He Is We
The world can always use some upbeat and lovely music, enters He Is We, an indie pop band fronted by singer Rachel Taylor and guitarist Trevor Kelly. I first saw the band when they opened for The Rocket Summer last year and was pleasantly surprised by their whimsical music. In the world saturated with pop rock bands that sound alike and vague lyrics, He Is We stands out automatically with their heartfelt and sweet music. They are like an indie Taylor Swift – storytelling lyrics, girl problems and fairytale elements that help the band gained popularity.
輕鬆好聽的音樂從來都不嫌少，所以便有主音Rachel Taylor和結他手Trevor Kelly領隊的indie pop樂隊He Is We。第一次看這對樂隊是去年他們為The Rocket Summer暖場的時候，驚喜他們率性隨心的音樂。在陳腔濫調和虛無歌詞已飽和的流行搖滾界，He Is We由衷和甜美的音樂自然突出。他們像是獨立Taylor Swift－敘事性強的歌詞，少女問題和童話元素都幫樂隊提升知名度。
He Is We’s first headliner “All About You” tour dropped by Toronto’s El Mocambo on July 5th. The first opening singer was local acoustic musician Scotty James, next up was fellow Canadian Andrew Allen from Vancouver. Allen is a singer-songwriter and guitarist and performed with his drummer. He played a Sublime cover “What I Got” and did an fun beatbox loop. The next band was Ocean Grove, from California, the only pop rock band on the tour. The band is pretty new as it was their twenty fifth show, despite that they managed to capture the crowd’s attention. In addition to their own material, the band played a cover of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”.
El Mocambo is not a big venue, it is perfect when it’s half filled because it doesn’t get too crowded to a point where it’s unbearable due to the lack of ventilation. In fact, there’s only one huge fan next to the stage to keep half of the people happy. Another notable feature about the legendary El Mocambo is the romantic atmosphere created by overhanging lamps that mimic candle lit lanterns. In addition, He Is We’s stage setup included a couple paper shaded lamps (?) which created a homey feeling that make the performance more intimate.
He Is We
In a boho dress, vocalist Rachel Taylor and guitarist Trevor Kelly with the rest of the touring band and performed songs from their debut album “My Forever”. Taylor’s voice is a little raspy, making the songs raw with emotions. Taylor talked a lot between songs, sharing some stories and inspirations behind the songs, although they can be concluded as “songs about guys with stupid girlfriends” (see where the Taylor Swift reference comes from?).
Halfway through the show, Taylor asked for a birthday girl Erin in the crowd, turned out her father requested a “Happy Birthday” from the band for her 16th birthday. The band was not prepared and Taylor asked Kelly to play some tunes and she will start singing along. Not sure if it was intentional or just happened that way – Kelly played the most morbid tune to which Taylor started to make up some words for it, making it the eeriest “Happy Birthday” ever, which I’m sure Erin wouldn’t mind!
He Is We
Andrew Allen joined Taylor on the duet “All About Us”. He Is We ended the set with single “Happily Ever After” that had the crowd singing along, the band added a two-step and breakdown towards the end of the song to make things interesting. Despite the seemingly overrated themes, He Is We’s music and performances are so sincere that it’s hard not to fall in love with them, just like their official bio claimed “He Is We wants to go on a date with you”.
Text and photos by Jessie Lau
Translated and edited by Jaime Chu