Welcome to My Sweet 16, I’m Full of Rage: LVL UP at Chop Suey

[Photo by Julia Olson]

Although opener Great Grandpa’s music is often filled with angst and drama, the Great Grandpa family has a way of welcoming you in to be part of it. Last Sunday, the band showed off their range in musical abilities, slowing down to a whisper during some songs, and rising up to a pain-filled cry in a matter of minutes on others. Lead vocalist Alex Menne had to stop the set to poke fun at her band’s music, stating, “Welcome to my sweet 16; I’m full of rage.” It was a treat to see a Seattle band who had the ability to make meaningful and complex music, but with a refreshing and welcoming charm. Great Grandpa was a great pick for an opener, as they had the ability to keep the attention and energy of the audience while establishing the “sadboi” vibe present for the rest of the night.


Photo by Julia Olson

Second opener, Palm, has a sound that takes a good second to get used to. The band utilizes a variety of mystery effects to create a unique sound. (Someone behind me said they must be using a stereo-pad, and another said a guitar-synth?) Once the initial shock of wondering what’s making that sweet, strange sound wears off, Palm keeps you around with the details. The band utilizes communication in such a unique way; the two lead guitarists seem to almost be competing for attention, while respecting and communicating with each other at the same time. Often, Palm’s melodies consist of variations of the same 1st string-to-6th string strumming patterns, which work to add a sense of normalcy and consistency to their somewhat-chaotic sound. Check out “Ankles” to get a good flavor for the band, who were without a doubt the highlight of my night.


Photo by Julia Olson

The only thing Sunday night was really missing happened to be an emo boy-band, and lucky for us, LVL UP was next. LVL UP played through a variety of their discography without much banter or unpredictability, giving us those sweet, angsty tunes we came for. They had a louder sound live than I expected, as much of their discography online seemed to have a slightly softer-spoken vibe than what came through during their live performance. LVL UP actually seemed somewhat outshined by Palm. It was easy to get into their music, though, and their set proved a good time if nothing else. Highlights of the night included the song “Pain” from their release, Return to Love, and a cover that might’ve been originally done by Elliott Smith? I’m not entirely positive. It was perhaps a mistake for LVL UP to book Great Grandpa and Palm as openers, as their music seemed a bit overshadowed, but in the end, I left the night with the proper feelings of teen angst, so one could say that it was a success anyways.

Julia Olson | Sadboi, and proud of it | KXSU Head Reporter


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