Show Review: Eisley at Slim’s, 10/15/09

by Raffi Youssoufian on October 17, 2009

eisley

So often there are those bands that fall between the cracks of your musical world.  They fight and claw their way in, trying to have a place in your collection.  They try to pop up on your Pandora station, or while you’re trying to decide if you should buy this eighty dollar shirt at a trendy clothing shop, just so they might have a chance of sticking in your head.  And just when they get through (in my case it was the song “Marvelous Things”), they book a concert on the same night of another show you already have tickets for!  It’s beyond me how many times I’ve missed Eisley just because I was at a different show on the same night.  This show was somewhere around six years in waiting.

Splitting the bill with Say Anything, there was some real family love at this show, and not the cheesy kind.  Eisley is made up of four siblings and a cousin, but also, the lead singer/keyboards of said family, now with raving jet black hair, Stacy Dupree, is married to Max Bemis, the force behind Say Anything; who joined them energetically on stage for one song.  The closeness of the band showed in their comfort level with each other as it looked like they were having a ball, powering through a set of old melodic favorites as well as new songs from the just released Fire Kite EP.

With so many bands out there that can fall into the ever-expanding ambiguous genre of indie rock/pop, one aspect that always separated Eisley was Stacy’s beautiful and distinct voice.  There really is no way to mistake her voice for anyone else’s.  I was definitely excited to hear her and the great backup vocal harmonies live, but the sound mix was a bit disappointing, as the driving bass and drums muddled the vocals.  But, even while complaining about her keyboard’s reliability during the set, she still managed to shine through and show her range very well.

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The sold out crowd, who looked to be mostly under twenty-one, visibly reminded me a number of all-ages venues are trying to be shut down in San Francisco.  It’s very easy for us to get lost in the twenty-one and over shows and just forget what is going on.  But how unfair is it going to be for all these passionate kids who are going to be robbed of the wonderful experience of live music?  Since I was one of those kids I know how important those shows were in my life, so I had to use at least part of this review as a bit of a war cry, so we can stop this from happening.  I don’t think Eisley and Say Anything would have loved to have played this show in front of half the audience.  And I’m sure we wouldn’t love to see our favorite artists and bands tour less because of dwindled numbers at concerts.  Music is a passion for many of us, so let’s use it for the good it can bring!  Check out Stop the War on Fun for more info on the battle.

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