By Jenna Million
Photos by Joshua Guerra
With their colorful blend of carefree pop and driving guitar riffs, California natives Echosmith wowed a sold-out crowd at Emo’s on Feb. 15 during their U.S. tour.
The band, consisting of four siblings between the ages of 16 and 21, took the stage with their name illuminated Broadway-style. Donning a yellow floral dress and pigtail braids, lead singer Sydney Sierota twirled around the stage and beamed at the crowd all night as her brothers provided a solid musical backdrop. Graham banged away at the drums, Jamie attacked his guitar passionately and Noah, tall and lanky, romped across the stage with bass in hand, swaying in every direction.
Sydney twirled an ornately lit parasol around the stage during “Talking Dreams,” a live tradition that gives the song a fairytale feeling. On more crowd-friendly songs, she took out her phone to record the audience singing along with her to commemorate the evening. Near the end of their set, the band even broke into a brief rendition of “Uptown Funk” to hype fans up for the perfect Instagram photo. Sydney wowed the crowd once more by spontaneously bringing a fan onstage to sing to her for her 16th birthday.
The way the band treats their fans pays off. From the first song to the encore, the whole audience sang along endearingly. While a majority of the crowd was comprised of younger listeners, the band also attracted adult fans with their indie-pop sound.
This is Echosmith’s first headlining tour. The group scored a Top 20 hit with “Cool Kids” off their debut album, 2013’s “Talking Dreams,” and spent the last two summers on Vans Warped Tour and opening for bands like American Authors and Neon Trees. Touring as a headliner gives them the chance to play songs they otherwise wouldn’t and create special arrangements. They also took a break from their originals to play “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads, a song they originally covered on YouTube in 2013. When performing “Bright,” their newest single, Noah ditched his electric bass for an upright bass, and Sydney and Jamie joined him around a vintage microphone for some group vocals. Messing up at one point, the band looked at each other and laughed it off, getting back on pace and delivering an otherwise great set.
While it is evident from their performance that Echosmith cares about their fans, they still have a way to go in winning the audience over completely. Die-hard fans are exactly that — those who will love a band no matter what. Echosmith’s performance may be enough for the die-hards and the drunk 30-something socialites dancing in the back, but they still have yet to connect with the not-so-die-hard listeners. Echosmith is still a young band, and with only one album under their belt, the possibilities are endless.
The fact that they created this album at such young ages shows their drive and potential talent, but also leaves room for improvement in certain areas that come across as too light and airy on “Talking Dreams.” The same can be said for their live performance. Sydney understands the importance of crowd interaction, yet their live music is nothing more than that. Their name in lights, acoustic versions and crowd sing-a-longs all add to a unique show. But there is still a spark to be found within the band as performers, that commanding walk or mesmerising note or electric energy that will send all members of the audience into a frenzy.
To close out the night, Echosmith performed their radio single “Cool Kids,” before a two-song encore consisting of “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Nothing’s Wrong.” For the second song, they brought out half a dozen giant balloons that popped above the crowd, releasing confetti into the air for an epic finale.