Show Review: Hail The Sun, Kaonashi, and More at Vanguard in Tulsa, OK

Hot off the release of their newest record, Divine Inner Tension, Hail the Sun embarked on a tour in celebration of the album, featuring a stop at Tulsa’s Vanguard. With support from Tsosis, Glasslands, and Kaonashi, the four-band bill was a tour de force of energy, endurance, and, above all, good times.

The evening kicked off with the ground-shaking performance from Glasslands, an atmospheric rock band who aren’t afraid to get technical with their sound—a trait they take from their influences, which range from lo-fi to heavy and everything in between. Vocalist Josh Kincheloe, a bit under the weather, asked the crowd to sing even louder for him in case his voice gave out during the set. He and the other two members of Glasslands—Jordan DiSorbo (guitar) and Brandon Mullins (drums)—recently suffered a nasty cold, but that didn’t stop them from giving 110% during their set. The trio more than warmed up the audience, most of whom, it appeared, came straight from work, as the doors opened at 6 p.m. The band left the show with quite a few new fans—a fact punctuated by their long merch line that wrapped down the hallway of the venue.

Next up, Tsosis took the stage for a slight change of pace with their combination of math rock and emo. The now two-piece Sacramento band were once known as the Speed of Sound in Seawater before they rebranded to Tsosis (pronounced “so-sis”). It’s nice to see that vocalist/guitarist Damien Verrett’s inspiration hasn’t changed, still writing songs about monsters, like “Here There Be Dragons.”

This show didn’t mark Kaonashi’s first show in Tulsa for 2023. It didn’t mark their second either. Try the third show … just this year. The Philadelphia-based five-piece are a force of nature unlike any other, creating a set full of—just barely—controlled chaos. Vocalist Peter Rono stomped his feet in time to the music, screeching his way through each song, only taking a break to share the microphone with the group of fans on the barricade.

Kaonashi treated attendees to songs like, “Fuck Temple University,” “An Evening of Moving Pictures with Scooter Corkle,” “Humiliation Ritual,” and “I Hate the Sound of Car Keys.” The only thing that rivals the sheer power of the band is their penchant for naming songs. The set that went by much too quickly closed with “You’ll Understand When You’re Older,” a free-for-all which ended in a mass stage invasion.

Finally, it was time for Hail the Sun to take the stage, who played a show at the Vanguard back in January of this year. Quite fittingly, the band opened and closed their year with shows in Tulsa. Kicking off their set with “Devaluation,” vocalist Donovan Melero immediately hefted his microphone stand in the air, and it rarely touched the ground for the rest of the evening. In fact, Melero performed various feats of danger throughout the evening. Perhaps most notably, he clambered onto the highrise on which Allen Casillas’ drums sit, hopping on top of the kick drum before launching himself at least 10 feet into the air—all with the microphone stand in hand and never missing a single beat.

For those aware of Hail the Sun, you know that Melero took charge when it came to drums on the record, but with the band’s newest record Divine Inner Tension, Melero relinquished his control to Casillas, who had until that point only been a touring member of the band. That being said, Melero certainly doesn’t give up the opportunity to play the drums when given a chance. About 40 minutes into the set, Melero finds himself behind the kit for “The ‘Fun’ in Dysfunction,” “Black Serotonin,” and “Human Target Practice.” The latter of which sees Melero resume his frontmen duties at the end of the song. Melero makes playing the drums while singing look easy, which is quite the feat.

Another highlight of their set saw the band perform the single “Maladapted,” a fan favorite from their new LP. The energy in the room was infectious as Melero, Casillas, Shane Gann (guitar), Aric Garcia (guitar), and John Stirrat (bass), continuously fed on both each others’ energy and the nearly full venue’s. If you’ve never seen Hail the Sun live, think about the energy Anthony Green performs with. Now double it. There’s not a second when Melero is standing still on stage. From the moment he took the stage to the moment he left, he was constantly moving, giving it his all—and then some.

Hail The Sun

Kaonashi

Glasslands

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