The Sunflower Lounge
Review by Isabelle Evans
One of the best parts of the Birmingham music scene is how accessible it is to see live music, there are tens of gigs everyday and this week I had the privilege of watching Arcade Hearts headline the Sunflower Lounge with the support of Real Cool and Citrus.
The night was kicked off by Citrus, an indie band from Coventry. The crowd interaction in between songs wonderfully built up the energy of the audience. Addressing the crowd and encouraging them to join in with some of their songs created a much more exciting atmosphere, which combined with the music they play and how well they play it, helped to lift the mood of the audience immediately.
Every song that was played by the five piece was filled with energy, though my personal highlight was their penultimate song which felt so honest and emotional to watch. Seeing the audience swaying and getting invested into the beautifully played music added to the feeling as well, there was complete silence from the crowd, it was one of the most beautiful moments of the night.
Next up was Real Cool, an 80s and 90s style pop band from Birmingham. Another band with fantastic crowd interaction, taking the energy that the audience already had and raising it by encouraging everyone to dance. There was clearly a lot of enjoyment from the crowd as well, you could look around and see half of the people in the room dancing. Adding onto this, it was clear the band were enjoying themselves as well, which added to the whole performance a lot more and created an infectious energy.
Their music felt very reminiscent of The 1975 as well as the pop of the 80s and 90s and you can see that kind of atmosphere in the way they perform as well, they used the whole stage to create a fun environment. It was really great to watch them pause before one of their songs to teach the audience how to sing the chorus so that the crowd could be involved in the song, a wonderful moment of engaging with the crowd.
Onto the headliner, Arcade Hearts, a pop four piece. They were immediately enthralling to watch, frequently moving around the stage and showing their enjoyment for performing clearly. The energy of the room was raised with each act and seeing how much Arcade Hearts seemed to love the music they played, their performance brought the energy to a whole new level and they masterfully handled the energy that the crowd gave to them.
This was especially clear when performing their recent single ‘Body’ where they managed to balance sounding amazing with being enchanting to watch. The vocals in each song were fantastic and filled with emotion and every instrument worked together cohesively to create lively and captivating songs. As well as that, by this time of the night a lot of the audience had been drinking and were getting slightly rowdy and they handled it wonderfully, interacting with any people who shouted up to them and encouraging people having drunken fun instead of ignoring it.
On the third night of their tour, Arcade Hearts delivered an astounding performance, with incredible support from Real Cool and Citrus. I highly recommend seeing these bands live or you will be missing out.