IndigoSun shares stage with BrainChild, plays to inspire


IndigoSun, a psychedelic dance music band, plays a show at Cubby Bear Wrigleyville in Chicago. The band played a show at Canopy Club on Thursday.

By Christino Olivo

“All right, all right Champaign, we are IndigoSun,” said keyboardist of IndigoSun Kyle Liss to the audience at The Canopy Club. “We hope to make you dance, that’s definitely a goal. But by the end of the show we hope to make you feel like you have a little more faith in humanity.” 

Thursday night, The Canopy Club hosted a concert for the psychedelic dance music band, IndigoSun, also featuring funky jam band, Brainchild. As the two bands have previously performed together at other events, the band members of IndigoSun expressed their excitement to share the stage with Brainchild again. 

“We really like them,” said Steve Florian, drummer of IndigoSun. “I think the biggest thing is there’s a mutual respective friendship between the bands. Everyone appreciates the musicianship between each other. It’s really nice to play with peers like that, where you listen to each other play and you’re intrigued and inspired to go on next.” 

Brainchild opened the show at 9 p.m. and played for about two and a half hours. The bands performed on the small stage of The Canopy Club to a very small crowd. 

Although small, the audience interacted with the band as they performed. Audience members bobbed their heads and swayed to the rhythm of the upbeat music. Two girls in the audience danced to the music while they twirled a hula hoop in the air and around themselves. 

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Brainchild’s set was made up of many instrumental pieces with few a lyrical songs. The songs would start off slow, and build to a fast pace and loud beat. In the middle of one of their songs, the band members lifted their guitars behind their heads and continued to rock out. 

At the end of songs the audience would cheer and applaud for the band.

“May the force be with you,” guitarist and vocalist of Brainchild Roy Ponce said to the audience at the end of their set. 

After a few minutes of transition, IndigoSun took the stage at 11:30 p.m. The band members are no strangers to the University campus or The Canopy Club stage.

“We have been at U of I four times,” Liss said. “Well, we played on Unofficial a few times years ago at house parties. The next time we were back was for the Summer Camp Battle in 2012. That was the first time we were at Canopy Club.” 

The band agreed that they were all happy to be back in Urbana-Champaign for their performance. 

“We’re feeling good,” Florian said. “We want to bring in a varied audience tonight. What we do is a bit different, and the music we play is varied. There’s a strong kind of jazz undercurrent, and we throw in hip hop, soul, R&B, and a lot of old school funk. Our goal is to appeal to almost everyone.” 

IndigoSun started off their set with their song “So Many Miles To Go.” As they started, multiple audience members flooded the front of the stage to dance and sing along to the electronic-sounding music. 

“We are so happy to be back,” Liss told the cheering audience as the first song ended. 

Although the crowd remained small throughout the show, Liss said the smaller stage was the perfect setting for the concert. 

“Especially for us where we’re still building in this market, it can be like a little hit or miss sometimes. I would rather have 40 or 50 people out there with the smaller stage, than 40 or 50 people in here with the bigger stage,” he said referring to the club’s other, larger stage. “When you have 40 or 50 people in an intimate room it can feel really good still.”

As the performance went on, the audience kept swaying and dancing to the beat of IndigoSun’s music. The hula hoops came back out and people continued to sing along. Liss danced to the beat of his band’s music when he was not singing.

Liss said that the goal for their performance was to uplift their audience and make them have more faith in the world when they left the concert. 

“We definitely hope to create motion in people,” Liss said. “Get them up, get them dancing. We want to really uplift people and give them an experience of healing, and make them feel that after the show they’ve gained a little more positivity and feel more positive overall.” 

Mike Cantella, bassist of IndigoSun, said he thinks the band is unique due to their goal to give people a healing experience during the show.

“I’ve never been in a group, musically or otherwise, that embodies its intention from creation all the way to performance,” Cantella said. “It’s not a front, it’s all just honest and genuine, which is the best kind of music I can think of.” 

Christine can be reached at [email protected].