On Feb. 24, my friend Lauren and I ventured into New York City as part of a sold out crowd eager to see The Backseat Lovers play at Webster Hall.
The Backseat Lovers are what I would categorize as an alternative/indie-pop-rock band from Utah consisting of Joshua Harmon on lead vocals and guitar, Janas Swanson on lead guitar and vocals, KJ Ward on bass guitar and Juice Welch on background vocals.
I first discovered their song “Kilby Girl” in late 2020, and my Spotify recommended other songs introduced me to other songs in their discography throughout 2021. So, when I heard that they put on a great show, I simply had to go. I made sure to walk in with little to no expectations – I didn’t look up the setlist, I didn’t see any videos of them performing, I was just happy to see a band I like and enjoy a night of live music.
I was lucky enough to find a spot in Webster Hall where Lauren and I were only one row behind the barricade, so I didn’t mind being off to the right of center stage a little bit.
Over Under, a small band from Salt Lake City, Utah, opened for The Backseat Lovers. I checked them out once I purchased my tickets back in November, and they only had two songs released on Spotify. I was very interested to see them open: how could they play for forty-five minutes with only two songs? I was pleasantly surprised by not only the amount of unreleased songs they have, but how good of performers they are. They seem like the most down-to-Earth people ever, and it is so obvious they love being able to share and play their music. They actually have a new song out,“Time to Waste,” that was released at midnight the day of the concert, so it was super exciting to hear it live.
Around 9:15 p.m., The Backseat Lovers finally took the stage. They opened with a climactic instrumental number before playing their 2019 single “Just a Boy” and “Pool House,” a song off their debut album. I was a little surprised by their choice of opening songs, as I was expecting them to play two of their upbeat hits. But the crowd made up for the lack of vitality of their opening set. The audience knew and sang along to every word the entire show. When they played crowd-favorites such as “Kilby Girl,” “Maple Syrup” and “Sinking Ship,” the floor bounced to the beat of the drums and the audiences’ jumping – which was slightly scary considering the stage is the second floor of the venue.
The Backseat Lovers played a significant amount of their discography, ranging from songs off their 2018 EP “Elevator Days” and their 2019 debut album “When We Were Friends.” They also played an unreleased song, which I liked a lot, so I’m definitely excited to hear their future music.
Perhaps my favorite part of the show was when Joshua Harmon flung himself into the crowd with his shiny red guitar and continued to aggressively strum the guitar break of “Still a Friend.” He was filled with so much energy the whole night and just seemed so appreciative that the crowd was loving his band’s music.
I’ve been to twenty concerts now, and I can honestly say that The Backseat Lovers has been one of the best I’ve been too. I would definitely recommend their music and going to one of their concerts if and when they tour again, if you like their songs!
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