Rainbow Kitten Surprise Applied to Play Roo ’16, Denied, Played 2nd-Largest Stage in ’17

MusicFestNews’  Bonnaroo team has made it home safely, and we’re replaying the best Roo moments of Bonnaroo 2017 in our minds. One of the best sets of the weekend, hands down, was Boone, North Carolina, indie-rock group Rainbow Kitten Surprise.

High, high energy, gorgeous melodies, soul-crushing lyrics and just pure indie-rock and roll, led by vocalist Sam Melo. The crowd knew all of the lyrics and bounced around with “Wildman Sam” (a new nickname I’m giving him), despite the hot Tennessee sun.

I ran into lead guitarist Ethan Goodpaster (jamming out to Chance the Rapper’s set) and discussed the band’s Bonnaroo experience. They played Okeechobee Music Festival earlier this year, which was their very first festival and they mentioned they were slightly nervous. Just 3 months later they rocked the second-largest stage at one of the largest festivals in the nation like old pros.

Ethan Goodpaster

ETHAN: “A couple of us have been to Bonnaroo before. We’ve always wanted to play here. We actually applied to play Bonnaroo last year through their Reverb Nation contest but we were denied.”

MFN: “Hahah. Love it. And here you are! Both of your studio albums are golden. That’s what got you here.”

ETHAN: “We’ve been playing together for four years now. Our first album we recorded with only one microphone and one computer.”

It’s pretty impressive Seven + Mary was so low-budget considering how crisp the quality is.

What makes Bonnaroo so great are the random moments, encounters and wild stories you experience while on The Farm. According to a Reddit user, two fans ran into Sam Melo out in General Admission camping. (The band had such a large group of friends attending they decided to ‘Roo the Bonnaroovian way, in B.F.E!!) The fans approached Sam in the middle of the night to express that when he dances he looks like one of their fathers, who is a preacher.

Exhibit A:

Sam reenacted a dance move for a photo when the fan’s phone died. Sam then let them use his phone to take the picture and text it to them.


Check out Rainbow Kitten Surprise on tour now and their tunes. These guys have skyrocketed in just such a short amount of time and have grown immensely even from their first festival performance earlier this year. They’re all quite young (early to mid-twenties), and we see a bright, bright future for them.

Charlie Holt
Jess Haney

Darrick “Bozzy” Keller

Jess Haney

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