Staring At the Sun: Sunroom Concert Recap
By London Massey
Sunroom, a Southern-California based surf rock band, performed a high energy set here in Washington D.C. on Friday October 6, with the help of their opener Sports Team.
With Luke Asgian doing lead vocals, Max Pinamonti on Bass, and Ashton Minnich on electric guitar, Sunroom is helping the surf rock resurgence be brought into a mainstream light. Taking inspiration from 60s surf sounds, the California natives are using their previous, personal experiences of being in SoCal garage bands on the big stage. With tangy guitar riffs in songs like “At Least I Tried” and vocal echoes in “Somewhere Tropical,” the band finds home in an energetic sound, reflecting their fast-paced lifestyles filled with friends, sun, music, and surf, present in lyrics like “Played a show in the front yard, I think the neighbors called the cops//no plans today while we still got the summertime” from the 2023 single “Kaden’s Van.”
Although the band was founded in 2020 as a result of pandemic, they have released 3 EPs and 17 total songs out on all streaming platforms, with more music set to be released within the year. Having three years of experience together under their belts may not be a lot of time compared to other bands, but Sunroom have made immense growth, opening for acts such as Louis Tomlinson and Inhaler, playing shows across Europe and around the states.
Nestled in the U-Street Corridor of Washington D.C., the 9:30 Club hosted Sunroom’s first headline show in the city. Though the band had performed at this very venue when supporting Inhaler just earlier this year, which I was so lucky to attend, I was looking forward to seeing them play again – this time having settled into their sound through the summer season, with songs like “Red Dress” and “Fun” lingering on my playlists from May to August. Excited to see how they would make the stage their own, I made my way to the venue in hopes of experiencing a send-off to my summer anthems and true Sunroom culture: pure surf rock and people to share it with.
The show was not sold out, though the place was filled with buzzing fans, eagerly waiting for the three boys to step foot onstage and pull out their guitars to get the night started. The opener, Sports Team, helped build the vibe for the evening, as the UK-based indie rock band shared songs from their latest album Gulp, released in 2022. I arrived shortly after the opener’s set but before Sunroom started playing and was able to get the closest spot to the stage on the balcony, with a perfect view of the entire show. Opening with “Just Yesterday,” one of their first singles released as a band, the venue roared with heavy instrumentals and the growl of front man Luke Asgian’s vocals. The sea of people below began to move as one, grooving to the beat and serving as an echo of the main act.
Between songs, the boys talked about their previous experiences in D.C., and most notably, Pinamonti shared his newly acquired talent of reciting the ABCs backwards. Fans laughed and cheered, and the band continued on with the show. As an audience member, Asgian, Pinamonti and Minnich seemed to be having the time of their lives, using every single song as a vessel of their passion for music and taking up as much space as they could with their presence. The band cruised through their discography, with Sunroom classics like “Sol Del Sur” and “Crashed my Bike,” along with their newest single “At Least I Tried,” only having been released the day prior to the show.
The crowd was tamer than other shows I have been to, yet everyone was enjoying the smooth-listening the boys had to offer up on stage. When finishing up their set, the audience immediately demanded an encore, having found some sort of refuge in their rhythm. Sunroom did just that, coming back onstage to perform “Cadillac,” an electric guitar heavy song that got everyone up and moving one last time of the night. The show ended with Asgian shredding the last few bars of the song whilst laying on his back, with his guitar sprawled across him and Minnich and Pinamonti energetically dancing beside him.
After their gig, both Sunroom and the front man of Sports Team, Alex Rice, met fans outside for photos. Being able to interact with a band aside from music is a special opportunity; pictured here is myself and fellow radio host Luna from Wadio Show with the members of Sunroom perched out front of the 9:30 Club. Replicating the feel of summer can be an ambitious task, but California-natives of Sunroom are able to give their listeners a similar sensation within their three-minute songs, and an even closer imitation of summer nights in San Diego with friends at their shows, just like their headline performance here in Washington D.C..
Support Sunroom by listening to them on your preferred streaming platform, following them on Instagram @sunroomband, and keeping up with them at sunroomtheband.com.