7.06.2013

Concert Review: Eisley

Welcome to the third edition of my live music adventures in Seattle. Last time I was able to experience the high-energy atmosphere of New Found Glory. Dialing down the craziness this time around, last night I witnessed Eisley perform for the second time. Notice how I tried to get this review out as soon as possible rather than a few weeks later. That's got to count for something, right?

EISLEY - 7/5/2014 @ Showbox at The Market
w/Say Anything, HRVRD, and I The Mighty.

It's just not fair.

Note: This is the first time I'll be reviewing a non-headliner. Eisley actually opened for Say Anything. Nothing against the headliner, but I was there solely for Eisley and left right after they played.

Before I say anything about the actual show, I'd like to speak on the issue of fairness.

My family has been blessed with some wonderful musical talent. I'm not boasting or anything, but setting up a point. My older brother was a fairly competent drummer, guitarist, and singer. My little brother has a better voice than I'll ever have and possesses great songwriting skills. I enjoy guitar, bass, singing, etc. Pretty cool right? Our problem is that we were never able to pull together to form a sibling supergroup. Mostly because I was too perfection driven. I honestly blame myself. So the Smith Experience was not to be.

Then you have a family like the Duprees (pictured above). They make up the band Eisley, sporting three sisters on guitars, keyboards, and vocals - and a cousin on drums as well as a brother on bass. This just isn't fair. How can one family possess such an overwhelming sense of musical talent? While my family's problem is that we were unable to pull it together, there are some families who don't possess a lick of talent in this particular department. And that's fine.

But it's still not fair.

All whining aside, Eisley won my heart long ago. I can't remember quite who introduced them to me years ago while living in California, but I bless them for doing so. In the early days, the Tyler, Texas-born band sported whimsical lyrics with vivid imagery. See exhibit A:

Video for "Telescope Eyes"

As the years went by, the lyrics transformed from a fanciful offering of woods, fireflies, and open fields to the troubled relationship sort. This metamorphosis was most noticeable from their 2007 album Combinations to their 2010 release, The Valley. I look at it as a natural maturation and progression. Hey, they're growing up, getting married, and having babies. It's bound to happen. Just think of how silly it will be when all of their kids grow up to be phenomenal musicians as well.

I was able to catch Eisley waayyy back in 2008 at the House of Blues in San Diego as they headlined a tour to support Combinations, with The Myriad and Vedera - which was one of the few shows I've been to where I actually listened to all three bands. I didn't think it would take me this long to see them again. Since then, they've released two albums and two EPs. I kept up with them but never got to see them live again, until last night.

A wonderful live experience.

I don't really mention the opening bands in these reviews, but I The Mighty put on a very solid and tight set. I'm not a fan, but I can't say they didn't perform well. HRVRD was beyond entertaining. Their frontman (next to Aaron Weiss of mewithoutyou) was the craziest/most hilarious vocalists I've ever seen. Bug-eyed and wild, he flapped his arms, donned a creepy old man mask, ventured through the crowd like no one else was there, etc. Again, I don't listen to them but they definitely were fun to watch.

Then up came the reason I was there.

The Dupree sisters didn't come on stage until it was time to perform, which I'd say was a wise thing so as to keep all the crazy fanboys (me included) from swooning and whatnot. The crowd erupted into cheers as Sherri (far right in the above pic) smiled and said "Oh, stop it." They then glided right into the title track off of their new album, Currents. I pretty much forgot to sing along because I was sort of in awe. I managed to get some crappy videos and pictures before their short setlist ended too soon. 

I'd categorize the three sisters this way. Sherri has the pipes. That woman can sing. Stacy has the elegant voice and flawless falsetto (middle above), while Chauntelle rips on guitar and offers up her lovely voice very rarely. Everyone cheered for her two lines in "I Could Be There For You." Check out her solo project:

A long track, but worth it.

Seeing as they weren't the headliner, they played about ten songs and then were done. I picked up a shirt and Chauntelle's EP which I managed to listen to three time on the ride home. I'm not weird.

Here are some highlights/lowlights and a link to the setlist. The link is to an earlier show in the tour as the Seattle one isn't up yet. They didn't played "Golly Sandra" and they added "I Could Be There For You" and "Many Funerals" for us.

Highlights: How do I explain an Eisley show without using the word lovely? Yes, it was lovely. That's the only word for it. As stated above, I enjoyed getting to hear Chauntelle in the spotlight for all of her twelve seconds in "I Could Be There For You." Hearing the new stuff live is great, as songs like "Drink The Water" and "Save My Soul" present a different atmosphere and power from their earlier efforts. It appeared that last night's setlist put Sherri in the fore, as most of the songs were led by her. As I said, she's got a powerful voice. Breathless, she said to the crowd after one of the songs that she didn't know what was up with the set that night, but she felt that her sisters made her sing all of the hard songs. Oh, and seeing the sisters gab while their brother Weston started the count on the drums on one of the songs before they were ready was great. His glare was awesome. Sibling love.

Lowlights: Annoying girls everywhere. Girls who couldn't dance and tall guys trying their best to stand right in front of me. The band can't help that. The setlist was a bit too short but they weren't the main act so it was understandable. Also, I would have liked to see much more/different songs from The Valley, given that it's probably my favorite album. Oh, and the girl throwing up in the trashcan as I left. Could have done without that imagery.

I have no doubt that Eisley will do a headlining tour to support Currents so they'll be back but not for awhile. In the meantime, I'll just be spinning my vinyl and playing the heck out of Chauntelle's EP. I'm not weird.

Until the next show,

JDS




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