Badflower Concert Review with Dorothy and Dead Poet Society
August 19, 2021
Illinois State Fair Grandstand
The Illinois State Fair has always brought in great acts and this year was no exception. The lineups included, Sammy Hagar (which unfortunately was cancelled due to weather), Kane Brown, I Love The 90s Tour, Bret Michaels, and George Thorogood. Badflower with Dorothy and Dead Poet Society appeared on Thursday, August 19th.
It was a hot and humid Midwest day. The weather did not keep the fans away. In addition, the fair also tested fans for Covid prior to entry if they were not previously vaccinated. The future of live shows are going to be through vaccination or testing requirements. They also had a free vaccine tent for those who wanted it. Badflower has already gained diehard fans who traveled from far and wide just to see them. I had previously seen them live at Spring Fling in Peoria, Illinois in 2019 at their set right before headliners, Incubus.
Dead Poet Society began the night. They are a rock band from Boston, Massachusetts who met while at Berklee College of Music and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. The band consists of vocalist Jack Underkofler, guitarists Jack Collins, bassist Taylor, and drummer Will Goodroad. I was pleasantly surprised by their ethereal sound which was similar live to Badflower but their sound also reminded me of Royal Blood. They had a short set but it was filled with quality, catchy songs. The band had previously toured with Badflower and a lot of their fans were fans of both. Learn more about Dead Poet Society on their website.
Dorothy was the second band to take the stage. I have heard Dorothy before on the radio and in commercials. I was looking forward to seeing them live for the first time. The hard rock band is from Los Angeles, California. Dorothy consists of vocalist Dorothy Martin, drummer Jason Ganberg, guitarists Devon Pangle and Eli Wulfmeier, and bassist Eliot Lorango. Their album, ROCKISDEAD, catapulted them into fame and features hard rocking songs like “Missile”, “Wicked Ones” and “After Midnight”. Their second album, 28 Days in The Valley, was co-written and produced by Linda Perry.
Vocals started off kind of strained but probably attributed to the humidity and the dust in Central Illinois. As the evening went on, Dorothy Martin sounded phenomenal and is a band that you do not want to miss. What you probably do not realize is the whole band is very talented. I was in awe of guitarist, Devon Pangle and his amazing playing. Dorothy asked the crowd about their life goals. She talked about surviving addicition and admitted she was addicted to Xanax for ten years, she is an alcoholic and almost died twice. She reminded us that if she can make it, then we can too. The band played “Medicine Man”. Dorothy announced their new album will be call Gifts From The Holy Ghost. For more about Dorothy go to their website here: https://dorothyonfire.com/
Badflower is a band was formed in Los Angeles, California. When I had previously seen Badflower and at the time, I did not understand their appeal. I was not familiar with them at all. Then, I started listening to their music and it hooks you. The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Josh Katz, lead guitarist Joey Morrow, bassist Alex Espiritu and drummer Anthony Sonetti.
There have been comparisons of Josh Katz to Kurt Cobain. I did not understand that comparison until seeing them tonight live. His lyrics are a brutally honest dialog in the head of a generation. He can say these things in a poetic way with a passion that is soul-stirring and emotive. You probably have heard Badflower songs like “The Jester” and “Ghost” on the radio but you need to listen to “Family”, “Daddy” and “30” to really gain an understanding of the genius that is Badflower.
The band started the night with “Soap”, “Drop Dead”, and “30”. Josh Katz’s voice starts with a beautiful falsetto and in the next moment will blow you away with powerful screams. The die-hard fans in the audience were treated to the live debut of “Don’t Hate Me” as well as a new song that was just released while the band was on stage “F*ck Boi”.
Josh asked the crowd who had seen the band before and about half the crowd said they had not seen them before. He joked that you may have though they were bigger based on their radio play but you were just getting in on them early. It is always good to know a band before they get too big to afford their shows.
Their website: Badflower. You can pre-order their album This is How The World Ends that is out on September 24th. You can also see them on their remaining tour dates.