“Emulation. Oh, I know that guy. Imitation. Oh, you are that guy.” Mike is not that guy. Ryan is not that guy. Pat is not that guy. Ricky and Dave? Not those guys. Then, who are they? These guys make up the band Red Sun Rising and their only charge of imitation is in the title and lyrics of their song “Imitation.” “Imitation” almost closed out their Houston show on April 3, 2018 at the House of Blues, but they came back out and followed it up with a powerful encore. The encore consisted of their hit song “Emotionless,” off of their first studio album Polyester Zeal. “Emotionless” attained its peak position on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart on May 21, 2016.
Red Sun Rising is currently touring their new album, Thread. This is their first full headline tour. Tuesday, April 3rd, they played four songs off of this sophomore studio album – “Veins,” “Lonely Girl,” “Deathwish,” and “Fascination.” “Lonely Girl,” opens up with a strong bass line. Bassist Ricky Miller kills it by creating a deep, sexy groove. Everybody likes a tambourine, right? Lead singer, Mike Protich, brandishes his tambourine (a literal tambourine) during this song. The tambourine and bass combined had almost everyone bopping around. “Lonely Girl,” has not been released as a single yet. It’s not one of their more well-known new songs. However, its funky groove and fast beat made it a quick friend with the crowd.
If “Lonely Girl” was the crowd’s friend, “Deathwish” was close family. RSR played it halfway through their ten song set. Preceded by “Unnatural,” a roller coaster of emotion and energy, it’s not hyperbole or basic cliché when I write that the crowd was electric. Mike is very animated on stage. The music really fills his soul. It possesses his body and what doesn’t come out in his melodic voice is seen in his dance moves. “Unnatural,” is one of those songs where Mike glides about, flailing in a graceful manner. That sounds like an oxymoron, but when you see it you will understand.
He also had everybody vibing during the lyrics: “Do what you do and we’ll do what we do.” The effect was infectious. So, when “Deathwish” came on pretty much everyone was already under the band’s spell, dancing and singing along. The end of the song reads “We belong to each other tonight. In a world that looks for a fight. We got a deathwish closing our eyes.” I didn’t see anyone who wasn’t singing along. It was a beautiful moment in which the music bonded everyone together. The lyrics served as a sweet reminder that we’re all together, battling a world that looks for a fight.
Other notable songs played were “Push,” “My Muse,” and “Uninvited.” “Uninvited” is an Alanis Morrisette remake. The drums were fantastic during this song. The bass drum, which has the image of the sunflower eye from the Thread album cover painted on it, pulsated throughout the track. This personified the eye and almost made you feel as if you were tripping through the events in the movie “Alice in Wonderland.” Lead Guitarist Ryan Williams played a fantastic solo during “Uninvited”. He pulled his guitar over his head and threaded life into those strings.
The whole band was full of energy. There was no phoning in this show. Ricky was jumping around, gritting his teeth and bopping his head to the beats; Pat was pounding his drums, and Mike brought his staple move. Much like Stevie Nicks has her iconic twirls, Mike has this move where he waves his arms around as if he’s about to take flight. He bears a pleasant similar resemblance to John Snow of “Game of Thrones.” So, picture John Snow imitating the flight of Daenerys Targaryen on her dragon and you have a pretty accurate visual of the move. The only critique is that I would have liked to have seen more songs from Thread, such as “Clarity,” “Evil Like You,” and “Benny Two Dogs.” The band posted on Instagram that “each week has been a slightly different set”. They’ll be back in Texas on May 26th , which creates an opportunity to possibly catch these songs. Check them out for yourself then or at one of their other shows on this tour.