–By Keith Brake
Highly Suspect made a stop at the Pageant this past Friday while out on their “Boy Who Died Wolf” tour. The band is touring on the tails of their latest album release which dropped November 18, 2016. The band is a favorite for local St. Louis music fans and the venue sold out quickly, as a matter of fact it was the third venue they have sold out in St. Louis.
Touring alongside and supporting the Highly Suspect boys are Slothrust, a three piece band with a unique fusion of styles and sounds. Leah Wellbaum fronts the group and carries all the guitar duties. Leah knows her way around the fretboard as well as being very skilled at garnering the attention of the crowd. Kyle Bann and Will Gorin hold down the rhythm allowing Leah to do her thing both instrumentally and vocally. Slothrust highlighted their set with a unique cover of the old Turtles tune “Happy Together”.
The love affair between the city and Highly Suspect goes both ways; St. Louis loves Highly Suspect and they love the city. Brothers Rich (Bass) and Ryan (Drums) Meyer as well as frontman and guitarist Johnny Stevens donned STL Blues jerseys to show their love and support for the city and fans. The jerseys were worn for the entirety of the first song, and the sold out St. Louis crowd absolutely loved it.
The boys took the stage and stayed there for more than two hours. Song selections came from “Mister Asylum” as well as their latest effort “The Boy Who Died Wolf”. The crowd was energetic and obviously ready to be entertained by the three time Grammy nominees. The crowd was treated to a slower, soulful intro to “Vanity” before the band kicked into overdrive to finish the selection. “My Name is Human” and “Lydia” brought raucous responses from the big crowd as one would expect.
Toward the end of the evening, The Pageant crowd was treated to a drum solo. Now, when I say solo I really mean a giant 20 minute “Drum Off”. It started and ended with Ryan Meyer but was packed with guest drummers in between. At one point the band’s stage tech was killing a double bass roll when the band decided he needed a drink, of tequila that is, which he took without missing a beat. The drum showcase ended with the boys paying homage to The Allman Brothers Band as the last of Ryan’s solo transitioned into their own version of “Whipping Post”.
One thing you learn when you see Highly Suspect live is that they love to party and have fun with their loyals, and they love drinking tequila on stage; sometimes from what can only be described as a “Tequila Gun”.
“The Boy Who Died Wolf” tour makes it’s next stop in Mobile AL at The Soul Kitchen and then on to Destin Fl. For more information concerning the tour or their new album, visit www.highlysuspect.net .