The Unlikely Candidates (photo: Estefany Gonzalez)
“I’m sweating my balls off, San Francisco,” said The Unlikely Candidates singer Kyle Morris, who was so lost in the band’s music, he was dripping in sweat by the end of the band’s set at Bottom Of The Hill, on April 27. “You gotta give me something back,” he added.
Loud cheers followed from an enthusiastic audience who stuck close to a small stage the band’s live energy seemed too extravagant to contain. The group first formed in 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas, and also consists of drummer Kevin Goddard, bassist Jared Hornbeek, guitarists Cole Male and Brenton Carney. Since then, they’ve toured all across the US and played numerous festivals, Including City of Trees in Sacramento, where I last saw the band perform alongside Weezer, Panic! At The Disco, and Phantogram.
Despite the difference in venue size, the band gave just as much spirit and passion as they did the last time I saw them. It didn’t seem to matter whether the band played for thousands of people or less than a hundred, the set was just as lively at an intimate venue as it was at an arena, if not more so. Goddard twirled his drumsticks without missing a beat, Carney danced so much his hair appeared as though it was permanently frozen in mid-air, and Morris joined the crowd on multiple occasions and broke a microphone stand while he rolled around on the floor, tangled in wires.
All of the interactive moments in the set resonated with the crowd. Catchy rhythm-driven tracks like “Your Love Could Start a War” and “Follow My Feet” had concert goers bouncing about the venue and throwing their hands in the air.
More serious dark songs such as “Violence,” a track about a toxic relationship which mentions baseball bats and police sirens were also well received and balanced out by pop tunes with a sad undertone such as “Trampoline,” a song that speaks of childhood innocence before being bogged down by life’s problems. Other notable songs were “Ringer,” a song that earned a large smile from a girl Morris danced with in the front row.
At the end of the night when the band’s set came to a close, each band member had smiles on their faces as they watched Morris sing the last song amongst a sea of fans. After, while leaving the venue, I noticed several of those fans standing outside of the venue trying to cool down. The sweat dripping from their faces showing they’d given back the energy the singer asked for.