Bad Bad Hats create quirky, relatable charm at Grand Rapids tour stop

Nashville’s Wildermiss and Grand Rapids’ Phabies joined the indie pop-rock band for Tuesday’s concert at Calvin University. The review and photo gallery at Local Spins.

Back to Back: Bad Bad Hats boasted that the band does its own ‘stunts.’ (Photo/Adrian Van Stee)


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Indie pop-rock band Bad Bad Hats started its Grand Rapids set on Tuesday rather normally.

“Hello, everyone,” said Kerry Alexander, the band’s frontwoman. “We’re Bad Bad Hats.”

Then, a few seconds later, she thought better of it.

“We generally don’t introduce ourselves until after three songs to preserve an air of mystery,” Alexander joked, “so please forget this ever happened.”

Co-headlining: Wildermiss on stage at Covenant Fine Arts Center. (Photo/Adrian Van Stee)

The Minneapolis trio — accompanied by opener Phabies and co-headliner Wildermiss — performed a late-night show at Calvin University’s Covenant Fine Arts Center.

Grand Rapids pop-rock band Phabies opened with a 30-minute set, which included “Crazy to Love You” and “The High Road.”

“I thought I’d be so nervous on this stage, but I could just take a nap,” laughed frontwoman Laura Hobson. Luckily, her stage presence was far more confident than sleepy.

Nashville-based Wildermiss brought the energy. When she wasn’t singing or playing synth, vocalist Emma Cole was dancing around the stage or encouraging the audience to sing backup. The band played over an hour of their top tracks, including “Supermagical” and “WIFI”

Finally, Bad Bad Hats took the stage, starting with “Gloria Love” — a song from their latest album, “Walkman,” which was released just over a year ago. “Happy birthday to our album,” Alexander crooned from the stage.

The band played a range of songs, from the bittersweet “Things We Never Say” to their more upbeat hits, like “Midway,” “Psychic Reader” and “Walkman.” Alexander, guitarist Chris Hoge and drummer Connor Davison came off as laid-back yet compelling musicians.

Frontwoman: Kerry Alexander of Bad Bad Hats. (Photo/Adrian Van Stee)

Fan Ethan Ely remarked that he “liked that some of the songs had a very classic rock sort of vibe to them.”

But the show was rendered truly stellar by Alexander’s quirky, relatable charm.

“We do all our own stunts here,” she quipped after briefly playing back-to-back with Hoge during “Super America.” The crowd laughed.

Later, when introducing a song, Alexander described how she had been inspired by pop music about love and drugs.

“Unfortunately, for me, there was a little bit of writer’s block, because I have never been high.” This likely came as a surprise to the crowd, Alexander quipped, since she seemed “so chill.” So, she put her own spin on the theme and came up with “Nothing Gets Me High.”

Bad Bad Hats ended with the band’s biggest hit to date, “It Hurts” — a catchy, dance-worthy tune that served as the show’s perfect conclusion.

PHOTO GALLERY: Bad Bad Hats, Wildermiss, Phabies at Calvin
Photos by Adrian Van Stee

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