The story feels Hollywood-esque. From being founded in college and discovered at a college radio station’s “battle of the bands,” to now playing more than 200 shows in three years, Bad Bad Hits has created an intense bond with fans around the world.
In their fifth show at the High Noon Saloon, that bond was impossible to miss. The band made the audience feel like friends through lead singer Kerry Alexander’s personable and charming stage banter and with a set that “played all the hits,” as she told the crowd.
The band opened the show with “Fight Song.” The Psychic Reader track showcased the band’s tight chemistry, displaying some fun group vocals, an improvised jam to end the track and a groove that made the audience bounce around.
Throughout the show, the band’s joy infected the audience. “Joseph,” a song Alexander dedicated to “all the Josephs,” showcased just how much fun the group had performing. Alexander shut her eyes tight as she shouted out the chorus’s indecisively heartbroken lyrics of “I want you to remember/I want you to forget about me.”
The charm extended from the performance to Alexander’s endearing stage banter. Anything from the Midwestern gas station chain Super America to Alexander’s resemblance to her sister were discussed, yet few moments showed Alexander’s command of the stage like her story about studying abroad in Paris. She told a story about eating a “sandwich, or as the French call it — a sandweech.” In a moment, lost and isolated abroad, the American student realized she ate the paper wrapping her meal.
This prompted a wonderful performance of the band’s breakthrough single, “It Hurts” — a song that remains a staple in their wheelhouse.
The performance at High Noon Saloon, marking the tenth gig in Madison and the fifth at the venue, also marked the final Madison show with band member Noah Boswell. Boswell and Alexander shared plenty of back-to-back poses while rocking out in one of their final shows together.
It felt like watching old friends enjoying the good times while they still can, and it brought a wholesome component to an already warm performance.
When talking to Alexander, she showed gratitude for the ability to work with her bandmates and experience another album rollout and tour with them.
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“I think I just learned to not take this process for granted, because it is a really fun and humbling time to record and release new music,” Alexander said.
In their performance of the attitude-filled track “Shame,” Alexander threw her sunglasses over her eyes, lifted her fist in the air and rocked. The attitude was inescapable, and the audience joined in. Bad Bad Hits wasn’t just avoiding taking “the process for granted” — they were embracing the process.
Bad Bad Hats’ process began with a storybook Battle of the Bands. They may not have won the competition, but they ended up winning the support of Afternoon Recrods founder Ian Anderson, which helped sparked their career. Alexander gave some advice for college musicians in a similar situation.
“Don’t be afraid to battle, even if it’s a losing battle because you might win something else along the way,” Alexander said.
Who’s to say what battle Alexander hoped to conquer when founding Bad Bad Hats, but one thing is certain — she is winning. She, and her bandmates, created a band with a fun and honest sound — a band that is there to pick you up in your battles. Fans of Bad Bad Hats will certainly be cheering for the group, no matter what battle they may be facing.