Photography: Copeland, From Indian Lakes, Many Rooms
Posted: by The Editor
After reuniting is 2014 and releasing their first album in eight years, Ixora/Twin. Copeland have proven their musicianship skills again on their harmless yet emotional sounding follow up, Blushing. This album further’s themselves from the sound that raised them to success in 2003 on Beneath Medicine Tree while reminding you that you’re still listening to Copeland, just the matured and nourished version they’ve become. While the album provides for an excellent listening experience while driving to work on a Sunday or while staring at your ceiling fan spin until you slip into your dreams, the live recreation of these songs feels theatrical with how atmospheric, layered, and powerful the music sounds through live speakers. For anyone looking for a night of emotion provoking ballads that’s destined to make you feel changed afterwards, I encourage you to see Copeland on their current tour with Many Rooms and From Indian Lakes.
As someone who has been a long time fan of Many Rooms, I was more than excited to be seeing her open for two of my favorite artists. The moment she started her first song (for the second time due to gear error which I felt personally, owning the same pedal and having the same issue) and starting to fill the empty spaces in the room with calming tones from her guitar before delivering her tear-jerking lyrics that overcame the crowd.
The thing is with Many Rooms, you don’t feel sad at first, it’s almost like listening to Julien Baker where you notice that you’re crying but didn’t feel moody before. To me, that’s a display of phenomenal musicianship because you don’t have to be having a bad day or be feeling emotional to connect to the music, it just happens naturally and you notice you have tears rolling down your checks. After the first song, she was joined by a full band who played gently behind her movements adding tiny yet noticeable intricacies to her set to provide a separate listening experience live than on record. While her set was a short 30 minutes, everyone in the crowd was touched by her tender sounds that passed through their ears.
From Indian Lakes
After being put in an emotional trance by Many Rooms, I was ready to hear to the lush tones of From Indian Lakes. I somehow manage to see them almost every year around my birthday (this year being the day before, in 2016 the day after) and each time I’m giving a new reason why I continue to go each year.
Joey’s songwriting has always been one of my favorites whether it’s the alternative rock anthems he created on Able Bodies, the acoustic layering on Absent Sounds, or the warbly tones of Everything Feels Better Now and the way he presents these songs live with changes to the solos, guitar sounds, intonation, and overall vibe of the music is even more impressive than his writing. While I will say I do prefer hearing more songs from Able Bodies and Absent Sounds, the set we we’re given was still an immersive experience and I knew right after hearing them open with “Happy Machines” and Joey doing an improve interlude solo, they we’re going to jump right into the lead single from EFBN, The Monster. This song to me, is the catchiest From Indian Lakes song because of that repeating intro riff and I was ready to belt out all the words to it.
After opening with two EFBN tracks and a new song, we we’re treating to some classics from Absent Sounds including the first FIL song I fell in love with, Am I Alive. We were treated to one more newer song before closing the set with Absent Sound closing track “Fog”. This was the shortest From Indian Lakes set I’ve seen to date, but it was still enough to continue my love for them until I see them again (hopefully).
During Copeland’s sound check, their drummer tested his kick drum which was so powerful I almost lost my balance for a second. At first I thought it was a poorly placed mic, but soon released we were in for a thunderous sounding set. They opened with my favorite track off the new album, As Above, So Alone, and while on record it sounds like a melancholy pop song, the live rendition with the powerful kick drum, reverberating guitars, and sampled backtrack instantaniously engaged the crowd in their set. The next four songs consisted of Ixora and You Are My Sunshine tracks and vocalist Aaron Marsh putting his guitar down to play piano alongside the band. Hearing his sorrowful lyrics blended with temperamental piano part crafted for live performances gives the audience reasons to want to hear Copeland live and on record.
Aaron then stands back up with his guitar and asks “so we just released a new album called Blushing on Valentine’s Day, has anyone heard it?” to which a majority of the crowd loudly cheers back in assurance that we have before being asked “has anyone NOT heard it? It’s ok if you haven’t, I won’t be mad” to which a few “yeahs” were shouted out. Aaron then announced “we’ll we’re gonna play another new one” to which those same few “yeahs” were shouted out and Aaron said “THERE IT IS, every night we get the half hearted woos and yeahs at playing new stuff, don’t get me wrong I love old sh*t too but we want to play new things” and leads into playing Lay Here.
Continuing into their set and pulling out a few oldies from Beneath Medicine Tree, Eat Sleep Repeat, and Ixora as well as new songs, we arrive at the lead single from Blushing, Pope. Halfway through Pope where we hear the sampled voice saying:
“Hey, hey, are you awake?
You should probably get up and get going
I don’t want to be rushed”
The band noticed that the backing track was off time and they ended the track and Aaron said “wow I can’t believe we messed up that bad, I have to make it up to you, want to hear California?” to which the crowd unanimously cheered “YES!” and he proceeded to play it solo.
As the night began to wrap up and we were all standing in awe at the set we had just witness, we were told that they were going to skip the “walking off stage and coming back out part” and play three more as we were treated to the BMT track “Coffee” as well as two In Motion tracks to finish the night. As they walked off stage, I took a look around and saw people in tears, people smiling, and people feeling like they watched their life flash before their eyes. Whether you’re a fan older Copeland songs, new Copeland songs, or you love it all (which is most of us), Copeland’s engulfing live sound and emotive vocals will make you close your eyes during their set and reflect on your emotions while breathing in the soaring sounds of their set.
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