Concert Review: We Are the City, Eisley, and Copeland

November 14, 2015: The Crofoot, Pontiac

Eisley has been one of my favorite bands for quite some time now. While I’ve always been a fan, it was the release of their album, The Valley, that cemented their place among my all time favorite bands of all time making their live show a must see whenever they come to town. Copeland being on the bill was just an added bonus to the evening for me.

Up first was Vancouver trio, We Are the City, who I hadn’t listened to beforehand. They took the stage by storm and immediately captured the attention of the packed crowd that night. Their sound is a strange mix of Radiohead and The Dear Hunter standing out with the emotion that Cayne McKenzie pours into his vocals and the herky-jerky time signatures that the trio play with. The guys are a well oiled machine functioning as one. On top of putting on an entertaining, energetic performance, We Are the City seemed to not only be having a lot of fun but also genuinely excited to be there which is understandable considering the, as McKenzie put it, legendary bands that they are touring with.

The lineup had to be adjusted a bit in order for Eisley to make this tour happen but thankfully the DuPree clan is full of talent as well as having some talented friends. Younger sibling Christie DuPree (Merriment) helped fill in vocals for Stacy and sometimes her vocals were so close to her sister’s that even the most die hard fan wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. Sherri DuPree-Bemis, as always, was a treat live. All smiles and gratitude toward the fans that came out that night. The setlist was a mix of old and new and contained so many of my favorite tracks that I couldn’t help but smile ear to ear as I sang along. My particular favorites were the rockin’ “Smarter,” soulful “Mr. Moon,” and when they played one of the first songs DuPree-Bemis wrote, “Brightly Wound.” There’s a new album on the horizon and I couldn’t be more excited for that or (hopefully) another tour soon.

The air was buzzing with excitement as Copeland took the stage with a string quartet. The band hasn’t been to Michigan since 2010 so we’ve been long overdue here in the mitten. The set was everything I could have hoped for. Even with so many people filling the venue, it still felt intimate, like the band was playing just for you. The songs played were stacked with favorites that we all sang along to from start to finish and the guys sounded so good. I use music to cope with so much and have turned to the music of Copeland many times so it was a very moving experience to hear those songs in a live environment. While I stood as close to the front as I could get for Eisley’s set, I found myself in the back of the venue by the middle of Copeland’s, simply leaning against the wall and taking it all in. The strings were a wonderful addition, adding so much depth and warmth to each track.

The evening was a good one and filled with moments that I’ll cherish for a very long time. One thing’s for sure, I know I won’t be able to make it another five years before I see Copeland, or any of the bands for that matter, live again.