The Backseat Lovers, accompanied by opening act Over Under, gave an electrifying performance at The Vic Theatre (3145 N. Sheffield Ave.) Feb 17.
The openers kicked off the night with some unreleased songs from their upcoming album “Time To Waste.” At one point, lead singer Taylor Gwynn stopped to tune his guitar and announced, “I’m gonna tell a story,” and proceeded to entertain concert-goers with a little hymn about the gingerbread man.
Over Under’s energetic set was a superb introduction to The Backseat Lovers lineup. Beginning on an un-lit stage, the band was slowly illuminated in white and orange lights while they played an intro jam which transitioned into their hit song “Kilby Girl.”
Lead singer Joshua Harmon kept the intimacy with the crowd alive by stopping in between songs, for a few more seconds than normal, to meaningfully glance around the venue at the cheering fans and make it feel like you were connecting with him on a deeper level.
The band’s vocals were nothing short of awe-inspiring throughout the night. They mixed the setlist to transition from upbeat headbangers to sweet swaying songs — and the crowd reciprocated their energy every time.
During “Maple Syrup,” the crowd sang along to the lyrics as the band played the lively beats. The energetic tune was accompanied by a decrescendo in the middle as Harmon softly played guitar which then exploded into a vibrant, loud melody.
At one point, Harmon and lead guitarist Jonas Swanson faced each other and played off the other’s guitar riff. The brassy resonant outcome rang out into the rafters of the theater-making sure even the furthest seats could experience the invigorating tempo.
The venue was ideal for the band’s vibes. The Vic is small enough to feel connected to the performers but big enough to comfortably fit a large number of people. The architecture inside is nothing special, one could actually say it’s quite plain, but that draws more attention to the artists on stage.
Behind the band were three light-up banners that looked like stained glass windows in an old town church. Lights below lit up the rest of the stage in hues of red and blue that carried the songs into the air.
Blue lights bathed the band during “Watch Your Mouth” and the banners flipped on and off with the ups of each strident beat. The lighting added to the emotion of the sorrowful song about a past lover by enveloping the stage in cool-toned shades.
After the band had exited, the crowd stayed put, and “encore” was shouted all around the auditorium. Harmon returned on stage for a subdued solo with an acoustic guitar in hand. He played “Snowbank Blues” while a single-stage light illuminated him and his guitar decked out in colorful stickers.
The Backseat Lovers and Over Under delivered a smashing set and left their fans wanting more at the end. The show was everything a fan of indie-pop could wish for from a concert.