Live Review: Echosmith and The Colourist at House of Blues, March 29, 2015

Echosmith by Neon Tommy

Capping off their power-pop tour together at House of Blues, Orange County bands Echosmith and The Colourist played for an enthusiastic, all-ages crowd in San Diego on Sunday night.

Guitarist/vocalist Adam Castilla and drummer/vocalist Maya Tuttle (both originally of Paper Thin Walls) lead The Colourist in several tracks from last year’s eponymous LP, including “Wishing Wells” and “Fix This.” Showgoers were also treated to “When I’m Away,” a new single from the band’s upcoming EP Will You Wait for Me, due for release in May.

The slower, pensive song “Stray Away” provided a diversion from the energetic pop sound The Colourist is known for. The psychedelic track prompted the lighting of cell phone flashlights and even a few IRL lighters to the chorus, “I don’t want to fall in love / But I fear it’s too late to let love stray away.” The Colourist rounded out their performance with the fan favorite “Little Games” and the anthemic “We Won’t Go Home,” both of which incited singalongs and lots of hopping.

If the headlining Echosmith’s performance could be summed up in one word it would be: millennial. In reference to the name of a generation, that is. The poppy, performance-driven family band — yes, Echosmith is comprised of four siblings in their late teens and early 20s — documented its performance by taking photos and video of the audience to post on social media, all while singing catchy-as-hell, borderline-kitschy lyrics full of love, camaraderie, and boundless optimism. As if they had their whole lives ahead of them or something.

But that wasn’t the only way the band ‘connected’ with an excited, youthful audience. A woman holding a hot-pink poster and a man with a piece of lined notebook paper were chosen to dance and sing along stage with the band to “Come with Me” before participating in a group selfie. And after Echosmith announced that proceeds from their poster sales would be donated to World Vision to help build a school in the Philippines, two more fans were invited on stage. This time though, the microphone was handed over to a young woman who wanted her partner’s “first concert to be really special.” A marriage was proposed, the lead singer invited herself to the wedding, and even the most stone-hearted of cynics cheered, clapped, and smiled. Granted, there was also a tiny bit of irony there.

Several songs from Echosmith’s 2013 LP Talking Dreams electrified attendees, including “Let’s Love,” “Come Together,” and the widely popular “Cool Kids.” The band left it all on the table with their finale “Nothing’s Wrong” as giant plastic balls filled with confetti were sent crowd surfing. Le sigh. Youth.

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