March 3, 2023
Photos by Laura Fox (LLFoxphotos)
Review by Laura Fox and Dave Fox
Highly Suspect’s latest Indianapolis gig was a banger, punctuated by some wild techno wizardry, crazy antics, and true love between the fans and this band. The east-coast-based band, which consists of frontman/guitarist Johnny Stevens, drummer Ryan Meyer, guitarist Matt Kofos, guitar/synth guy Mark Schwartz and bassist Ryan Meyer, played in The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre in support of their 2022 album release, Midnight Demon Tour. Openers Dead Poet Society also played a killer set; see article below.
Highly Suspect played a 15-song set, plus two encore songs, to a deeply loyal crowd despite significant technical issues at the beginning of the set. Lead vocalist Johnny Stevens seemed annoyed by the audio problems he was having, but he powered through them, turning his frustration into performance energy.
Most of the show was high energy, with a slowdown in the middle for some acoustic vibes. It ramped back up after “Serotonia,” which had a very psychedelic feel, and ended with a bang. We were disappointed, though, that they skipped “Little One” and “16,” which are arguably their most commercial tunes.
There were a few things that especially stood out to us about the show. One was passion of lead guitarist Matt Kofos. There were times when it seemed as though he could barely contain himself. He was so much fun to watch! We were also impressed when Mark Schwartz played the guitar with one hand and the synth with the other; that was just cool.
Another highlight was the concern Stevens showed when there was a little disturbance in the crowd. He made sure nobody was hurt, reminded the fans it’s not to OK touch someone without their permission, thanked the security guards for keeping everyone safe, and told the fans that this was a “family friendly” show. The very next sentence he dropped the F-bomb, which cracked us up.
We were surprised by how many kids were in the audience, most of whom were at their first concert. The young man below got the whole VIP experience, which must have been such a thrill for him. He will undoubtedly remember this night for the rest of his life.
Please, please, please make your kids use hearing protection at shows. (You should use it, too.) No band is worth the risk of sustaining hearing loss.
There were a few surprises throughout and after the show, but we’re not going to ruin them for anyone. You’ll just need to go to a Highly Suspect show yourself. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Highly Suspect's US tour will pick back up in April and features some festival gigs later this summer. For more info, click below:
Here's some Highly Suspect from Midnight Demon Club for your viewing pleasure: