PHOTOS AND REVIEW: Sammy Rae & the Friends and Sub-Radio at the TLA

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WRITTEN BY: Will Kirkpatrick

PHOTOS BY: Will Kirkpatrick and Allison Beck

Filled to the brim with kind people and good vibes, Sammy Rae & the Friends, along with opening band Sub-Radio, lit up the sold-out Theater of the Living Arts on March 5th, 2022. The very clean funk-pop sound of both acts created an atmosphere unlike any other, and Sammy Rae’s emphasis on spreading joy made you feel like you were in a room surrounded by 1000 of your best friends. 

While waiting for doors, the line stretching down South Street was buzzing, my anticipation and excitement grew for two bands I have heard only a handful from. Openers Sub-Radio set the mood for the rest of the night perfectly. Any doubt that this would be an exciting evening quickly went away. Trailing seamlessly out from their song “Clark Kent,” guitarist Matt Prodanovich begins the riff of Olivia Rodrigo’s hit song “Good 4 U.” The crowd erupted with cheers and the energy reached a false peak. 

Sammy started the set off with “The Feeling,” playing alone on stage until the rest of the band ran out to join her. Going from 0 to 100, the dance-fatigued crowd got a quick shot of energy and didn’t stop moving the rest of the night. 

Sammy’s interactions with her band and the crowd made the show feel very intimate. After the song “Jackie Onassis,” Sammy points out a girl holding something from Sammy’s high school, Sacred Heart Academy, pPrompting her to mention how the song “Jackie Onassis” was about growing up as a “queer kid in catholic education” and followinged that  up by asking the girl if she was doing ok. The show came to an “end” and the encore began with a banjo-cladbanjo clad Sammy covering “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake, accompanied by guitarist Will Leet and pianist Debbie Tjong on backing vocals. 

Sammy Rae & the Friends put on a wonderful show., Sammy allowed every member to shine; it was not just the Sammy show. Getting the chance to see them perform was a treat and if given the chance to go you should. Even if it’s a far cry from your usual rotation of hardcore punk or 70’s dad rock,; Sammy Rae & the Friends bring an energy and uplifting atmosphere that cannot be matched. 




  1. What You Want to Hear 
  2. Disco 
  3. 1990 Something 
  4. Clark Kent -> Good 4 U 
  5. Out of My Mind 
  6. King of My Heart 
  7. Cool 
  8. Eden 
  9. Flashback 
  10.  Better Than That 
  11.  Caroline 

Sammy Rae & the Friends:

  1. The Feeling 
  2. Moon 
  3. Talk it Up 
  4. Whatever We Feel 
  5. Check in (Feeling D) -> Denim Jacket 
  6. Living Room Floor 
  7. The Box 
  8. Jackie O 
  9. 25 or 6 to 4 
  10.  Good Life 
  11.  Let’s Throw a Party 
  12. Pink Moon 
  13. Kick it to me 
  14.  Moon (reprise) 

To see more photos from the night, check out Will’s online portfolio


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