REVIEW: The Backseat Lovers tour of Kansas City – an ineffable euphoria of sound

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(Graphic by Marshall Sunner | Collegian Media Group)

At a crossroads in the Power and Light District in Kansas City, Missouri, lies a crafty little concert venue named The Truman. Despite resembling a weather-beaten mechanics factory, The Truman hosted a sold-out show headlining The Backseat Lovers, an indie-rock band from Salt Lake City, on their current tour across the country this past Valentine’s Day.

If you were of the many in attendance who had the privilege of seeing their live performance, you too would most likely attest to their preeminent performance which astonished the audience in admiration that night.

Upon my arrival, the line to gain access to the venue seemed miles long as hundreds of eager spectators awaited doors to open at 7:00 p.m. I recall a couple in front of me in line saying something like, “I sure hope they play ‘Kilby Girl,'” before showing their tickets to the doormen and urging themselves through the turnstiles. Finally inside, I made my way towards the stage with the eventual company of 1,200 others, all waiting patiently for the show of a lifetime to begin.

Opening for The Backseat Lovers was another band from Salt Lake City called Over Under. Despite a short three-song set, they easily raised some eyebrows with brilliantly executed instrumentals and cracked harmony from the singer duo — a perfect introduction and tribute for the band we all came to see.

After Over Under’s farewell from the stage, the crowd cheered and celebrated their memorable performance. Now back to waiting for the main event, onlookers were more than prepared to keep the feeling of intense anticipation at its peak. The surprising sight of a four-inch house plant in a miniature flowerpot was periodically raised into the air by a fellow concert attendee, which was met with remarkable praises so vibrant even the floor seemed to shake whenever the plant was exhibited to the masses.

However, when the time came, it came in an unrelenting fashion. All four members of The Backseat Lovers emerged onto the stage, polarizing the substantially large mob of fans as they hollered in both a mixture of frenzy and gracious reassurance. Before I could even grasp their arrival, a familiar tune began to play – launching their set with their most popular song to date, “Kilby Girl.”

From that point on, the swarm of enthusiasts were mesmerized by The Backseat Lovers in every conceivable way. Joshua Harmon’s distinct vocals, Jonas Swanson’s impeccable guitar playing, KJ Ward’s dexterous bass skills and Juice Welch’s exceptional drumming made for a perfect storm of sorts that night at The Truman – a truly ineffable euphoria of sound.

For about one and a half hours we, as an audience, enjoyed a potpourri of The Backseat Lovers’ diverse assortment of songs from their 2019 album, “When We Were Friends,” along with several singles titled, “Out of Tune,” “Just a Boy” and “Heavy.” However, what really made this show worth attending, as a Backseat Lovers fan, was witnessing firsthand two unreleased songs of theirs which will be featured on what Joshua Harmon describes as, “A new little album we’ve been working on.”

Upon closing the show with their song “Address Your Letters,” from their 2018 EP dubbed “Elevator Days,” the crowd was not yet finished. Restlessly, every soul in the venue seemed to chant in unison, “One more song! One more song!” and after a brief, yet long minute, our demands were upheld as each member of the band returned to the stage. Once they did, our chants turned to applause before quickly and swiftly chanting together again, “Sinking ship! Sinking ship,” to which they played without any question or hesitation — an encore for the ages.

Leaving The Truman, it seems as though everyone who witnessed The Backseat Lovers was satisfied with the show. I assure you when I say that I will be seeing them in concert again, and I encourage those with a similar adulation for The Backseat Lovers to see them next time they pass through Kansas City (or elsewhere). In the meantime, you can get the next best thing through streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and more as you await their next album release.

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