A sold out show in their hometown is just one highlight of SUSTO’s burgeoning music career. The Southern folk meets gospel rock five-piece started out with gigs around South Carolina and house shows at the likes of the “Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.” But now they’re selling out the Music Farm, one of the largest venues in downtown Charleston. In addition, they’ve been breaking state lines with a national tour with the Lumineers, premiering songs with Consequence of Sound and making lists of notable up-and-comers. With the January release of sophomore album & I’m Fine Today came an appearance on Audiotree and a wealth of new music.
And these new songs are a step up from the alt-country from whence they began. Instead, & I’m Fine Today blends elements of psychedelic rock, symphonic grandeur, Southern roots and soulful gospel to create an eclectic signature piece. Their sold out show at the Music Farm on Saturday night hit all of these genres and more. The night even ended with plastic snakes- a nod to the & I’m Fine Today album cover- being thrown into the audience in a glorious display.
It began with “Far Out Feeling,” the atmospheric mastermind of the album, with a full horn section on deck to boot. This was followed by crowd favorites from the new disc, “Hard Drugs” and “Waves,” before a throwback to the good old “Acid Boys” days. Lead singer and guitarist Justin Osborne sang whimsically about his alter-ego, the “Cosmic Cowboy,” before hailing to a throwback jam from the first disc, “County Line.” They couldn’t leave out sentimental “Friends, Lovers, Ex-Lovers: Whatever.” Alongside emotionally raw “Gay in the South” and catchy new hit “Jah Werx” came nostalgic “Vampiro 66,” and the mellow jam session of “Cigarettes, Whiskey & Wine.”
The setlist of the evening was a true collision of past and future and SUSTO’s way of letting Charleston know that no matter where they go, they will always have their hometown at heart.