Echosmith is the pop band behind Cool Kids, one of the most dominant songs of 2013-14. Five years later, the group is back on the touring circuit in honor of their fall 2017 seven-song EP “Inside a Dream” and their forthcoming second full-length album (yet to be named).
The sibling band is comprised of lead singer Sydney Sierota and her brothers, bassist Noah and drummer Graham. Their older brother Jamie was originally part of Echosmith but dropped out in 2016 to focus on his wife and then-newborn baby.
However, if the April 13, 2018 show with the quartet-turned-trio, at the iconic First Ave venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota is any indication, Echosmith hasn’t lost its magic mojo. Sydney, Noah and Graham fared just fine that night – a spectacle I almost missed out on.
I didn’t know about the concert until a week before, when for once, those annoying Facebook ads paid off. I saw one about Echosmith coming to town and fueled by my love for the hit songs – Cool Kids and Bright – off their debut album “Talking Dreams,” I immediately set about landing an interview with the band for The Celebrity Cafe and purchased a ticket for the show. It was too short notice to request off from my restaurant side job, but miraculously, I ended up being free anyway.
The concert was well worth my scrambling efforts, as it was a blast through and through. The opening acts set the tone for a good night, starting with Jena Rose, a pop singer-songwriter from Texas. She first released songs around the same time as Echosmith but her career has picked up steam more-so in the last year – i.e. with her 2017 song Sweet Love.
Jena Rose had a strong stage presence in every way. She was stylish as heck, sporting a big white fur (or maybe faux fur) coat over a classy blouse she eventually featured after shedding the coat, and cool black pants. Her pipes were even more impressive, and her energy got the crowd pumped up. After her set, which lasted about 20 minutes, she generously stuck around for a meet and greet at her merchandise table.
Next up was the New York-based band The Score, a group of guys who shook things up a little with their rock-leaning brand of pop music. Their set was a similar length, through which they constantly engaged the audience and showcased vocals and songs that made you think, “watch out Imagine Dragons.” They, too, stuck around for signings, though it seemed the audience was less inclined to move, in order to maintain their prime viewing spot for Echosmith.
I wondered if the openers were too good, but when Echosmith took the stage, it didn’t take long to see their shine was by no means dulled by great openers – simply, they took the great energy Jena Rose and The Score had built within the venue and kicked things up. They brought it.
The setlist was well crafted, with a solid mix of their debut album songs and their newer tracks sprinkled throughout the show. The first batch of songs included 18, Come Together, Let’s Love, Future Me, Lessons and a clear crowd favorite, Bright.
Sydney was the essence of cool – from her initial outfit of a leather skirt and black top with sparkly stockings and super-bedazzled silver shoes (she later changed into high-waisted sparkly silver-and-black pants), to the charisma oozing out of her with her dance moves and general stage presence, to playing a bevvy of instruments at different points.
She played the tambourine for one song, the drums later on and guitar for the song Terminal. It seems there’s nothing she can’t do.
Noah showed off some versatility too, particularly with a stretch of swoon-worthy solo vocals that audibly surprised and impressed the audience. Graham was the ultimate team player, moving around the stage to play different drum sets as Sydney did her thing, joining his siblings front and center so the trio could take a crowd photo.
You could see how much fun all three were having. Backing them on other instruments were a female keyboard player (I didn’t catch her name) and a male guitarist, both of whom looked about the same age as the Sierota siblings. The guitarist, Jacob, jammed hard quite a few times with Noah and Sydney, adding even more giddy energy.
After her slight costume change, Sydney made a dramatic re-entry for the song Over My Head and the audience loved it. The “second half” set list included a solid cover of The Killers song When You Were Young and Echosmith’s own Talking Dreams – for which Sydney brought an audience member on stage to join her in twirling a kind of umbrella. The girl nearly whacked Sydney in the face but it didn’t faze her – she laughed it off and encouraged the girl to keep going.
Other similarly cute moments in the show were when Sydney brought her mom Linda out to get in a crowd photo, and thanked her for her hard work; when Sydney, Jacob and Noah lined up side by side and did a shuffle move in sync; when Sydney urged the crowd to lock arms with the people around them and sway to the song Tell Her You Love Her; and when Noah, as he was keeping the crowd occupied during his sister’s costume change, gave a shout-out in support of National Autism Month.
Somewhere in the show, they also performed Get Into My Car (a new favorite of this writer’s), and of course, the 2017 EP lead single, Goodbye.
For the finale, after the inevitable false ending, the band came back for a one-song encore – Cool Kids. A two-song encore would have been preferred but they packed enough of a punch into that break-through fan favorite track that it was still a powerful ending to a good show, with confetti raining from the sky as Echosmith did their thing to close out the night.
There might be some area for improvement or other critiques to make, but I don’t have an obvious thought of that nature – I enjoyed the show too much to find a flaw.
In an interview with The Celebrity Cafe before the show, Sydney said they hope to do stadium shows one day. I, for one, think if that show in the small but iconic – and packed – venue in Minneapolis last week was any indication, Echosmith has the incredible talent and sweet-spunky charisma to get there.
If you want to see for yourselves, check out their tour schedule to see when this gem of a band is coming to your hometown.