Four velvet orange sport coats, three creative band picks and one annoying audience was the breakdown of Vista Kicks’ latest Albuquerque performance Saturday.
The Northern California rock band Vista Kicks made a quick stop through Albuquerque on their Booty Shakers Ball Tour to play a show at the mysterious Moonlight Lounge.
To warm up the venue before Vista Kicks, local bands Eugene and Treehouse Basement both performed six to seven song sets. Both groups came with something to prove — and prove it they did, creating catchy beats and a warm presence.
During the opening sets, Vista Kicks members Derek Thomas, Sam Plecker, Trevor Sutton and Nolan Le Vine sat at a back table and cheered on their new friends, something I have never seen lead acts do during past shows. This was a unique move on the band’s part and showed that Kicks cared about local bands and do not hold themselves up as more than just regular spectators enjoying live music.
Halfway through Eugene’s set, the members of Vista Kicks went backstage to warm up. Once they reappeared, they traded in their wore black denim attire for the more flashy orange velvet suit jackets. The matching looks were a fun nod to old-school boy bands such as the Beatles.
As pictured on Vista Kicks Instagram account, they have proof that they can fill large venues with hundreds of enthusiastic fans — this was not the case during their Albuquerque show.
The Moonlight lounge is a severely small venue with a 21-and-up age requirement, and Vista Kicks could not possibly gather the numbers needed to fill the bar. In attendance were a few middle-aged mothers, the band members of both Eugene and Treehouse Basements and from what I could tell maybe 15 true Vista Kicks fans. The rest of the audience was made up of the local bar crawlers looking for a new setting after a few drinks downtown.
Once at their mics (not once on stage, because the Moonlight Lounge doesn’t actually have a stage) Vista Kicks lit up the small cube of a venue with their electrifying music.
Kicks visited their past, present and even future during their hour-long set. They performed selections from their 2016 EP, “Chasing Waves,” they made their way through a good portion of their first full-length album, “Booty Shakers Ball,” and surprisingly performed two unreleased songs from their next LP slated to drop later this year. Their show ended on the very high note of Vista Kicks playing one of their newest, the widely adored track, “Gotta Get Away.”
The audience was a sparse crowd of overtly drunk people, constantly talking over the band. Vista Kicks performed as if they were headlining Coachella and paid no mind to the awful, at times disrespectful, crowd.
In fact that is probably one of my only complaints I have — Vista Kicks are far too talented to be playing dive bars. Sister Bar would have been a far more fitting venue for Kicks to play at, but I am sure it is only a matter of time before they are filling Sunshine with sold-out shows and making the crowd at Moonlight Lounge regret talking through their performance.
Colton Newman is the photo editor and a music writer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Coltonperson.