Live: Echosmith at Hammerstein Ballroom
Chino, California sibling quartet Echosmith kicked off their New York City gig last night with the high-energy “Let’s Love,” setting the tone for a substantial set at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Opening for Twenty-One Pilots, the family graced the Hammerstein stage in black and white. Brothers Jamie, Noah and Graham in suits; their sister, leading lady Sydney Sierota, in a dress fit for an indie rock prom queen.
“We are so, so happy to be back in New York,” announced Sierota. “New York City! This next song is the title track off our album.” Twirling a fuchsia colored silk Japanese parasol, the frontwoman lead her band of brothers into the take-no-prisoners “Talking Dreams.” Guitarist Jamie and bassist Noah weaved in harmonies while the baby of the family and drummer, Graham, kept the pace charging full steam ahead.
Sierota brought out her synthesizer for “Come Together,” the lead track off the foursome’s debut record Talking Dreams. "This next song is very close to my heart,” began Sierota by way of introducing the evening’s first ballad, “Tell Her You Love Her.” Taking a breather to get sentimental, the love song’s vocals were reminiscent of folk pop princess Jewel. Sierota’s voice sounded mature beyond her 18 years.
“I need you to look excited about life!” exclaimed Sierota before the acoustic guitar led “Bright.” A little bit country, little bit pop rock, the tune could easily be considered the band’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).” As hundreds of iPhone flashlight apps shone inside the dark ballroom, it was crystal clear why this particular tune has a full bar of popularity in the iTunes Store. Nothing makes a song more perfect than a simple chord progression topped with a beautiful melody that one can immediately sing back.
“This next song is not ours,” warned the teenage songsmith before she and her three brothers covered Modern English’s “I Melt With You.” Unfortunately, this chosen cover wasn’t the right fit for the crowd of Vans Warped Tour misfits. The tune was lost on all those present born after 1995. To her credit, Miss Sierota was able to get most of the GA floor waving their arms side to side during the final chorus. Hardly anyone dismisses the chance to throw their hands up in the air and wave ‘em like they just don’t care.
Echosmith’s mainstream radio hit “Cool Kids” rounded out the siblings’ 40-minute set. “This song was created because we feel that desire to fit in,” explained Sierota. “We have all gone through the exact same thing. Number one, you are not alone. Number two, you are accepted for who you are. I want you to know you are so, so incredibly loved by this band on stage before you.”
By Jennifer Boyer