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SunSquabi / lespecial // Live @ Visulite Theatre // 11.9.2022

Photos and review by: Jason Robey

CHARLOTTE, NC — Progressive power trio lespecial and livetronica trio SunSquabi kicked off their fall tour on Wednesday night at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte. Well before show time, the venue getting packed in tight by the scores of fans both bands have built up in the Queen City. 

lespecial stepped rather unassumingly onto a dark stage, the faint sound of guitar cut through the crowd noise, soon to be broken by Jonathan Grusauskas’ voice welcoming the audience to the first night of the tour. As they broke into “Onlookers,” a slow-burning track from their 2017 album cheen, the room spun with spotlights and lasers, washing the crowd with colors punctuating every nuance of the band’s music. 

The group continued through a setlist that touched the myriad of styles the band incorporates into their sound, from bass-dropping house and hip hop to mind-boggling progressive and metal. They ran through a handful of cheen songs, several from their latest release, Ancient Homies, and several that have yet to make it into the studio. From head-banging to hip-swaying, the band brought everyone in the room with them on a musical journey through the unique “Homieverse.”

The mesmerizing light show and addicting blend of synthesizers with live drums, bass, and guitar continued with SunSquabi, as they opened with a trio of songs from their just-released album, Arise. Throughout the set, Kevin Donohue switched between guitar and keyboards, while Josh Fairman did the same with a synthesizer and bass guitar. With the addition of drums provided by Chris Anderson and additional tracks from their laptop, the group blazed their way through just over an hour and a half of instrumental music that had every body in the room moving.

The trio kept the energy in the room high for the duration of their set, which was made up mostly of Arise songs, with a few older songs like “Odyssey” and “Reptile” sprinkled throughout. SunSquabi kept the crowd in a trance for their entire show, rarely stopping to talk, rather letting the music do it all with a vivid light show keeping the aesthetics equally captivating. 

Jason Robey
Jason has a deep relationship with music, as a performing musician, avid concert-goer and professional audio engineer. He has a passion for the local Phoenix music scene, as well as indie music from all over. He also enjoys writing, photography and anything that can make him laugh. Instagram: yitbos69 Twitter