The Backseat Lovers were a band to keep an eye on a year ago, and that statement is somehow even more true now.
"Why does the plant on the windowsill reflect my state of mind? // Growing and dying all the time" - Growing/Dying, The Backseat Lovers
Just over a year ago now, I saw The Backseat Lovers in concert at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio. Now we are both in Nashville, Tennessee at the Ryman Auditorium
and The Backseat Lovers once again gave the performance of a lifetime (is that even possible?).
The Backseat Lovers were incredible a year ago, but somehow they have manage to grow and evolve as a band and individual performers into an undoubtable force. A year ago, the band was still in the resulting high of their first album, When We Were Friends, that drop kicked them into recognition. Now a year and some change and a new album later, The Backseat Lovers are still captivating audiences with their intimate garage-rock sound and earth shattering lyricism. I made note a year ago that The Backseat Lovers had a knack for putting the most gut wrenching lyrics to the catchiest bone rattling beats, and that statement is evergreen with their second album, Waiting to Spill.
On stage at the Ryman, each member seems more in tune with their performance, it's clear that they are all more comfortable on stage, than they were a year ago; each taking up more space both literally and figuratively. A growth marked by more time spent on stage, and the continued support of an ever growing fanbase. A new setlist, a healthy blend of old and new tracks alike. The songs and lyrics performed live hold more weight, grounding you in the moment and making you forget everything else that is going on outside of the four walls of the venue. The vocal performances from Joshua Harmon and Jonas Swanson feel more powerful and robust, weaving a dynamic complexity into each song.
A lot seems to have changed in a year, yet the abundant growth of the band and its' members is entwined with a level of sameness and consistency to themselves a year ago. The crowd still screams the lyrics back to The Backseat Lovers and at times you lose the sound of the band to an overzealous crowd. The venue is still tightly packed, everyone bobbing and weaving to try and get a good view of the band. The audience still goes wild for "Pool House." Lead vocalist Joshua Harmon still has the biggest grin plastered across his face. The band still trades laughs and smiles with one another between songs. Just like last time, the The Backseat Lovers make you feel the music throughout your entire body: you can feel the beat in your chest and the lyrics run though you as the band pours it all out on stage. They still end the night with "Sinking Ship."
The Backseat Lovers were a band to keep an eye on a year ago, and that statement is somehow even more true now. In my opinion, a true marker a great band is their ability to grow and evolve in their music, to dig deeper and test the tides. Some people think that in order to grow, you have to let go of who you once were completely. A metaphorical death to the past in order to grow in the present, but I don't think that's true, and if The Backseat Lovers are any indication, I don't think you should either. You can grow and evolve without leaving everything to the wayside. You can change up the setlist, and still sing "Sinking Ship" to close out the night, you can take up more space on stage and still trade laughs with your friends. All this to say, if this is what one year can do for The Backseat Lovers, I cannot even begin to imagine where they will be in three years time.
"It would be nice to know // When I'll decide to grow // Sure would be nice to know // I think it's time to grow" - Growing/Dying, The Backseat Lovers
You Gotta Listen: Growing/Dying, Davy Crochet, Viciously Lonely
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