On an especially chilly San Francisco night, Sun Room brought a slice of their native San Diego spirit to the Regency Ballroom. Harking back to ’60s rock and surf culture, the band’s onstage presence shook up the venue for a raucous night.
The up-and-coming band is composed of four friends from Southern California: Luke Asgian on vocals and guitar, Ashton Minnich on guitar, Max Pinamonti on bass and Gibson Anderson on drums. It only takes a couple songs to realize how well Sun Room named itself. With heavy distortion on the guitars, driving rhythms and lyrics reminiscent of long sunny days, the band’s music makes it impossible not to long for summer.
Sun Room began the set with “Summer’s Here” from their 2020 EP, Sol Del Sur. Under a splay of red-orange lighting, the opening riffs of the song immediately captivated the audience. Lyrics like, “The water’s warm/ the sky is blue,” quickly characterized Sun Room’s distinct surf culture energy, and the crowd was dancing right away.
The onslaught of noise lapsed a bit when they moved into “Sunset Garage,” a piece from their most recent project, Outta Their Minds. More pop-sounding than the rest of the set list, “Sunset Garage” tells the story of a love affair with a local mechanic after a car breakdown in San Diego. The song could have come out of a ’50s transistor radio. Just as catchy as it is romantic, “Sunset Garage” almost made listeners forget about the foggy sky outside the venue.
Songs like these brought the full scope of Sun Room’s personality to light. The band comes off as a group of genuine friends, equally passionate about their hometown culture and the excitement of new experiences. The group appeared to be having the time of their lives onstage, and it was no different in the audience. Concertgoers shook their heads up and down to the beat, waving arms in the air and yelling along to the lyrics. Sun Room’s attitude proved to be nothing less than infectious.
One of the most memorable moments from the night was the group’s cover of the classic Rolling Stones song, “Get Off Of My Cloud.” The song features gravelly distortion on the guitar, and lyrics that are shouted in true Mick Jagger fashion. In other words, Sun Room’s sound was a perfect fit. Picking up the pace of the original recording and adding in space for guitar solos, they bought a fresh and exciting element to the song. It was a perfect illustration of the band’s overall feel: a new school take on old school rock.
Instead of attempting to erase the raw quality of live music, Sun Room warmly embraced it. The absence of polished sound was intensely refreshing. Their performance prioritized creativity over an exact recreation of the recorded songs, solos and experimentation over perfection. The result was a set that felt particularly unique to that night — it’s clear that each Sun Room concert is never quite the same.
Near the end of the set, each member took a short solo on their song, “Something That You’re Missing,” (but not before some joking banter about the backstory of the angry rock ballad). Bassist Max Pinamonti laid down a groove while Asgian held his eyes shut, and all the instrumentalists took flying jumps towards center stage at the end of the song. Though not the last song they played, it was a fantastic beginning-of-the-end. “Something That You’re Missing” embodied all the things that made Sun Room such a memorable opening act: their obvious talent, their playfulness as performers and their contagious liveliness.
Their fresh rewrite of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, along with their free-spirited outlook, lingered in the air long after they left the stage. As the concert hall transitioned into the headliner, the audience was still buzzing from Sun Room’s performance. The only thing left wanting was an encore.