Rock music at maximum volume and bright lights from all directions filled the the Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St.) at Badflower’s show Sunday, Sept. 29.
Fellow rockers Dead Poet Society and Weathers opened up the show and set the tone with their fast-paced performances.
Badflower was next to the stage ready for the first night of its first headlining tour. Right from the start with “Wide Eyes,” the closing track off its debut album “OK, I’m Sick,” the Los Angeles-based band proved why its name was at the top of the bill.
The track and following songs “x ANA x” and “Soap” showcased the band’s seemingly never-ending supply of energy. Throughout the show lead singer Josh Katz flailed on the ground, bassist Alex Espiritu jumped and kicked, guitarist Joey Morrow flipped his long hair and drummer Anthony Sonetti let loose on his kit.
To the surprise of the band and audience, Johnny Galecki, known for playing Leonard on “Big Bang Theory” ran out on stage following the band’s explosive track “Die.” He gave Katz a hug and revealed he flew in from Nashville for the show.
Katz shifted the show’s tone transitioning into the slow, emotional ballad “24.” He took his time, though, noting he didn’t have to rush because there wasn’t anyone on after him.
Badflower filled out the setlist with two covers, the first a psychedelic, colorful rendition of “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis. The second was a hard rock makeover of Billie Eilish’s track “bury a friend.” The inherent eeriness of Eilish’s music made the song a natural fit, as if it were Badflower’s own.
Between songs, Katz spoke of arena-headlining bands such as Twenty One Pilots who started off in similar squished venues.
“I didn’t dream about the massive stadium tour,” Katz said from the stage. “I just wanted this.”
The packed Bottom Lounge cheered in agreement. Katz told the fans they should be glad they got see these soon-to-be “massive” bands in such a setting.
Badflower played the energetic “Girlfriend” before the encore during which Galecki took the opportunity to crowdsurf for the first time ever, according to his Instagram. Sonetti showed off his skills with a drum solo after which all the members swapped instruments and jammed out.
The now-shirtless Katz and the band returned to the stage to close the set with it’s most recent single “Promise Me” from the debut album.
“OK, I’m Sick” is available to stream on all platforms.