Rainbow Kitten Surprise played at The Strand, told us how they got their name, and revealed that they’re – gasp – dog people.

Photograph by Nicole Spring / WBRU

Rainbow Kitten Surprise delivered a spectacular performance at The Strand last Saturday night.  The band from Boone, North Carolina has quickly risen to fame over the past two years. They are now on tour, following the release of their album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall in April.  According to bassist Ethan Goodpaster, the band is still making the adjustment from driving to shows in an SUV to now being scheduled to play dozens of music festivals nationwide and traveling in tour buses.

Photograph by Nicole Spring / WBRU

Saturday’s show began with an edgy performance by Caroline Rose and her electro-grunge rock band.  Rose amped the crowd up with her kazoo solo and a punky cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” The band slowed it down towards the end, focusing on vocals as the crowd awaited RKS’ arrival.

Photograph by Nicole Spring / WBRU

The crowd went wild for Rainbow Kitten Surprise. The band kept the audience engaged with exciting twists to their songs, including a lovely harmony at the end of fan favorite “Cocaine Jesus” and a solo by guitarist Charlie Holt.  The crowd was alive, dancing and singing, captivated by the immense energy put forth by the band members, especially the enthralling dance performance by lead singer Sam Melo. RKS brought a political element into the concert, discussing the “war” that is occurring in the South, and Melo encouraged fans to “Love whoever you’d like to love.” The band then delivered a heartfelt performance of “Hide,” a passionate song celebrating and embracing the LGBTQ community. Red, white, and blue lights illuminated the stage behind them. Toward the end of the night, when the band left the stage, the venue was filled with deafening shouts of “encore.”  The band returned to the stage to deliver one final performance of the song “Run” before ending the show.

Photograph by Nicole Spring / WBRU

For those still wondering how the band got their name, we have the inside scoop. Goodpaster explained how before an open mic performance, the group went to visit a severely ill friend at their freshman dorm.  They asked their friend to choose a name for them; hence, the legendary “Rainbow Kitten Surprise.”

Photograph by Nicole Spring / WBRU

 

**Disclaimer: When asked what type of cat the band would choose to be, they responded that they are dog people.  Please do not be thrown off by their name.

 

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