Word & Photos by Amber James

This past Saturday, Eisley and Backwards Dancer invaded Buffalo with their magical brand of indie pop and rock, which helped defrost those of us who had become popsicles due to our usual Western NY winters. Celebrating the release of their most recent full length, I’m Only Dreaming, released on Equal Vision Records on February 17th, Eisley’s poppy demeanor had the potential to cheer up even the coldest of hearts. One of the biggest differences with the current cast of Sherri Dupree-Bemis, Garron Dupree, Jedidiah Lachman, Remy Dupree, and Elle Puckett is more of a rock band feel as compared to the original lineup.

Opening up the night, Backwards Dancer took to the stage and thanked everyone for coming out as it was their first national tour. Formed by old vocalist of The Hotelier, Zack Shaw, they’re still moving up in the scale in terms of being renown but soon that is sure to change wit their recent signing to Max Bemis’ imprint on Equal Vision Records, Rory Records. Their set consisted of gorgeously orchestrated songs that are meant to explore the concepts of human dependence  and human existence in general. With that idea in mind, their set created an atmosphere that helped you feel at home despite probably have never listened to them before.

Starting the set off with one of their singles off their new album, “Louder Than A Lion” with bombastic drums and a heavy bass line. Vocalist Zack Shaw for opening band, Backwards Dancer, helped provide the harmonies and additional guitar for the song to take the part of Anthony Green on the recorded version. Bubbles flew through the air as Dupree-Bemis’ love song/lullaby to her children rang thru the venue. Having struggled with sleep anxiety for ages, she said she “wrote it to them, wanting them to know they could always sleep tight because I’d always be awake, watching over them, keeping the darkness away… realized that even if I can’t sleep well, I can at least watch over my daughters as they rest peacefully.”

Continuing on with their monumentous nineteen song set, the band threw it back a few albums and played a couple songs off of their 2011 release, The Valley, as well as a selection off of Currents, their previous full length from 2013. With a light show that mesmerized all those involved, the atmospheric view was set from the get go both visually and audibly. Then Dupree-Bemis and company threw it all the way back to their full length debut, Room Noises, with their song ‘Marvelous Things’.

Standout tracks of the latter half of the set were “You Are Mine” and “Defeatist”, songs that could be termed as solely Dupree-Bemis’ on their new album turn it down slightly. With more moody guitar and her softer crooning created one of the most intimate experiences of the whole show. Another intimate moment of the show was when the band played “The Night Comes” off of Currents, being played for the first time on tour and opened with Dupree-Bemis accompanied solely by her guitar.

Their tour continues on throughout the rest of the month so make sure you’re able to check them out if you can when they come near you!

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