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Rainbow Kitten Surprise at Fillmore Detroit

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019

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Rainbow Kitten Surprise has been purring since 2013, when the group members got together at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

Since then the genre-blending quintet has released three albums, signing a major label deal for 2018's "How To Friend, Love, Freefall." In May RKS followed up with a single featuring "Heart" and "No Vacancy," a pair of concert favorites that hadn't yet been released.

Mostly, though, the group has made a name for itself on the road, from festivals such as Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits to its own shows. And in June it sold out the prestigious Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver in just seven days...

Frontman Sam Melo says by phone that he's "surprised at the response" to the "How To Friend..." album, more than a year and a half after its release, Among the surprises is the popularity of the song "Moody Orange," which Melo says he "was even hesitant to put on the record. My bandmates kind of convinced me one of the days we were (recording); One of the other things we were working on had kind of fallen flat, so we ended up running with ('Moody Orange'). I enjoy the song; The song was dear to me, but it was just a question of 'How will people receive it?' and if we could do it justice. Definitely a lot more people took to it than I expected, which I'm happy about."

Having recently moved from North Carolina to Nashville, RKS has been "in and out of the studio a couple of times" working new material, according to Melo. "As soon as the last (album) drops, I'm on to the next one -- I'm always kind of one step ahead of myself. I'm hoping that the stuff I've been sitting on is gonna pan out some time in the future, like, it all comes together and 'OK, it's the right time to finish it and release it.' Sometimes you do have to slow down and see what's in front of us as a band and what people are willing to sort of digest, musically."

Melo says he and his bandmates well remember their Alma Mater's legendary 2007 football upset of the University of Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, which made it the first NCAA Division I-AA team to defeated a ranked Division I-A team. "It's something you probably don't mention when we play in Michigan, yeah. (laughs). It's pretty much gospel down here -- it's 'amen' and then it's 'Beat Michigan!,' back to back. We talk about it still. Every time we hit a low point we remember that. It's a great memory."

Rainbow Kitten Surprise and Illiterate Light perform Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors at 6:30 p.m. $31-$56. 313-961-5451 or thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

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