It’s always a sad day when you find out that your favorite band will be breaking up. Copeland announced in October of 2009 that they would be splitting up, but not before they go on tour one last time. The best treat a band could give to their fans before they part is one last tour and The Farewell Tour was something that could not be forgotten. Luckily it was not a bitter break up that allowed their fans to see them one more time unlike some bands that just part ways leaving fans depressed. Copeland definitely did this for their supporters and to show the great admiration they had for them.
From the start of the show, the Metro was packed (apparently sold out), dimly lit, and the crowd was full of energy awaiting the stars of the show. Copeland handpicked the bands that would be touring with them and to open the show was Deas Vail, an indie rock band out of Russellville, Arkansas. The mass majority were definitely feeling Deas Vail who seemed to be no stranger to this type of crowd and really got them going. They toured with Mae last year and it seemed to have paid off well as a good portion of the audience was really rooting them on. Deas Vail definitely had a good vibe, great sound and look forward to hearing good things from them in the future.
The second act had a lead singer familiar to the stage, but the band was fairly new, Person L. Kenny Vasoli, who is the former lead singer to the late Drive-Thru Records pop punk band The Starting Line. Out of Pennsylvania, they have been on hiatus for almost two years, but had a reunion show this past December. Kenny has been rocking out with Person L since the break-up to explore more creative freedom as it seems, which you can definitely hear with the new sound he has created. It is definitely a lot funkier, edgier and full of a lot more bass than The Starting Line was. Definitely a more matured Kenny, with his strong voice, came out of The Starting Line with a little hint of the old remnants still in there some where. If you like a band who is part jam, rock heavy, with some big bass, Person L is a band to check out.
I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business (long name, I know) was next to keep the flock of Copelanders on their toes. Not as heavy as Person L, but another familiar lead singer from the past. I Can Make a Mess hasn’t been around since their 2004 self-titled album actually, which was a side project of lead singer Ace Enders. Ace was the lead singer/songwriter of the late band The Early November, another former Drive-Thru Records band. I Can Make a Mess is a lot more mellow, softer, and acoustic, but has some fun fast paced songs equipped in their arsenal as well. I Can Make a Mess will be releasing their new album March 23, 2010 and the new music is pretty solid; a little more rock than it’s previous album. From the sound of screams, everyone sure seemed to know who Ace was. Touring with his family to prove to his newly born son that he strived to work hard at doing what he loved, Ace is one to show good family morals and dedication. Unfortunately for the performance, there was a little feedback with the audio equipment, but that didn’t stop them from putting on a great set. If you were lucky enough to find the secret solo performance of Ace in the Ukrainian village, then you got a great treat, which I did.
Reckless and giddy, you could feel the anticipation in the Metro. The small venue, beyond a doubt, became more crowded as the night progressed and the true Copeland followers poured out from all over the Chicagoland area. The band hit the stage with lead singer Aaron Marsh at the helm as they opened with their song “Take Care.” They hit every inch of their screaming fans hearts playing from their wide catalog of albums, “Beneath Medicine Tree,” “In Motion,” “Eat, Sleep, Repeat,” and their newest album from 2008, “You Are My Sunshine.” Copeland has been around since the early 2000s and you could tell they have had a great following since the beginning. There was a ton of crowd participation with everyone singing along with Aaron Marsh.
If you didn’t know better, there probably was at least a few tears shed from a few people. This was a pretty emotional night for the crowd as rants of “don’t leave us” and “keep playing forever” were tossed around throughout the performance. Songs like, “Coffee” and “California,” really struck a nostalgia beat with everyone singing along as the soft melodies rang through the concert hall. Not very energetic performers with many of the members of the band stay in place on the stage, but you could tell they did care about their music by the way that they were playing. This wasn’t a tour to just go through the motions and just do this for the fans, Copeland played their hearts out for their fans and you could see and feel in their music that they truly did care.
Copeland has a large variety of differently paced songs from a upbeat indie rock feel to a slow more deep emotional side. The middle of the set, Aaron sat more at his piano slowing down the tone of the scene. Towards the end of the show Aaron really got into it as did the crowd. With big drum beats,”No One Really Wins” chimes out and stepping away from the microphone the crowd fills in for Marsh’s lyrics. The lights dimmed out, the band stepped off stage, and the rambunctious sea of Copeland devotees still did not have their fill. Like starved children on the mean streets of a 1920s depression, they were hungry for more. Coming back on stage, Aaron Marsh sat down at his piano and played the song “Brightest.”With words of appreciation, Marsh really gave it up for his supporters that came out as he said it was probably one of the largest audiences he’s ever played for; he felt quite honored to perform to such a crowd. The aura was a very sad tone, but with enthusiastic cheers at the same time, everyone was so happy to be at this show. With a second encore, the rest of the band came out and played “You Have My Attention” as the packed flock of Copeland worshippers went crazy.
I have never personally got into Copeland’s music, but I have always known of them. Hearing them in concert and seeing all the fans emotions on the edge of every beat of their songs really got me interested in taking an investment into listening to their music more. Aaron has a great voice with great musical talent to back it up. Along with his band mates, Copeland put on a heartfelt performance before the band parts ways. They sounded great live and couldn’t have put on a better show. Unfortunately for me and all their fans, Copeland has said their farewells and can only listen to them in memory. Farewell Copeland, Chicago appreciates everything you have done and you will be truly missed by your beloved fans.