Concert Review: Kid is Qual, thatwasthen With Help of Andrew McMahon Co-Headline The Troubadour


Thursday night, the Troubadour had a killer lineup of L.A. Locals: Kid is Qual and thatwasthen co-headlined, introduced by Acidic and Bikelock.  The crowd consisted of a lot of music veterans and industry people, mainly because Kid is Qual and Bikelock are offshoots of the band Jack’s Mannequin.  This also meant that Jack’s Mannequin lead singer Andrew McMahon was there supporting his freinds and bandmates (fun fact: he played piano on thatwasthen’s “Sunlight“), which in turn meant that I was beyond excited to be there.


The point here is that thatwasthen played yet another killer show, previewing three new tracks from their upcoming EP, due out in April.  I have discussed the awesomeness and energy of this band on more than one occasion (like here and here and here), so I leave it to the imagination this time.  Just know they rock and you should see them.


Kid is Qual, started by ex-JM bassist Jonathan Sullivan, sounds nothing like Jack’s Mannequin.  The quartet features two bassists and two drummers: one on a regular kit and one on bongos, along with auto-tuned vocals.  The result is a booming dance-rock party, with a deceptively electro-feel (I blame the auto-tune).  I spent most of the night going back and forth between loving and hating the sound, and I think I ultimately love it.  The vocals threw me off a couple of times, but they were redeemed by the live energy, humor, and playfulness of the band members (with Sullivan at one point making fun of his use of autotune).  Also, the beats and basslines were super groovy.  Kid is Qual is something I wouldn’t listen to frequently, but would hugely satisfy a very distinct feeling of needing to bust a kick-ass move.  OH. Also, at one point, Sullivan’s very drunk and very Ari-from-Entourage-esque friend, Elliot came out to sing.  This sounds sketchy at first.  Who is this guy? Is this just a friend gimic? No.  The dude could sing.  Like, boy band, pop-edged, dreamy vocals.  Well, done, Elliot and Kid is Qual.

Singer/Bassist Jonathan Sullivan

Elliot, rockin’ it.

Rhythm Bassist Mike Bryant