Sure Sure was an enigma. I knew of the art pop band from Los Angeles, having listened to a handful of their songs. Although satisfied, I was also puzzled by their elusive and indeterminate sound. So, as excited I was to hear them perform live, I was itching to discover Sure Sure’s cohesive sound on Oct. 18 at Vinyl, an intimate bar and music venue in downtown Atlanta.
After Wilderado, an indie band with a folksy aesthetic opened the set, Sure Sure emerged with bassist and producer Michael Coleman, guitarist Charlie Glick and lead singer and keyboardist Chris Beachy, all in front. Unlike the rest of the band, drummer Kevin Farzad was off to the side in the back, heard but not seen. This was the first leg of Sure Sure’s tour, which had opened only a couple of days prior.
Formed in 2014, the band is fairly new. Consequently, their discography is limited to one album, “Sure Sure,” released in 2018 and one EP, “Songs,” from 2014. For the most part, they played songs from their album, “Sure Sure,” like “Giants,” “Friends,” “Solstice Song” and “Hands Up Head Down,” during which the crowd was instructed to literally keep their hands up and heads down.
The band’s energy was dispersed evenly across the stage, with no one member overpowering the rest. Their aesthetic is presented as neo-’80s, carried by Beachy’s stellar keyboarding and Coleman’s work on the synthesizer. This was accompanied by a goofy carefree energy, casual joking and instrument swaps. Throughout the show, Coleman put his bass down and rocked a tambourine or percussion instrument. Similarly, Farzad would occasionally switch from his drums to a maraca. Their sound was reminiscent of bands like Talking Heads, with ‘80s art rock elements. They even covered “This Must Be the Place” and the heavy bass of Tame Impala. Their sound was heavier live, with the electric guitar lending itself to a more rock ‘n’ roll sound. Most notable was Beachy’s keyboard playing, which carried the band’s ‘80s sound. Glick’s guitar contributed to the rock elements, with both members taking solos that showcased their tremendous playing. Their strong skills added to the complex live sound of Sure Sure, which was at once modern rock and nostalgic.
The show itself was peppered with banter from the band. They remarked at the distinctive “East Coast” smell, which may or may not have been because, as they told the audience, Farzad had not showered since leaving Los Angeles. Beachy reminisced about his spaghetti dinner, asking the crowd the weirdest thing they’ve ever eaten. Despite only just beginning their tour, the band seemed accustomed to the road. Farzad came out with a cotton wad stuffed into his nose.
At the end of the night, the band left with an encore and encouraged the fans to stay and talk to the band by the merchandise booth, concluding Sure Sure’s highly intimate and engaging show. Although small, the crowd was enthusiastic, singing and dancing along to the set, which was lively and heartfelt. Sure Sure’s show was both entertaining and surprising, surpassing their recorded sound into something much more distinct.