Promising young band Echosmith, Owl City entertain Town Ballroom
Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Updated: Sunday, August 18, 2013 23:08
It can be painful to reminisce upon high school, especially the panic that set in once graduation, and consequently life as an adult, approached. Imagine being a teenager, touring the country, playing Vans Warped Tour and being one of Alternative Press’ 100 Bands You Need To Know.
California indie rockers Echosmith have done just that in only the past year.
The four siblings of Echosmith (formally Ready Set Go!) range from 14-year-old drummer Graham Sierota to 20-year-old guitarist Jamie Sierota, but their age has proved to be no hindrance in their success. On Friday night, the siblings opened for Owl City at Buffalo’s Town Ballroom for the Midsummer Night Station tour.
Owl City did not arrive to the venue in time for an interview.
“It’s really humbling that we’ve been receiving so much positive and unexpected attention this year,” said Echosmith vocalist Sydney Sierota. “Building such a solid fan base so quickly is a blessing.”
17-year-old Hannah Rogers of Syracuse convinced her sister, Sarah, to come to Buffalo with her to see and meet Echosmith, one of her favorite bands.
“Music has always been a passion of mine, and when I find bands that are my age group that actually have talent, I’m hooked,” Rogers said.
Echosmith’s set was comprised of nine songs from their summer sampler EP and upcoming untitled album that’s due in October of this year. Guitarist Jamie and bassist Noah interacted with the crowd by running to both sides of the stage on tracks like “Surround You” and “Cool Kids.”
Sydney’s vocals sound like a hybrid of Paramore’s Hayley Williams with the soul of Adele. Her voice captivated a crowd of teenage girls clustered in the front of the stage. The maturity and honesty in Sydney’s singing, notably on “Come Together,” was charming and unexpected given her age.
“We’re taking all this excitement and looking at it as an adventure,” Jamie said. “People are surprised by our drive that we have for our age, but we’re young and have opportunities, so why not go for it all?”
While the openers set a benchmark, it was expected that Owl City would be the main attraction. That was not the case. The band emerged from the side stage with a spectacular lighting rig that continued through the set, and vocalist Adam Young sounded better live than recorded. Owl City, however, lacked one key component: stage presence.
At times, the crowd elicited more energy giving ear splitting screams while Young swayed back and forth behind his microphone stand and awkwardly danced in place. Every time Young began to move past his perch, fans would scream and reach for him only to be disappointed when he retreated.
Owl City played hits from all three albums but the majority of the set came from last year’s The Midsummer Station. The signature effective hooks in “Gold,” “Dreams and Disasters” and “Shooting Star” had the crowd singing and jumping the whole time. Young and his band were spot on instrumentally but when the chords of “Silhouette” began, it became difficult to stay conscious.
The electronic pop rockers played their massively popular hit “Fireflies” from 2009’s Ocean Eyes, which gained the most attention of the night. They did not play their second-biggest hit, though.
“I wish they would have played ‘Vanilla Twilight’ tonight,” said concert-goer Jessica Roche of Rochester. “That song holds a ton of meaning for a lot of fans, but I mean, we all still had fun.”
Owl City ended the night with the predictable encore of “Good Time,” their newest radio hit, with Carly Rae Jepsen. Young’s vocals could barely be heard through the crowd’s enthusiastic singing and cheering. Though it was not a perfect set, Owl City gave their fans a night of dancing and singing.