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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Backseat Lovers provided a lively, intimate performance at Oakland’s Fox Theater

Concertgoers matched the indie music act’s energy


By ANA BACH — arts@theaggie.org


On April 24, The Backseat Lovers, an American alternative rock band, performed at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California as part of their North American tour.

The Backseat Lovers are based out of Utah, and according to their Spotify page, their music focuses on “the feelings at hand.” The band consists of four members whose music feels like an indie take on modern rock. 

At their performance in Oakland, the band’s setup consisted of a few asymmetrically patterned carpets spread across the stage and white sheets as the backdrop behind their instruments.

Three members of the band started the show by collectively tuning their guitars and segueing into a riff. Each member slowly built up the tune by adding their own unique play on the initial chords. This part of the show wasn’t immediately transitioning into any particular song, but rather, was improvised. The assortment of melodies and beats was drawn out, building up anticipation until ultimately resolving into a song familiar to the audience. This showcased not only the abilities of the musicians but also their chemistry with one another as they were able to build a cohesive sound. 

Throughout the show, the band played many of their more popular songs, most of which come from their album titled “When We Were Friends.” One of their most well-known hits (and a viral TikTok sound), “Kilby Girl,” is on this album, along with other fan favorites such as “Maple Syrup,” “Pool House” and “Watch Your Mouth.” 

Throughout the concert, melodies and even little strums of the guitar here and there were never fully sedentary. Each transition into a new song consisted of the same energy as the initial build-up, during which the band members would re-adjust their instruments and seamlessly move into the next song based on a little improvised melody. 

When the band began to play “Pool House,” the white sheets used for the backdrop showed colorful projections and lighting. The visuals were relaxing and simple, showing shadows of leaves and trees on the colorfully lit stage.

The atmosphere felt intimate, with the carpets, colors and rawness of the music creating a comforting and personal experience for the audience. 

The band performed “Kilby Girl,” and — as expected — the energy of the performers and the audience response matched the hype surrounding the track. During the main guitar riff sequence, the general admission area appeared lively and engaged.
The band closed with “Snowbank Blues,” a song from their most recent album, “Waiting to Spill,” which was softer and more folk-like than their other music. Ending with this song felt similar to a campfire sing-along, stripped to just the guitar strums and the lead singer’s vocals. 

As someone who was only somewhat familiar with The Backseat Lovers before attending their show, the live performance surpassed any expectations I had from purely listening to their recorded music. They sounded even better in person because of the clear notes coming from their instruments and microphones. 

Throughout their performance, The Backseat Lovers truly showcased their ability to make each attendee a part of the musical experience. 


Written by: Ana Bach — arts@theaggie.org