Words and Photos by LUIS MORENO
I’ve got to be honest … I was originally introduced to The Backseat Lovers by my 17 year old daughter.
A little over a year and a half ago actually pre-covid I was driving, and I let her be the DJ for our adventure. Ten minutes later, I became a Backseat Lovers fan. Now I’m driving to The Troubadour with my daughter and her friend to catch The Backseat Lovers’ sold-out show.
The Backseat Lovers is Joshua Harmon on lead vocals and guitar. Jonas Swanson lead guitar and vocals, KJ Ward on bass guitar and Juice Welch as drummer and background vocals. This night the opening band was Sleepy Gonzales, and the title is apropos.
Even though their lyrics can be a bit heavy about relationships, The Backseat Lovers’ songs are pretty upbeat. The mixed tempo throughout many of their works is a welcomed change compared to several of their contemporaries.
Joshua Harmon is a great front man for the band. He jokes, he laughs and leads them on a nice journey with his banter. But more importantly his pebbly voice is filled with sentiment and thrills. It caresses the melody at times and other moments it punches the song like on “Out of Tune.”
What did catch me off-guard was Joshua Harmon’s intensity and physical contortions while playing the guitar was matched by his skills on the guitar. His patented long hair was flying around with wreckless abandon and pushing his guitar playing to the edge of his boundries, while still fitting the feel and melody of the songs.
The band did play their big hit “Kilby Girl,” which by the way was the song that hooked me into becoming a fan of their music. It was more than well-received by their fans who sang along word for word, as the audience did throughout most of the band’s set.
One of the songs I really enjoyed was “Maple Syrup,” which starts off with some mellow guitar picking and eventually the drummer comes in with the kick drum to get the rest of the crew on board. The song slows back down to an almost pregnant pause, then starts back up with the audience chiming in vocally in chorus and the rhythm guitar taking the lead.
The Backseat Lovers were a delight to watch and listen to in concert. The audience is beyond engaged, collectively, they’re practically the fifth member of the band and it’s a great reciprocal relationship.
On a side note, it was also a night to sing Happy Birthday to one of the roadies that was brought on stage to be serenaded by everyone in the venue to a loud Happy Birthday! It had a very family feel to it.