The Band Camino•Bad Suns•Charlotte Sands•September 30, 2023• UCCU Center
Reviewed and Photographed by Mark Daluz
The Band CAMINO finally made their way to Orem, Utah at the UCCU Center for their Screaming in the Dark tour and boy was it a night that I will never forget. The Band Camino was a band that I was familiar with, having their top hits cycle through my playlists from time to time. But, after what I experienced on that spectacular night I immediately became a permanent fan.
Walking into the UCCU Center I was greeted with concertgoers who were already having a great time. Smiles radiated across the floor of the GA section and the seats surrounding it. It didn’t take long for all of those smiles to turn into eager screams as it became apparent that the stage crew finally made their final touch-ups to the equipment.
As the brightly lit UCCU Center finally dimmed its lights, all conversations ceased into uncontrollable excitement. As it was her last time on tour with The Band Camino, Charlotte took the stage and made it to her own domain, wanting to make a lasting impression. She started off with her song “Bad Day” and the crowd went feral. Charlotte reminded me a lot of Maggie Rogers in the way she articulates and gives energy to her songs. Speaking of energy, considering it’s an indie pop rock concert there wasn’t a single dull moment coming from her set. She sang a new unreleased song of her’s called “Spite” and personally, that was one of her most hype songs in the entire set. Charlotte is a super talented up-and-coming artist for sure and I can’t wait to see her come back!
As new gear took over the stage that meant a new band would follow suit. That band would be from Woodland Hills, California. Bad Suns. Even without being all too familiar with the band, a dramatic entrance seemed on brand. It was pitch black until you could finally make out the silhouette of the lead singer Christo from the blue light that finally turned on. He was joined by his drummer Miles and bassist Gavin in the same fashion. The band picked off perfectly from where Charlotte left off and continued the train of energy. From the moment they stepped onto the stage, Bad Suns radiated an infectious energy that immediately captivated the crowd.
Frontman Christo’s vocals were nothing short of mesmerizing, effortlessly switching between soaring and heartfelt lyrics. One of my favorite moments during their set (and show) was while they played one their hits “Salt” they incorporated a snippet of “Lovefool” by The Cardigans as part of the outro of the song, the crowd singing with absolute fervor brought a huge smile to my face. Bad Suns’ synergy and chemistry on stage was a sight to see, creating a tight-knit sound that kept the audience grooving and dancing throughout the set. Bad Suns left their mark, leaving fans buzzing with more excitement for what was to come.
The Band CAMINO
All eyes were on the stage when the backdrop for The Band Camino arose. The band emerged from the pitch-black UCCU Center like walking glowsticks to absolutely compliment their opening song “Afraid of the Dark”.
From the moment The Band CAMINO stepped onto the stage, their charisma was palpable. Lead Vocalist Jeffery Jordan & Spencer Stewart’s stage presence drew the audience in creating an instant euphoria for the concertgoers there. Looking around, I could instantly tell that the people around me were lost in their own dimension with the band.
The band kept it moving with a bunch of their high-energy songs steamrolling throughout the first half of the set. Songs like “1 Last Cigarette” and “Hush Hush” made me have to plug my ears when the first few notes were played as the crowd’s screams made me regret forgetting my earplugs. For 11 songs straight, I saw people dancing like no one was watching and falling into their friend’s arms as a new song started.
They took it down a notch as they transitioned to a more acoustic vibe but that doesn’t mean there was a dull moment. They do an acoustic portion for every city they visit but each one was different as they take suggestions from the crowd or just play what feels right. Notable songs were “Something to Hold on to”, “Help me get over you”, “Know Me, The Black and White, and the first time “Sorry Mom” was ever played live.
The band’s talents were on full display throughout the night. Guitarists Spencer and Jeff showcased their impeccable skills, delivering infectious riffs that had the crowd dancing and swaying. Drummer Garrison Burgess provided a solid foundation, ensuring the rhythm section was tight and groovy. But, speaking of tight instrumentation, what came as a shock to me was someone in the front row signaled to Spencer that it was his birthday and knew how to play the drums behind their song 2/14. Like the upstanding people they are, they took the chance and boy was this guy amazing.
The birthday boy who had the chance to prove himself was named Mikey and after getting a rundown on how the song intro worked he might as well have been the new drummer. The crowd erupted as Mikey made the first drum break into the song and the crowd continued to chant his name even as the song made its close making for a good way to start the final push. All members had 4th quarter energy as the band was visibly having a blast again as they went back to their more powerful songs.
However, “I Think I Like You” was the only song where I couldn’t hear the band at all because the crowd was screaming it louder than them. In addition, crowd favorites such as “Roses” “See Through” and “Novacaine” finally reached the ears and hearts of thousands with great effect on my ability to hear the vocals.
I loved everything about last night’s show, from all the bands giving up on calling the city “Orem” and sticking with “Salt Lake City” to oceans of lights to all the slow heartfelt songs. The night was a testament to the vitality of indie pop rock, with Charlotte Sands, Band Suns, and The Band Camino each delivering unforgettable performances. It was a showcase of talent, passion, and raw energy that left the audience in awe walking out of the venue. If you missed this show, be sure to catch these bands live whenever you can – they are all on a promising course in the world of music.