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The indie group from Utah, The Backseat Lovers, performed at The Wiltern on Thursday night for a completely sold out show. This was my second time seeing The Backseat Lovers live and they were just as stellar, if not better the second time around. The group has such a unique sound that I can only equate to it to The Beatles. This show was for touring their third album release, Waiting To Spill, to which the band played in its entirety.  I have no other words for this performance besides - fucking incredible.

The Wiltern was warmed up by the duo called Toledo which definitely fits the same aesthetic as The Backseat Lovers. Toledo performed on the infamous Wiltern stage alongside their mystery music box they affectionately nicknamed, Doug. The group alongside Doug had a very somber and acoustic sound to their tunes. The group gave a stellar performance that warmed the crowd for a group that needed no introduction.

The Backseat Lovers have been one of my most cherished bands for years now. My addiction began with the song off of the EP Elevator Days, “Just a Friend”. Their sound has changed throughout the years since beginning back in 2018, yet they still find a way to stick to their roots and gather that blend of alt, folk, and indie. Today most might recognize their hit song “Kilby Girl” which exploded after Tik Tok fame. For those of us that have been around since the start, it has been long awaited that this group gets the attention they deserve. Lead singer Josh Harmon has a truly special sound he brings into every one of the group's anthems. Josh’s gravelly and raspy, yet beautifully melancholic voice is what truly sets The Backseat Lovers apart.

The group performed their entire new album from start to end, which was a sensational performance to watch live. To be completely candid, it made me fall in love with some of the songs I felt lacked on my original listen of the album. Yet live, every song stuck a special cord in my heart. After concluding the album, the band played some of their hits, including “Kilby Girl”, “Pool House”, “Maple Syrup” and “Still a Friend”, some of my favorite songs of not only the band, but of ALL TIME. The Wiltern was roaring. The fans of this group seem to share the same passion that the artists do, as each of the hits were screamed by almost every fan in the packed theater. When it came time for a conclusion, the band left the stage, only to rejoin it when fans demanded in a chant “Sinking Ship”. A nice play on the typical “one more song” or “encore”, this chant refers to one of the band’s early songs of the same name. It is a Backseat Lovers tradition to end with “Sinking Ship”. Yet when the band returned, they only stated “By the way, we didn’t plan on doing this”, and proceeded to perform their very first song and single - “Out of Tune”. At no other performance on the tour has the group performed this song, it was a very welcome surprise. It is an incredibly beautiful song and is a reminder of the group’s humble beginnings. The group still stuck to tradition ending with the classic “Sinking Ship”, giving their audience not one, but two encore songs.

If you ever have the opportunity to see The Backseat Lovers live, do anything you can to take that opportunity. I love their music, but something about hearing it live brings another level of passion to it. They are an astonishingly talented group that continues to amaze me. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to be allowed to shoot this group, they are one of my go-to’s when giving song recommendations. If you haven't already, go fall in love with The Backseat Lovers.


Kade McKenna

Photojournalist - Denver

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