NEPA Scene Staff

Progressive rock trio Highly Suspect performs at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 2

Progressive rock trio Highly Suspect performs at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 2
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From a press release:

It has been announced that Highly Suspect, a progressive rock band based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, will be visiting the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Monday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. as a part of the ongoing “Live from the Chandelier Lobby” concert series.

Tickets, which are $15 in advance and $17 the day of show, plus applicable fees, go on sale Monday, Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. and will be available through the Kirby Center box office, online at, and by phone at 570-826-1100.

You may have been to that party – the one where a guy plastered in ink showed up on a motorcycle with a guitar slung around his back. You probably either rolled your eyes and raised your fists or asked, “Who is that?” When it comes to Brooklyn rock trio Highly Suspect, all three members – Johnny Stevens, (guitars and lead vocals) and twins Rich (bass/vocals) and Ryan Meyer (drums) – are that guy. The trio have played 800 shows in six years, having supported bands like My Morning Jacket and Grizzly Bear, and, as the day’s opener no less, have drawn the biggest audience to date to the Lollapalooza BMI Stage. They’ve also raged in all of your basements.

The boys moved in together after high school in 2006 and would share a few years, a few fist fights, and more than a few drug and alcohol-fueled parties before they ever even knew that they had started a band. But it wouldn’t take long for them to realize that they had accidentally created the very foundation of what would eventually become the group. Once they noticed just how many people could identify with the energy they produced and the lyrics they were sharing, there was no other option than to take it on the road.

The second these guys get on stage, you discover that their burnt-out cigarettes, leather jackets, and well-traveled boots aren’t a front. You’ll hear their raspy vocals, amped-up guitar chords, and ambitious rhythms blending so uniquely with cocaine-covered lyrics, telling you the true story of three guys who know what it means to go hungry. Their debut album, “Mister Asylum,” was released July 17 and produced by Joel Hamilton, who has worked with such artists as The Black Keys, Tom Waits, and Elvis Costello. On it, you’ll find the songs that you’re always hoping to hear (but never actually do) when you push your favorite alt radio station preset button.

Just as these 20-something guys – who were invited back to play SXSW for their second year in a row this past spring – so happen to dabble in graffiti, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll, so do their songs happen to feel like a page out of your own wildest life moments. “Mister Asylum” takes the listener on a deep journey, exploring the beauty and pain that all of us can relate to as we navigate through the vast and uncertain universe we live in. Of the LP’s first single, “Lydia,” Johnny shares that the song is a true story about love lost. This, and each of the other tracks, work together to remind you that outlaws always have, and always will, write the realest of the real. Exposing their souls on the deepest of levels, these are the songs that most bands are afraid to write.

The “Live from the Chandelier Lobby” series is presented by Grotto Pizza.