Live Gallery: Highly Suspect at the Crowbar, Sydney 24.11.2023

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect is an American rock band known for its distinctive blend of hard rock, blues, and grunge influences. Formed in 2009 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the band consists of Johnny Stevens [vocals, guitar], Ryan Meyer [drums, vocals], Rich Meyer [bass, vocals], Matt Kofos [guitar] and Mark Schwartz [synths]. Highly Suspect gained significant recognition with their 2015 debut album, ‘Mister Asylum,’ which earned them two Grammy nominations.

The band is currently touring their latest album ‘The Midnight Demon Club’ which was released in 2022.

The sold-out crowd at the Crowbar tonight is extremely fortunate to be seeing Highly Suspect in such an intimate venue. I am pressed up against the barrier as the band takes the stage.

As the first chords cut through the air, the crowd, a seething mass of raw energy, erupt in cheers and in an almost primal frenzy. During the first song, a skirmish breaks out in the mosh pit and the band is forced to stop playing. Security leaps into action and a guy with an impressive mullet is ejected.

Stevens warns the audience that he has a “two strike” law and if there is any further violence, the band will leave the stage. Instead of fighting, Stevens encourages the crowd to start a circle pit, which they enthusiastically embrace, swirling in a whirlwind of exhilaration as the band’s electrifying riffs fuel their energy. Camera gear in tow, I am forced to beat a hasty retreat to the sound desk, from where I watch the rest of the show.

Highly Suspect, since their inception, has been a band marked by an ever-evolving sound that refuses to be pigeonholed into a single genre. Infamously starting life as a covers band, they have pushed the envelope with each of their albums incorporating varied musical elements and themes.

This is abundantly on display tonight.

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