I was feeling energized and excited as I walked into The Turf Club on Wednesday night. I was reaching my burnout point last week if I’m being completely honest and a couple of days off from concerts made me realize just how important live music is to my well-being and mental health. Maybe it was the longing for the taste of live music again (yeah, a little dramatic since it was only three nights without it but, hey, I’m addicted) or maybe it was the fact that I knew I was going to get one hell of a show from Susto. Regardless, I was ready to go and thrilled as the lights went down and opening act Johnny Delaware took the stage.
I instantly recognized Johnny as being a member of the headlining act, Susto, and was excited to see what his solo music was going to be all about. He wasted no time and hopped into a short and soothing set where lyrics and emotion reigned supreme. Although I felt that the rest of the growing audience was ignoring Johnny and his music with the way they were talking throughout his thirty-five-minute set, I was stuck in the palm of his hand with every song that passed. His music was definitely a bit more slow and steady when compared to that of Susto but, after he explained that his album has a full band on it, not just “boring” acoustic songs, I started to notice certain elements that had a very Susto vibe in his music. A little southern, a little rockin’, full of emotion with an attention to detail when it came to every single word– I may not be normally so sold on acoustic singer-songwriter type stuff but I was buying everything Johnny was giving the audience.
Speaking of not normally being sold on a certain style, Susto is one of those bands. They are one of my unicorns. They aren’t super heavy and not super pop-punk whiny like I typically go for. They are just a solid rock n’ roll band which is typically not my thing but something about this band has had me hooked since I first stumbled into one of their shows in February of 2017. It’s been years and I have had the honor of catching this band many times since then, although a bit out of my normal wheelhouse, I always truly look forward to catching them live with Wednesday night being no different.
There’s just something about vocalist Justin Osborne that has had me hooked through all of these years. Although they clearly take their music super seriously and always give their audiences a flawless set, there’s something so personable and chill about Justin’s aura. Watching him perform will just bring such a sense of calm over you while giving you an undeniable burst of energy with the music that he and the band are performing. It’s this weird blend that not many acts can pull off but Susto pulls it off so perfectly and seemingly effortlessly. After just a few tracks, Justin confessed his love for The Turf Club to the audience. He went on to say that he has a Turf Club staff shirt and he wears it so frequently that he is starting to think that his kid’s teacher thinks he works there.
Beyond Justin is the rest of the band that is Susto. Although there has been some change over with the members over the years, the vibe of this band has never changed. As mentioned, it’s just good ol’ fashioned rock n roll but there are clear elements of everything from blues to indie to pop that flow throughout every song keeping every song feeling different while being clearly that of Susto. Again, there are no pig squeals, no whiny sad boy vocals but what do you get with Susto are songs full of heart, emotion, and power which is all I could ever ask for. I honestly don’t know how many songs the band powered through during the show but I know that I was stuck in their world for every track and there was no other place I would have rather been.
I really wish I had more to say about Susto and the show in general on Wednesday night but I also don’t want to ramble on and keep saying the same things with different words so I’ll just leave it at this– be open to other music that you may not typically be into. Find your unicorns and love them dearly. Had I gone into that first Susto show five years ago with the idea that I only listen to metal and pop-punk, I never would have had Wednesday night and wouldn’t have Susto in my life. I couldn’t imagine a life without Susto or concerts like Wednesday night’s show.