As I walked into the Newport, a little girl no older than 6 darted around the corner wearing an Echosmith tour shirt. I later learned that it was her first concert and her favorite song — as well as the only song she knew — was “Cool Kids.”
The crowd at the Newport Sunday night was an interesting mix of college-age kids, adults and parents with their small children. The venue was by no means full, despite the band having sold out other dates of the tour, but that may have had to do with the Sunday date.
Columbus band Liberty Deep Down went first and gave a generic performance. I wanted to like them, but the members’ stage presence and interaction with the audience came off as trying too hard. The Colourist followed and contrasted with their sound right on the money and a more genuine and relatable persona.
Echosmith opened with “Ran Off in the Night,” which wasn’t a standout from debut album “Talking Dreams.” They gave life to their relatively mellow songs with their upbeat performances of “Let’s Love” and “Come Together.” The energy was consistent the entire night, which is impressive considering it was their fourth night in a row.
My only issue with the stage show was the whole bit where lead singer Sydney Sierota pounded on an extra drum at the front of the stage. I’ve seen many other bands do this, and the gimmick has become tired at this point. However, the Sierotas also did something unique in selling signed posters for $10, and all of the money will go to build a school in the Philippines.
During “Come with Me,” they brought two audience members up to dance together on the stage, and even sang “Happy Birthday” to an audience member who had just turned 17. A buzz went around the crowd when Sydney replied that she was 17 as well, and some were also surprised to discover that the band members were all siblings.
I don’t know how someone could go to the concert without having known their ages or relation — something that I see as such a big part of their brand. A simple pre-show Google search would have told you that, as well as the fact that they’ve even officially been a band for six years already. Their songs alone must have attracted some of the audience, but the coolest thing for me is seeing four siblings having the time of their lives and having success together.
That being said, I can see why one would think they are older. They all seemed comfortable and confident on stage, but then again they’ve basically been doing this their whole lives. Sydney and Noah have the bigger personalities and did the large majority of the talking, while Graham and Jamie were clearly the quieter of the group, only offering a half-smile here and there.
Their new single “Bright” elicited the most reaction from the crowd, next to, of course, “Cool Kids.” I was certain that they were going to save it for the encore, as many bands tend to do with their biggest hits, but was pleasantly surprised when they ended their regular set with the Billboard Top 40 song and chose “Nothing’s Wrong” for the encore.
Sydney gave personal meaning to the song by saying “the reason this song exists is because we’ve all wanted to be like someone else. But I want you all to know that you are very loved, especially by this band.” She encouraged self-acceptance and invited everyone who has ever related to the song to sing along. Needless to say, it got pretty loud in there.