Copeland / From Indian Lakes - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Copeland / From Indian Lakes

live in Allston (2019)

live show

It was easy convincing me to attend this one. Headliners Copeland are fresh off a new album and have a bevy of great songs in their catalog primed for live presentation, while the slightly more ethereal From Indian Lakes haven’t toured out this way in a bit.

But first, Many Rooms opened things. It’s the solo project of Brianna Hunt, though it seems that lately she’s been touring with a full band, like here. Honestly, I want to like this project so bad, as it’s a style of music I’m very much into and Hunt’s subject matter is clearly of a deeply personal, thoughtful and vulnerable nature; it just doesn’t quite click for me for whatever reason. Stylistically, her songs are quiet, murmuring, slowcore-leaning indie fare that lightly resembles Grouper (or a less dynamic Daughter), but definitely inclined towards the new school of singer-songwriters like Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers. She played “99 Proofs” which she regarded as being about Western Christian culture, and “Hollow Body” and “Danielle” (about her mother) among a couple other songs, including tracks off her 2018 LP, There Is a Presence Here. Her band was pretty tight and the sound was an atmospheric hum; again, I just wish it did more for me.

From Indian Lakes was next and I was rather excited for this set. I actually really love this band and think they’re criminally underrated and overlooked; at this point they’re playing a rather unique blend of contemporary indie rock, electronic and 2000s emo/post-hardcore influences, and it’s very fucking good. That being said, this was one of the stranger-sounding sets I’ve seen them play. They generally just sounded weird and a bit off at times. Frontman Joey Vannucchi seemed restrained on the higher vocal melodies he hits on record, and the synth seemed to drown out the band at times, occasionally with that Beach House-esque queasiness that didn’t fit FIL’s sound quite as well. They weren’t really bad per se, but it was certainly shakier than their rather polished studio sound and definitely something different from the few other times I’d seen them. They did play two new songs, however, which was a real treat. The first was sort of driving, with that aforementioned Beach House-y queasy feel, leaning on the dream pop side of things as well with some vague similarities to Mew, a long-time influence of Vannucchi’s.

Set list (8:43-9:25):

1. Happy Machines

2. The Monster

3. new song

4. Blank Tapes

5. Sleeping Limbs


6. Am I Alive


7. Awful Things

8. Sunlight


9. new song


10. I Don’t Know You

Copeland came out, set up, and went right into it two minutes early. I couldn’t appreciate them more for this. No pompous fanfare or tawdy introduction, no walking off stage just to get back on a minute later; they were tuned and got right into it, and it was very refreshing. And boy, they sounded super fucking good; it shouldn’t be surprising, as they’re a veteran band who have been at this for the better part of 18 years. But they just sounded very crisp and professional tonight, clear as day, and they ensured the whippersnappers in From Indian Lakes and Many Rooms wouldn’t steal the show. “I Can Make You Feel Young Again” was an early highlight, a driving, atmospheric number with a slight parallel to that matured, adult melancholy of later Sunny Day Real Estate. Frontman Aaron Marsh spent most of the set seated at his piano, though, leading the charge with his vocals high in the mix and sounding great. They played a pretty spirited set without too much banter, squeezing 18 songs in a little more than an hour.

As usual, their set spanned their entire catalog (people still get pretty stoked on those early songs from their first LP), with a decent amount of love for their newest effort, Blushing -- in fact, they played almost its entire first half. I was particularly excited for opener “Pope” and its almost Radiohead-y chorus vibe; it sounded great until the backing track started to glitch out, with Marsh deciding to give up on the song altogether right then and there. Bummer! He also did a solo, balladic version of “No One Really Wins”, which was a nice alternate take on it, but I selfishly was just hoping for them to kick out the original version; it’s arguably the heaviest track in their catalog by far (not to mention tastefully angsty), and always gives their sets a surprising and energetic jolt. As the penultimate song played in this set, the more aggro original would’ve been one hell of a 1-2 finish following it with the leave-them-wanting-more crescendo of “You Have My Attention”, but it was what it was. And it’s not like the set lacked without it, with a lovely flow from song to song.

They’re kind of an escapee of the oft-maligned 2000s Christian emo scene, but Copeland have really stood the test of time and held up, continuing to release interesting albums with what’s truly their own sound and a compelling, crisp live show.

Set list (9:43-10:59):

1. As Above, So Alone

2. I Can Make You Feel Young Again


3. Chin Up

4. Have I Always Loved You?


5. Disjointed


6. Lay Here


7. Love Affair


8. Night Figures


9. Not Allowed

10. Should You Return

11. Brightest

12. Erase


13. Pope [cut short]


14. California [Aaron Marsh solo]

15. Skywriter


16. Coffee


17. No One Really Wins [abbreviated Marsh solo version]


18. You Have My Attention