Concert Review + Interview: Echosmith @ 9:30 Club (10/16/22)

Echosmith (Photo courtesy of Press Here Publicity)
The siblings of Echosmith (Photo courtesy of Press Here Publicity)

The word you are looking for is ‘charming’. 

When it comes to the three siblings of Echosmith, charming is the best way to describe their high energy demeanor during their performance at the 9:30 Club on October 16th. 

With sister Sydney Quiseng (lead vocals, guitar), and brothers Noah Sierota (bass, synthesizer), and Graham Sierota (drums), Echosmith led the fired up crowd through 15 songs, along with a rapid medley of five of their older songs. This was the third show on the Hang Around Tour, the first tour they’ve done since before the pandemic (they were last in DC in February 2020). This was also their third time performing at the 9:30 Club, so the band was decidedly stoked to be back and ready to let lose on stage. They also answered a few questions for A DC Journey at the end of this post.

They kicked off their very fine indie rock set with Sydney and Noah pounding single drums positioned at the front of the stage, then went into their newest single “Gelato”, released on October 5th. The song is about living your best life right now without worries. It is also the song they’d be most excited about hearing in a public space. See the interview below.

The 9:30 Club stage was pushed up, as often happens when a show isn’t a sellout, but that hardly mattered, as those in attendance where more than happy to enliven the place with volume and energy.

The stage was roomy between the instruments, with a white screen as a backdrop and white orbs positioned like standing lamps. Sydney moved back and forth, constantly engaging fans by smiling or pointing at them. Mostly it was Sydney that was the charming and gregarious one, but Noah did have one impassioned speech about what it means to be a band together.

Later came “Diamonds”, from their second album, 2020’s Lonely Generation. Sydney taught the crowd the refrain ‘La la la la’ to join in, and then danced around with a pink parasol that matched her pants. The song speaks to finding out that you’re better than your circumstances, and ‘When are we gonna learn that we can change the world?’

Next came “Hindsight”, a brand new unreleased song that gave the band the excuse to get everyone in the 9:30 Club to drop down low in time with the beats.

“Talking Dreams”, from their first album of the same name, may have been my favorite song they performed on the night. It has a frenetic pace on guitar, and the breathless energy of youth; making plans, sharing dreams and running towards the amazing possibilities and good days that lay ahead. A charming tale.

They did two competently executed covers, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, and then towards the end, “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin to which Sydney confided that she and her now husband first kissed to.

Midway through the set, they did a bit where they chose which song to play by opening a fortune cookie. There was three different songs contained within the cookies, and this night Sydney broke open one to find “Safest Place”. They said this was the first time it was selected from the cookies, and that they hadn’t played it live for eight or nine years. 

From California, the siblings, including their other brother Jamie (who later left the band), began playing together in 2009. The moniker Echosmith emerged in 2012 when they signed with Warner Bros. They later started their own label to release Lonely Generation.

They ended the set (no encore) with two other new singles not yet on any album. Maybe a new album is on the way given they played four new singles? “Hang Around”, being the name of the tour, is a catchy little ditty about finding that special someone that you never want to leave, and who just makes you a better person. 

The last song of the evening was “Cool Kids (Our Version)”, a slightly updated take on their biggest hit, in response to the song suddenly re-emerging on TikTok. Their new version is a little less poppy, with a new recorded bridge.

If you want a charming and high energy evening of music, you can hardly do better than spending it with the Echosmith siblings. Don’t forget to take a peek at the questions they answered below.

Setlist

  1. Gelato
  2. Over My Head
  3. Diamonds
  4. Hindsight
  5. Talking Dreams
  6. Tell Her you Love Her
  7. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  8. Bright
  9. Safest Place (selected via fortune cookie)
  10. Let’s Love / Come Together / Get Into My Car / Favorite Sound / God Only Knows / Surround You (medley of songs)
  11. Lonely Generation
  12. Goodbye
  13. Lost Somebody
  14. Take My Breath Away (Berlin cover)
  15. Hang Around
  16. Cool Kids (Our Version)

Interview

A DC Journey: What has been your favorite experience so far as a musician/artist?  

Echosmith: I’d say that the best experiences as an artist are when we get to have more extended conversations with people who have been really impacted by the art we create. We’ve gotten to talk to so many people and hear how much our music has meant to them. That is such an honor.  

ADCJ: If you were standing near where you were about to perform, what would you tell those walking by to encourage them to come experience your show?  

Echosmith: I’d just tell everyone to come by, have a good time, and that we hope they leave our show feeling more loved than they felt before.  

ADCJ: Which of your songs would you feel happiest about hearing in a public space? (like in a restaurant or grocery store) 

Echosmith: I do actually hear our music in public spaces all the time! It’s always funny to hear a song like “Bright” as I’m picking up groceries! I think it would be really fun to hear one of our new songs, so I’d say “Gelato!” 

ADCJ: Are there any local to Washington, DC bands/artists that you are currently excited about? 

Echosmith: Jukebox the Ghost is from DC, and they recently put out an album that’s really great!  

ADCJ: What was the last song you couldn’t stop playing on repeat?

Echosmith: “Many Times” by Dijon is a song that I’ve been repeatedly listening to. That whole album is so amazing, and it’s come to mean a lot to me! 

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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