On Friday, October 6th, the 9:30 Club’s stage was graced by the indie rock band Sun Room who, dare I say, left their audiences wanting more. This San Diego band perhaps took the laid back SoCal trope too far with their performance providing a dwindling amount of energy.
The group consisted of four members, including the three usual suspects: lead singer and guitarist Luke Asgian, bassist Max Pinamonti and guitarist Ashton Minnich. The fourth member of the night’s lineup was drummer Thomas Rhodes. Sun Room’s original drummist, Gibby, left the band earlier this year. His shoes were most definitely filled by this energetic musician. The band exuded an “indie” persona with success in slightly baggy jeans and “alternative” rave shades. Being that they were striving for this specific look, I was surprised by the lack of carabiners or even jorts.
With Sun Room being a relatively new band, becoming popular and forming over covid, I was taken aback by their almost nonchalant approach to the performance. While this was perhaps to fit with their surfer dude persona, it seemed to materialize as a lack of enthusiasm. Even if the band seemed to lack the type of eagerness I am accustomed to, the crowd provided energy that worked with the music to transform the atmosphere of the venue.
The musicians had a great sound and their setlist was perfectly spaced, spreading out their most popular songs. Thus far on this tour, the band had strayed from this set, so I was pleasantly surprised of their just-released single which had only come out the day before, “At Least I Tried.” This fast-paced song and a few other grungy tracks were a nice mood shift away from the surf-esque tracks that populate their albums.
The drummer deserves extensive recognition. Rhodes was the band member who brought the most vibrancy to the performance. This may be an unexpected role for a drummer, but he fit it well. He was the band’s backbone in both rhythm and energy. I was able to talk with him after the show. At first, Thomas stated that he’s “just always liked to hit shit.” As he continued to speak, it was clear that he was born wanting to be a musician, citing inspirations such as jazz drummer Max Roach. He also disclosed that he was in a high school band with Asgian hence his smooth entry into Sun Room.
Rhodes was willing, even enthusiastic, to talk to me after the show, which left me wondering why the band barely interacted with the audience during their performance. They have the perfect level of popularity to drive a want to showcase their personality to the audience, but they generally refrained from too much chatter. There were witty remarks here and there, especially from Pinamonti who seems to be their resident jokester.
I also spoke to Alex Rice, lead singer of the Sun Room’s opener Sports Team. Sports Team’s performance brought high energy to the 9:30 Club; it was no surprise when the English musician stated AC/DC’s frontman Bon Scott as his idol. Rice came across as down-to-earth and grateful for this American tour opportunity. He spoke of the rewarding nature of touring in the United States so far away from home as well as the challenges of performing at 21+ venues as a band with a young following. Sports Team and Sun Room complemented each other very well, occupying different sides of the indie rock umbrella.
I also spoke to the openers lead singer Alex Rice of Sports Team. Their performance definitely brought the energy, this seems no surprise as the English musician stated AC/DC’s frontman Bon Scott as his idol. Rice came over as extremely down to earth who seemed grateful for this American tour opportunity. He spoke of the rewarding nature of the far-away tour as well as the difficulties of performing at over 21 venues as they have quite a young following. All in all the two bands Sports Team and Sun Room complemented each other very well with them both occupying different sides of the indie rock umbrella.
While Sun Room could have provided a tad more energy, their music was great and the band was able to successfully bring the Southern Californian feel to east coast DC. Is this the revival of the boy band? God I hope not..but like also do you think they noticed me?