From a festival to Bowling Green’s stage: Susto delivers stellar performance

By Jack Quinn

Susto is a five piece American indie rock band from Charleston, South Carolina. They have been making music and touring since 2014. 

I first saw Susto at Railbird Music Festival in Lexington last August. I had not heard much about this band but was instantly a fan after seeing them live.

So a month later, when I heard they were playing in Bowling Green, I had to go.

The setting for these two shows couldn’t have been more different. At Railbird, they were performing on a large festival stage early in the day, so the crowd was rather scattered across the festival grounds, but that didn’t stop the band from delivering an energetic and emotional performance. This was a rather large festival with full stage crew and a high-end professional sound system, so it is no doubt that the band was able to provide a full sound.

Each instrument was distinct and clear, and the band as a whole maintained an even volume and quality tone. But between the short festival style set length and the large outdoor venue, there was something missing.

 I was happy yet surprised to see that Susto was stopping in Bowling Green on their headlining national tour, especially because they were playing a venue I had never heard of with support from another band I had never heard of.

After arriving at the venue I quickly realized why I had never heard of it. It seemed to be more for wedding receptions, with lots of tables and chairs set up with a small makeshift sound board and a small bar. This venue was a far cry from the large festival stage, and I had low expectations for the quality of the performance.

The band was faced with all the usual challenges of playing a small town: small venue, low turn out and amateur set up, but once again, they arose to the challenge and delivered one of the best live performances I have seen in years. Something about the tightness of the space allowed for the sound to fill the room and create a warm tone. The keyboardist created beautifully auroral textures that were absent at their Railbird performance but shined in this small room. The guitars were toneful and they made great use of distortion that, when standing close to the stage, I could almost feel. The bass perfectly cut through the mix and provided a melodic rhythm, that was perfectly accompanied by the drums.

These various challenges that I originally thought would hold the band back subsequently made for a very intimate performance that allowed for an emotional connection between the audience and the band. 

After their encore the band were happily mingling with crowd members, showing a level of humility and character that is hard to find in most musicians today. 

Recap: WKU v. Louisville

By John Alden

The WKU football team traveled to Nashville yesterday to take on in-state rival Louisville and came up short in their fight against a Power 5 opponent. The Hilltoppers suffered a 38-21 loss to the Cardinals, giving WKU a 1-2 record heading into their bye week.

Coach Tyson Helton gave Louisville credit on the team’s improvement from last season.

“I thought Louisville did a nice job today, a much-improved football team,” Helton said. “I thought they controlled the line of scrimmage, put pressure on the quarterback.”

Quarterback Steven Duncan said he thought his team didn’t play to its full potential throughout the game.

“I think we played a lot better in the second half than we did in the first,” Duncan said. “And that starts with me. I’ll take [responsibility for] that.”

Although WKU wasn’t able to pull off the upset, Coach Helton was pleased with the opportunity to play Louisville in a neutral environment.

“We love to play Louisville or Kentucky every year,” Coach said. “We always want to be able to put ourselves on a platform to compete at the highest level and play against teams like that.”

The Hilltopper football team will be off this coming Saturday, but they will return home on Sept. 28 to take on conference foe UAB at Smith Stadium.

Young Romantics – Interview

Young Romantics is an alternative rock band based in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The band originally formed in 2017 when the two original members, Griffin Fletcher and Matt Porter, recorded songs in a Honda Accord.

It soon expanded into what it is today, with Fletcher on vocals, Porter on drums, Gerek Patrick on bass, and Mitchell Manual on guitar.

The band’s EP, “In Case You Feel the Same,” was released on Aug. 30.

Preview: The Hilltoppers vs. Central Arkansas

By Matthew Hargrove

Western Kentucky does not want to repeat what they did in last year’s home opener. 

The Tops played an FCS team in the Maine Bears, in which Western was the heavy favorite to win. Long story short, The Hilltoppers blew a 21-0 lead losing 31-28. It lead to a 3-9 record and one of the most embarrassing seasons in Hilltopper history. Thursday night, the Tops get another crack at an FCS team on home opening night with this time facing the Central Arkansas Bears. 

The biggest headline entering this game was WKU’s head coach, Tyson Helton,  during his first ever game as a head coach. He already has love from the Western fans considering he was the offensive coordinator for the Hilltoppers from 2014-15 when he helped the squad rank 24th nationally. A 1-0 start to the season would increase that high passion for the former Tennessee offensive coordinator and it would the first time the Hilltoppers have been over .500 since November 17, 2017.

The Western player with the heavy spotlight and arguably the most pressure on him is quarterback Steven Duncan. Duncan had a very inconsistent 2018 year, as he was fighting for the starting job with Davis Shanley. Duncan had a 57.8 completion percentage, threw nine touchdowns and 1,071 yards, which ranked 10th in Conference-USA last season. It’s no secret that the most important position in football has been very poor since the Mike White era, but maybe Helton, who has worked with multiple NFL quarterbacks such as Mike White, Sam Darnold, Brandon Doughty, and Joe Webb, can show bring light to the end of the tunnel for the position.

ESPN’s Football Power Index has Western having an 89.7% chance to beat the Bears, and considering what happened last year there is no excuse to lose this game. Even if the Tops are suppose to win by a lot it is officially game day and the start of another beautiful season of what makes the world go round — college football.

Young poets perform at community theater event

by Natalie Turner

A community theater and a high school came together to give young performers a chance to flex their poetic muscles.

BG OnStage hosted its first Open Mic event, featuring performers from Bowling Green High School’s Purple Poets Society.

This story originally appeared on Natalie Turner’s website. Listen to the radio version below here.

Christian Butterfield said he started writing poetry after discovering slam poets online.

“I didn’t like poetry for the longest time,” he said. “I think it’s because when we talk about poetry in school, it’s all about the rhyming stuff. I watched a bunch of slam poetry and I was like ‘woah!’ They’re just talking. It’s like prose but better.”

Butterfield performed several pieces, including an original work about Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli.

BG OnStage Music Director Maddie Hughes said the community theater’s first Open Mic event came together easily because student interest was high.

“There was already such a strong foundation, a crowd, and an audience for this kind of stuff,” Hughes said. “It was not terribly difficult to get the ball rolling on this.”

Hughes said she thinks the young performers fit in the theater well.

“We are any and all things art. This is a theater space, and there are aspects of drama incorporated in poetry.”

​Performer Abigail Adams-Smith said she considers herself a writer first, but she will be using her performance skills when she reads at this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition.

Adams-Smith said she tries to perform as often as possible.

“I just try to get as much into character as possible. It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling anymore. It matters how I’m feeling in character right then.”

Emma Christian, another poet who performed at the Gaslight Theater, said her own poetry was “too edgy” for a BETA Convention.

“I’m fine. I’m emotionally okay,” she said. “But my poetry got reported for being too edgy. I was like okay. That’s something I should probably figure out. So then I went to the Purple Poets Society at my school.”

Christian said she loves performing, but she’s afraid of the “starving artist” stereotype.

“I’m kind of left in this position where I’m like—this is something that I love and that I’m passionate about, but I also want to have a family and buy a house.”

Like Christian Butterfield, Anna Cherry started writing poetry after listening to a slam poem.

“I knew that slam poetry was a thing, but I didn’t think that people could get that passionate about it,” she said.

Cherry said she can’t imagine a future where she isn’t writing.

“I still shake when I perform, and that’s never going to change,” she said. “The confidence comes from the message that I put into the pieces.”

At the end of the night, student Elizabeth Richey won a $300 scholarship drawing. She said she was nervous about performing.

“I almost didn’t get out the car whenever I got here,” Richey said. “I was like ‘I don’t want to do this,’ and I stepped back into the car. Then my mom told me I could do this, and I walked out.”

Richey said the emotional piece she performed at the event was the first original poem she had ever written.

“Writing it was very therapeutic. It just kind of got my feelings out of there, from them being built up so much.”

Maddie Hughes said she thinks Bowling Green can expect more poetry events from BG OnStage in the future.

“I think we got a really good start here, and it’s something the Bowling Green community would really like to see more of.”

Artist Profile: J Roddy Walston & the Business

Revolution 91.7 is excited to welcome our headliner, J Roddy Walston & the Business, to this year’s 15th Annual Mayhem.

Based out of Richmond, Virginia, the band is currently on a tour across the United States that has them heading to Indianapolis, Nashville, Cleveland and of course Bowling Green.

Led by lead singer J Roddy Walston, the band is known for an energetic show that features Walston on the piano. “The Business” now consists of Billy Gordon (lead guitar/vocals), Logan Davis (bass/vocals) and Steve Colmus (drums).

On stage, you will see Walston playing a 1970s Yamaha piano that weighs nearly 300 pounds.

The band cites their influences as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Harry Nilsson, T. Rex and Leon Russell.

They released their brand new album, Destroyers Of The Soft Life, last year. The first song released on the album, The Wanting, topped out at #22 on the Alternative charts and has been a favorite of the Revolution staff.

You can see J Roddy Walston & the Business and an exciting lineup of local bands on Saturday at 6pm at the SoKY Marketplace. The event is FREE, but we will be collecting money for Warren County’s Rainhill Equine Facility.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3BfVRMIfODB0EHBaIPZrVO

Artist Profile: The Josephines

Revolution 91.7 is proud to welcome the Josephines as part of this year’s Mayhem lineup.

Hailing out of Bowling Green, the Josephines describe themselves as a rag tag group of rock n roll drenched country hoodlums. The band is consisted of singer Brad Tabor, lead guitarist Zach Lindsey, bassist Josh London and steel guitarist Alex Lindsey. 

The Josephines were founded last year and have taken the Bowling Green music scene by storm. They like to consider themselves as a combination of the harmonies of the Eagles, the story telling of Tom Waits or Blaze Foley, the songwriting similar to Tom Petty and the stage presence of the Foo Fighters. It’s safe to say you are in for a good time if you’re watching the Josephines perform.

Recently, the band released their first EP, Sober Up. On it, they featured Grammy Award winner Sam Bush and Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters.

You will be able to see the Josephines live on Saturday at Revolution 91.7’s 15th annual Mayhem. Gates will open at 5pm and the first band will take the stage at 6pm. All of this is at the SoKY Marketplace in downtown Bowling Green and all proceeds will be donated to Rainhill Equine Facility.

Hot Donna had the Josephines on Local Shots this week. You can find their interview below and even hear some live in-studio songs.

Artist Profile: Kenzie Crowe & the Flaming Hots

Revolution 91.7 welcomes Kenzie Crowe & The Flaming Hots to the 15th annual Mayhem lineup!

Kenzie Crowe & The Flaming Hots are a family folk rock band hailing from Bowling Green, KY. Kenzie Crowe fronts the group on lead vocals and guitar/cello, with sister Laila Crowe on backing vocals and violin/mandolin and father Kevin Crowe on drums. The group has also been known to feature mother Carol Crowe and other friends in the Bowling Green music community.

The band released their debut single “Golden Dish” last April, and though new music is in the works, they’re taking their time to craft something special. Meanwhile, the level of musicianship and raw energy of a KC&TFH show will keep you on your toes, and most definitely leave you wanting more.

Hot Donna interviewed Kenzie Crowe last week. Check out that interview here:

Artist Profile: The Rift

Revolution 91.7 welcomes The Rift to the 15th annual Mayhem lineup!

The Rift are an experimental punk rock group hailing from Bowling Green, Kentucky and Brooksfield, Ohio. The four-piece made up of Kai Rogers (guitar, vocals, drums), Spencer Woods (keyboard, vocals), Colton Turley (bass), and Yan Garza (drums) met through WKU’s music program.

If you bring expectations to a Rift show, be prepared to throw them out the door. Although their influences (Morning Teleportation, Cage The Elephant, Red Hot Chili Peppers) are obvious, these guys will take you on a journey that transcends genre and weaves music together in strange and exciting ways.

The Rift released their single “Bird on a Lightpost” in December 2017, followed by the release of their debut album “Wasteland Flaming Sun,” which is available on Bandcamp and most streaming platforms.

The Rift joined Hot Donna on Local Shots a few weeks ago. Listen in here: