musical influences put together, and they all vary. Sheel [Drummer Sheel Davé] came from a very metal/rock oriented background (this prompted some mock hardcore screams from the other guitarist Salim Akram) you know, and everyone came from different R&B and hip hop backgrounds and it’s just a mix of all that really.”
Arguably the best and most original music is made from a haphazard blending of different opposing musical styles. The Bad Rabbits cover every range of music imaginable between their five members, and this lends itself to their inexplicable sound. Later on during the interview we talked about a plethora of different artists, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Mars Volta, newcomer rapper Kendrick Lamar, and nu-metal band the Deftones. Chino Moreno, the singer and guitarist for the Deftones, even helped the Bad Rabbits out on one of their new tracks in the studio.
The band’s last album release and main EP “Stick Up Kids” has been out since 2009. After having to deal with some less-than-flexible industry types that contributed to the delay of their new record, the band now finds themselves in a position to release two at the same time. They are called “The American Dream” and “American Love,” produced by Teddy Riley and B. Lewis, respectively. The albums are slated for a release in early Spring 2013, with the first single due out in October, helping to kick-start the band’s Fall tour with spoken word hip hop artist POS. Speaking on the B. Lewis album, Davé explains that it draws even more from the band’s diverse background than “Stick Up Kids,” stating “It takes more of our influences from our rock background. It’s a heavy, heavy R&B album. It’s very energetic and in-your-face but also smooth and funky as hell. It’s way more melodic than the ‘Stick Up Kids’ EP, not all party jams.” Every member unanimously agreed that these albums will show fans that they are progressing as a band and are taking their music in a new direction, while still maintaining true to their signature style.
The Bad Rabbits are an exciting new band to watch out for. They have a penchant for combining seemingly opposing musical genres and making them work together. Featuring a live show that is entertaining and produces a relaxing and fun environment, the band has every facet covered. Keep a lookout for their new material coming out soon, because the Bad Rabbits are just starting to hit their stride.