After their debut at SXSW in 2015, Korean indie band The Solutions have been building their small, but loyal fan base in the United States. Confident from their Orange County show the night before, they played to the bar audience with their own blend of upbeat rock with a hint American inspiration.
With a combination of tambourine, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, this band treads the line between nostalgic rock ballad with “Ticket to the Moon” and experimental rock pop with “MOVEMENTS.” At the same time, they manage to create a familiar sound in the music industry that is their own: synthesized melodic rock, while holding back on the heavier electronic/rock collision unless necessary.
Technical difficulties plagued their first show in Orange County, but they simply stopped the show and started over if anything sounded strange. To the audience, the blasting bass and heavy noise drowned out any serious sound issues. Wanting to give the crowd their best, guitarist Naru paused “MOVEMENT” to fix the feedback issue with his bass. As the stage crew fixed the problems, Sol cleverly turned that moment of technical difficulty into a band introduction. He clapped his hands together and embarrassingly smiled to the crowd, asking them to wait patiently, as they do another sound check. Once they finished their final check, Naru said to "pretend like we didn’t play that song,” making the crowd laugh as the band played the song from the beginning.
Acknowledging that the Tuesday crowd may be a bit sluggish and unfamiliar with their music, The Solutions wasted no time beginning with danceable, head-bobbing melodies like “Jungle In Your Mind” and “Talk Dance Party for Love.” Fans stood at the very front to cheer on the band while late-comers rolled in standing in the back. Lead vocalist Sol showed off his multiple talents: starting off playing the tambourine, breaking out into guitar, and being an all-around personality for the band.
The show was held at a bar with very low lighting (a little too low) throughout the entire show. Eyes and cameras had a difficult time adjusting to the low light, though it blended with the bar aesthetic. Not to mention that the four-piece band seemed a bit squished both physically and metaphorically; they all deserved a larger space for each of their explosive personalities.
Though they had a diverse group of newcomers and fans, The Solutions had fully broken out of their fresh shells. Sol was ready to engage with the fans, inviting them to sing the “whoas” and “oohs” in their songs. Following Sol’s lilting voice, the crowd was swayed. Upon reaching the middle of their set list, they transitioned from synth electronic to a nostalgic classic rock with “Silence,” giving the bar that classic American feel.
As the show approached its end, Naru announced the last couple of songs would be more "energetic.” Sol took the opportunity to nicely ask everyone to jam by saying, "Would it be rude if I asked you all to stand?" To which the audience couldn’t refuse, excitedly dancing to the final song “Sound of the Universe.” The Solutions shows great promise as they find their footing both in South Korea and abroad.