Review: Red Sun Rising came, they rocked out and conquered the stage last night, giving it their all and more in front of a jam-packed Bottom Lounge crowd! The guys came into Chicago, IL with their arsenal of all-time favorites along with new material, packing a punch with the crowd behind them singing along to each song. The energy was through the roof and everyone was on their feet with fists or horns in the air. With so much life and talent on stage you wouldn’t want the set to end, and that’s how I felt. The night’s second opening act Molehill kicked it up a notch with their unique high-powered set with an intuitive and invigorating sound not widely heard in the metal/rock scene. Their dynamic sound quickly brought the crowd back to life, blood pumping and on their feet through sound and emotion. Molehill took to the stage with the goal to rock out and entertain and definitely did so by bringing their “A-Game,” filling the room with energy, passion and anticipation. Due to an undisclosed reason the show’s opener Ballroom Boxer were 45 minutes late on coming up on stage. Once the guys took the stage, disappointment had taken over and could be seen across many faces. Ballroom Boxer started to perform through the first few songs that were mediocre. The crowd showed disappointment until the band started playing something a little more to the liking. Then they played what I would consider the best of what they played, something edgier with more emotion. To me, Ballroom Boxer did alright what counts is they still made the effort.

Chicago’s Bottom Lounge was the 25th stop on Red Sun Rising’s Spring 2018 Tour, in support of their album ‘Thread’ released March 30th. Their 14 song list included “Otherside” and “Emotionless” as well as new songs “Clarity” and “Deathwish.” As the lights dimmed the band was ready to bring it and give their best to their fans. Each member puts so much effort and emotion into what they do, like acknowledging or including the fans in one way or another. The band’s talent is showcased by Mike’s dynamic vocals, guitars riffs and shrills by Ryan and Dave. The thundering bass by Ricky and the clash of the drums by Pat, each show the band’s passion. Towards the end of the show during “Imitation,” the guys start banging on their instruments. That’s when guitarist Ryan Williams reached out and shook my hand afterwards had me banging on his guitar! Shortly after, guitarist Dave McGarry hands his guitar over to vocalist Mike Protich, gets a running start and dives onto me to start crowd surfing! A great group of guys who not only have a passion for their music, but passion for their fans as well. Catch Akron, Ohio’s Red Sun Rising as they continue their tour at several music festivals, including Welcome to Rockville, Northern Invasion and ending at Rocklahoma.


Chicago’s own Alternative-Rock band that is Molehill really know how to bring it and like with Red Sun Rising, when the lights fade the magic begins when playing live. Combining several musical elements into one energetic sound that in itself breaks the mold of what is normal, creating a sound that makes Molehill stand out among the rest. Last night, I saw not just an opening act from Chicago but a band with a lot of potential. With emphatic lyrics to songs like “Ghost Town,” “Old Soldier” and “I’m ok” there are so many thoughts, feelings and emotions that ran through my head. Add the heavy earth shattering beats of the drum, the deep buzzing hum of the bass, textured guitar riffs and variations of key sound and stroke…it’s mesmerizing. The addition of changing light patterns and strobe effect puts you into a trance, enter into the mood of lyrical and musical composition its as if you’re actually in that reality. Molehill has been working hard to make a name for themselves, and further solidifying the ground they stand on, given the opportunity, I see them going far.

If given the chance for a redo, I think Chicago’s Ballroom Boxer, could have the potential to pull off a successful show opener. After a 45-minute delay, the crowd just wasn’t feeling it, and I don’t think much of a chance was given to the band. Not knowing much about Ballroom Boxer, I really can’t say what was wrong besides toe tapping and head bobbing to their lighter songs. The songs “Want You,” “Damn Fine” and “County Jail” were the songs the crowd connected to. They were heavier sounding with more emotion put forth. All in all, the guys went out there and did the best they could, despite the delay they still made it work.

Last night will be one for the books, it was awesome seeing Red Sun Rising, Molehill and Ballroom Boxer. Bottom Lounge was also a really cool venue, and hopefully one day in the future I’ll be able to see one or the other again.