Album Review :
Concert Review: Copeland, The Hush Sound, Daphne Loves Derby

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Concert Review
Artists: Copeland, The Hush Sound, Daphne Loves Derby, Safari So Good
Venue: The Champion Ship, Lemoyne, PA
Date: 30 September 2006
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Disclaimer: My personal enjoyment of this show was increased exponentially by the fact that it was a date with my girlfriend, but I will try to write from an honest clear perspective without letting that taint this review.

After much driving back and forth on Market Street, we eventually followed some emo sticker covered cars down a driveway leading behind an office building to find The Champion Ship. It also helped seeing Copeland’s drummer walking down the street with fast food in his hands. We went under a bridge, around a corner and found a large building and stone parking lot in the middle of an otherwise wooded area. We felt like we had stumbled upon a secret society, a hidden reservation of scene kids in their natural habitat. After being directed to an open parking space, I gave my name at the door to find that I had been the first person to order tickets to this show. Yes, we were excited.

We quickly secured second row, center, and waited for Safari So Good to start off the show. Apparently, this band used to be Amarie Coma, and before that they were The Commercials. They also contain past members of Breaking Pangaea (the other past members of Breaking Pangaea went on the join either Taking Back Sunday or Straylight Run). They played the basic alternative/ emo rock sound that should be expected to open a show like this one, and while the music was enjoyable, it was not really impressive or new. Their singer also had really annoying mannerisms as he was trying too hard to have stage presence and it all came out really forced. Still, I was able to enjoy them by watching their bass player and left guitarist whose movements seemed more genuine. To be fair, I’ll mention that there were a number of people around me who loved this band and went crazy for them. To be unfair, I’ll mention they were all girls.

Next on the list was Daphne Loves Derby, who played their own interpretation of the genre. They seemed to have drawn about a third of this night’s crowd, and offered a nice variety of slower songs and more energetic songs. Their singer closed his eyes a lot, which is normally bad stage presence, but with him I didn’t mind, because it just seemed like he was there to share some songs with us and he really just cared about his music. I commented that this band seemed very approachable, and they left me with an overall positive experience.

As soon as I saw The Hush Sound’s singer walk in from backstage, I knew this was going to be a memorable set. Wearing a nice shirt and vest, he set the tone for this classy looking foursome, including pianist Greta, who wore a blue dress. They opted against the usual model of putting their lead singer in the center of the stage, and this proved to be a strong point as it allowed me a clear view of their drummer, who was entertaining and really got into these songs. All of the band supplied vocals at some point through the set, and they had a strong connection with the crowd as we sung along to their collection of fairy tales set to music. They played some old favorites like “Crawling Towards the Sun” and “Momentum,” but stuck mostly to songs off their new release, Like Vines. Other songs included “Sweet Tangerine,” “Don’t Wake Me Up,” “A Dark Congregation,” “Lion’s Roar,” and “City Traffic Puzzle.” They closed with the single “Red Wine,” and left the crowd energized and wishing for more songs to dance to.

Now obviously, we had mostly come for Copeland, and despite Aaron Marsh admitting to having a cold, this was still the best out of the four times I’ve seen them. When they started walking on stage, I saw someone I thought was guitarist Bryan Laurenson, but soon did a double take to find Bryan actually standing on the other side of the stage. I asked Aaron about this later, and he said it was Bryan’s younger brother just joining them on this tour “to play some bonus guitar.” They opened with a more piano based version of “Testing the Strong Ones” and then moved into “When Paula Sparks,” which seems to show up on the set list at every show they play. After playing “No One Really Wins,” one girl told Aaron Marsh to play “California” to which he simply responded “No… I just do what the list tells me.” They got the crowd moving with “Pin Your Wings,” and even Aaron had to jump side to side a few times. Next they played a new song called “Careful Now” and continued through “You Love to Sing” and “Sleep.” I have to say this is the most I’ve seen Aaron Marsh get into his songs live, as he half stood from his piano bench a few times throughout the set. This is also the most I’ve seen him interact with the crowd. I think he just prefers the intimacy of a smaller venue to a larger, more impersonal crowd at a place like, say, Purple Door. “Control Freak” was the second song from their forthcoming release, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, and it definitely served to get us all excited for October 31st. They finished their set with “She Changes Your Mind” and “You Have My Attention,” in which he held out that last note for well over thirty-seconds, compelling the crowd to cheer and applaud.

Despite our chantings of “one more song” and then “one more set,” Copeland did not return to the stage, and after a few brief conversations with various band members, getting our stolen set list signed, and purchasing a few t-shirts, we headed home from what my girlfriend insists was literally the best show of her life. I personally cannot say this, but it probably would have been pretty close if I had known all of The Hush Sound’s lyrics like she did.

Copeland
The Hush Sound
Daphne Loves Derby
Safari So Good