Super Whatevr performs in The Metro Gallery for an excited audience. Photo by Austin Dickey.
Teenage girls with bright colored hair and denim shorts scattered the floor of The Metro Gallery, all in eager anticipation of Super Whatevr, a young indie rock band out of Orange County, California currently on their Happy to be Here tour. Making a stop in Baltimore this past Tuesday, the group rocked out Charm City like superstars.
Led by lead singer Skyler McKee, the band looks to spread a message. Super Whatevr hopes to inspire listeners to move past their struggles in life by confronting them directly instead of pushing their dark feelings away. Motivated by the loss of his cousin, McKee uses his music as a platform to reach people in need of hope.
Super Whatevr mixes passion with their message perfectly even down to the minor details. On the cover of their debut album, Never Nothing, the band’s name is in braille to symbolize the difficulty of recognizing the pain someone is going through on the inside, despite them being out in the world in plain sight.
McKee explained, “The point of all the lyrics is just me going through my own depression and trying to see the positive light in all of it. Making myself vulnerable so that people can understand this is the first step to better days.” While most indie rock bands sing about girls or their glory days, Super Whatevr bravely sings about mental illness and perseverance.
The soft, meaningful lyrics lull listeners into a calm, thought-provoking state which is accompanied by the heavy, passionate guitar and drum play. Switching tempos and tones on the stop of a dime provides a refreshing sound for the indie rock scene. The opposite styles clashing within each song give an auditory asymmetry that balances out perfectly.
After a couple of opening acts, the band strolled from behind the merchandise table up onto the stage. As McKee passionately danced around the stage, his hat flew off occasionally, demonstrating the high energy that the band played with throughout every song. Each guitar note rang through the venue as the drums provided an intensity that pulsed through the audience, consuming listeners in its sound.
Between songs, McKee would casually speak to the fans, spreading his message of perseverance. Each time, he motivated the audience to face their struggles head-on. The crowd received it as if he was speaking directly to them. It was inspiring to see the direct impact McKee’s message had on so many people.
Inexplicably, after fans rallied for a longer performance, the band abruptly ended the concert half an hour in. It came as a surprise to the entire building, as they had waited all night in anticipation for a much longer show. “ For a headliner, I expected way more than a half an hour set,” said Griffin Stanbro, an adoring fan. “I drove three hours for this!” screamed another. This disappointment was shared amongst countless other fans, as they stood dumbfounded, watching the band casually leave the stage.
Despite their short-lived performance, Super Whatevr is an extremely talented band with an important message. It may only be a matter of time before they are a staple in the indie rock community. Hopefully, their next visit to Baltimore will last just a bit longer than this one.