Copeland | 05.09.07

live_copelandThe band returned like the commanding force I remembered. The energy. The confidence. The band that had stole the show.




w/As Tall As Lions & Pilot Speed
Sauget, Ill.

I stumbled upon Copeland by accident. During my reluctant attendance to a Switchfoot concert, Copeland took the stage. The venue was packed with TRL fans awaiting the newest MTV stars to peek from behind the curtain and release their new DVD, but 45 minutes passed and those same fans found themselves in a long line to purchases a Copeland album instead.

They stole the show.

As a musician, I watch other bands very critically. I tend to latch on and be most impressed by the things that I know I cannot do.

That night, I latched onto Aaron Marsh. His melodies were cutting, crossed with a falsetto that has since become his signature. The band's energy and confidence stunned everyone who thought they would have to sit through just another opening act.

It had been years since I had seen them and my hopes were high. Could they do it again?

At first I did not recognize them. Not only had the band's lineup changed, but they opened the show with two mediocre piano numbers.

I'll admit that I had not yet heard the newest album and major record label debut, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. So the songs were not familiar to me, but Copeland stood onstage and played like they, too, were unfamiliar.

Also, Marsh's vocals were not as strong as I had remembered, his notes fluttering as he gasped for air between lines.

As Marsh picked up his guitar for the first time, you could see him take a deep breath. He approached the microphone slowly and the band followed with a pair of building numbers. It was palpable; they were getting warmed up.

Then, in the middle of "California," the band faded out, leaving Marsh solo to set the stage, his melody ringing one of my favorite Copeland lines: "I won't mind if you monopolize all of my time/ I won't say a thing at all/ I won't say a word, no…"

Finally, the deer had come out of the headlights.

The band returned like the commanding force I remembered. The energy. The confidence. The band that had stole the show.

And they did not let up.

The rest of the set was highlighted by a mellow, piano-driven version of "Testing the Strong Ones" hinting at some Coldplay influence, and the rocking "She Changes Your Mind."

The night ended with Marsh screaming, "You have my attention." A poetic way to go out, with Copeland having stolen everyone else's once again. | Todd Sarvies

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