Echosmith mesmerizes at August Hall with upbeat excitement, familial moments

Sunny Shen/Staff

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Shining bright onstage with ease and an awkward charm, headliner Echosmith brought the penultimate stop of “The Lonely Generation Tour” to San Francisco on March 3 with opening acts Weathers and Jayden Bartels. The sibling trio filled the intimate venue of August Hall with high energy and heartfelt emotion as fans of all ages danced the night away to the magnetism of acoustic sets and electric indie pop music.

Bartels brought the show to a slow start. The 15-year-old opened the night singing to ukulele acoustics, backed by a guitar in a relatively uneventful performance. Even though it’s refreshing to see a young artist pursuing her dreams and passions, the audience found it rather difficult to vibe with her original songs and her cover of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts.” Bartels’ set vastly contrasted with the transcendental flow of the rest of the concert.

The audience’s liveliness dramatically increased once the second opener of the night, Weathers, took the stage. Riveting vibrations echoed through the floor as the band’s most-streamed song “Happy Pills” inspired the crowd to sing along, and its lyrical dance moves to “I’m Not Ok” had rows of people jumping around across the venue. Through infectious melodies, Weathers managed to effectively hype up the crowd for Echosmith’s grand entrance.

Echosmith began with an extended intro to “Love You Better,” settling into the minor key shifts that drive the pulsing beats of the track, amping up momentum as the group waited for the perfect moment to come out of the foggy shadows. Wearing bright-colored, ’70s-inspired outfits, the band stepped onstage to celebrate its sophomore album, Lonely Generation, with silky vocals, indie hooks and dreamy new wave soundscapes. 

After a warm welcome and formal introductions from the multileveled stage, the sibling trio presented a glimpse into getting older, the blissful moments of being in love and the distorted notion of social communication. This emotional roller coaster was most notably present with the band’s popular single “Over My Head,” which brimmed with excitement and twinkling, color-changing light effects. The show was riddled with interludes as Echosmith sang through a set list of 14 songs, composed of old fan favorites and music from its new album.

From the occasional hand-holding between lead singer Sydney Sierota and vocalist and bassist Noah Sierota to their meaningful conversations with fans throughout the show, the band’s dazzling performance was characterized by its authentic connection with the audience. Sydney prefaced the set’s subsequent songs by mentioning the pressure in the music industry to constantly produce music, which led to the prevalent gap between Echosmith’s 2013 debut album and the band’s 2020 sophomore album. “There are songs on the album that talk about things I haven’t even told my friends about,” Sydney confided. 

When introducing the back half of the concert set, Sydney talked about the importance of vulnerability for the band in the new album and about how the group has written about feeling like an outsider since the band’s start. For “Everyone Cries,” she and Noah conveyed the family’s strong emotional connection with both the song and the audience in a powerful duet backed by their father, Jeffery David, on piano. 

Further establishing an attitude of openness with the crowd, Sydney followed the familial moment with a mashup of similarly sentimental songs in honor of her husband: “Follow You,” “Come Together” and “Tell Her You Love Her.” Every action performed onstage seemed to send Echosmith’s message of love and inclusion to its fan base.

The last song of the set, “Stuck,” utilized the ominous bass drums around the stage with the three siblings slamming the drum heads in unison. Fans didn’t have to scream long for the band to come back out for its two-song encore. Celebrating the album, Echosmith performed its titular track, “Lonely Generation,” before the long-awaited 2013 hit “Cool Kids.” Sydney took a brief moment to tell the story of “Cool Kids,” which was based on the feeling of exclusion and sadness she felt as a high schooler. To close out the night, she invited all who have ever felt left out to raise their voices and let those feelings go.

Contact Salma Gomez at [email protected].