I had the chance to check out the always lovely Eisley during their Cleveland stop at the Grog Shop for their I’m Only Dreaming Tour. They had some great support from both Backwards Dancer and Civilian.
Backwards Dancer opened up the show at the Grog Shop. I had not heard of these guys going into this show, but knowing Eisley, their support would be great. These guys have a sound that is almost a mix of both Bright Eyes and Brand New (which of course I was on board with). The lead singer, Zack Shaw, has an incredible, raspy voice that resonated well during their performance. They played quite a few songs off of their self-titled release, including “Breathe Life Into Beauty“, “Artists As Characters”, and my favorite of the night, “(Blank)“. These guys are definitely a band to look out for especially if you’re as into Brand New as I am, because they are fantastic. Be sure to give their self-titled release a listen as well!
Civilian was up next for the night, and I was super pumped about it. I’ve been into these guys for quite some time and have been playing their newest release You Wouldn’t Believe What Privilege Costson repeat for months now. Needless to say, I was excited to finally see them live. These guys had such a great sense of humor right off the bat, so it made the set incredibly entertaining to watch. Vocalist and guitarist Ryan Alexander sounds great and incredibly on par to their releases live. They played a good mix of songs, being sure to include songs off of their 2012 release, Should This Noose Unloosen, such as “James Kent” (about a homeless man living with Ryan Alexander, of course) and “Heaven”. I can’t recommend you check these guys out enough, because they were such a joy to see live. If you missed your chance to see them live during this tour, be sure to check out Steadfast, Tuned Up’s own annual festival, where they will be playing!
Last to play for the night was of course Eisley. They have had a pretty eventful year so far, with their new album I’m Only Dreaming coming out in February. As the band took the stage, Sherri-Dupree Bemis all smiles, they started off the set with a song off of the new album, “Louder Than A Lion” (which actually features Circa Survive’s Anthony Green). To help sing Green’s parts of the song, Zach Shaw of Backwards Dancer helped out the band. Seeing as this would be my third time seeing the group (which has gone through a few lineup changes), these guys ALWAYS sound nothing short of perfect. With Sherri’s incredible aura of pure joy as well as her beautiful harmonies with guitarist Elle Puckett, you can’t really go wrong. They played songs spanning Eisley’s career, including “Drink The Water“, “If You’re Wondering” and even “Lost At Sea” off of their Marvelous Things release in 2005. It was great to see the Grog Shop filled with a crowd that absolutely adored this band, singing all the words right along Sherri. They ended their set with one of my favorites, “Ambulance” off of their 2011 release The Valley, which was a perfect end to a beautiful show. Going through so many changes as a band, Eisley has still remained a unrelenting force of both beautiful harmonies and song structure that has yet to be matched. Be sure to check out their new release I’m Only Dreaming and check out this wonderful tour if you can!