Colony House brings indie rock to August Hall with refreshing authenticity

Matt Gibson/Staff

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On Feb. 29, within the cavernous walls of August Hall, Colony House debuted its album, Leave What’s Lost Behind. Although the stage indicated a night of visual theatricality — with an elaborate array of instruments, light features and indie grunge aesthetics — Colony House soon demonstrated that the band’s soul-baring, rock and roll authenticity was the real show. 

Silhouetted figures took the stage, with Will Chapman on drums, Scott Mills on guitar, Parke Cottrell on bass, Tasty — a guest musician — on piano and Caleb Chapman as lead vocalist. A harmony of keys and strings swelled forth as Caleb’s voice took to the chorus of “Looking for Some Light.” The crowd member’s voices rose to meet him, as they would consistently throughout the night, creating a marriage of music and joy.

Jumping into the indie rock sound that the band is known for, Colony House delivered a bass-heavy performance of “El Capitan,” which jumped between rapid guitar riffs and slower melodies. Addressing the crowd members, Caleb invited them to sing the final verse in an intimate dialogue that would continue throughout the show.

Shifting into a slower melody, Caleb introduced the band’s next song, explaining, “I love love songs. … I love them so much I’m going to sing another one right now. It’s a very specific love song. … It’s for one person and one person only: Julia.” The crowd roared in elation at this name, quickly settling down to sway to the simple, sweet cords of “Julia.”

Returning to faster-paced material, Colony House rolled through “Waiting for my Time to Come,” from the band’s first album. A mirage of upbeat strings and beats, with a slight Southern twang, the song reflected the hopeful and joyful attitude of the band itself. 

Finishing the song, Caleb spent a few minutes discussing how while some bands tell people to leave their problems outside, Colony House says “bring it in.” Caleb then led the crowd in a soulful “ohhh oh oh ohhh,” from “Waiting for my Time to Come.” The rest of the band joined in as the crowd screamed the synchronized melody, joined together in their catharsis.

Pausing the performance, Caleb shared his recent experience in northern Uganda with the crowd, asking for donations to Exist for Good, which Colony House created in partnership with Food for the Hungry, to care for Ugandan refugees. 

Returning to the music, Caleb invited bassist Parke Cottrell forward, disclosing that Cottrell has a “beautiful voice.” Taking center stage, Cottrell sang, “Hey ho, let’s go!” With flashing lights, the rest of the band joined in on “Blitzkrieg Bop,” a Ramones cover. The audience members threw their hands up and their heads forward in true rock and roll fashion, feeding off of the magnetic energy onstage.

Introducing “The Hope Inside,” Caleb explained that the song was written after his family lost his little sister. He noted that although it was a painful song to write, it’s very dear to his family. 

As the band began to play, Caleb stepped off of the stage, moving through the crowd as he sang. Stepping onto a concrete barrier, he looked out to the crowd, staying among the crowd members for the rest of the song. 

The band members finished with another performance of “Looking for Some Light,” this time joining together to sing with their arms across each others’ shoulders in a soft moment of peace and happiness.

After the band left the stage, the audience began to clap and scream for an encore. And just when it seemed like the band wouldn’t return, Colony House came loping back onstage to perform a final, head-banging performance of “You Know It.” The band ripped into their guitars and slammed down on its drums one last time, with Caleb pulling out a series of high-energy vocal runs. It was the perfect conclusion to a night of music and celebration. In the nature of the easygoing spirit the band had established, Caleb ended the night with: “Nice seeing y’all — peace.”

Highlights: “Leave What’s Lost Behind,” “Original Material,” “Silhouettes,” “You Know It”

Contact Nathalie Grogan at [email protected].