A Blissfully Nostalgic Evening with Copeland
The first time I stepped into the Masquerade back in 2004, was for a life-changing performance by one of my all time favorite indie rock bands, Copeland. Now, almost 12 years later, I would walk into 695 North Ave., one last time, to witness the magic of where my interest in music began to take shape. This tour, accurately named Now and Then, brought fans of each Copeland album throughout the years, including a few newcomers to the venue in historic Old Fourth Ward.
The band based out of Lakeland, FL, made the third stop of their tour in ATL, on a chilly fall evening to set the stage for an intimate and inclusive portrayal of Copeland’s music throughout the past 13 years. As we warmed up with whiskey gingers, and claimed our spots for the performance, I ran into friendly, familiar faces from high school and college. We stood together, reminiscing on seemingly simpler times, while we waited for the heroes of our adolescence to perform.
Rae Cassidy, singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, took to the stage to serenade us with haunting vocals that soared to new heights. After treating the crowd to a few of her cinematic and ethereal tunes, she was joined by the members of Copeland, Bryan Laurenson, Stephen Laurenson, Jonathan Bucklew, and Aaron Marsh. Cassidy would add vocal accompaniment for several songs during the set, perfectly complimenting each tune she supported. The band began their musical expedition with “Not So Tough Found Out,” from 2008 album, You Are My Sunshine, immediately captivating the audience. The full band was in attendance, including a three piece string section, elevating the experience and allowing the songs to explore new paths. The next two hours were filled with hits from each of their five studio albums, including crowd favorites, “The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song),” “I’m Safer in an Airplane,” and “Pin Your Wings.” Throughout the set, the crowd was more than willing to drunkenly sing along and celebrate the tunes that helped us through our juvenile adventures, infatuations, and heartbreaks.
During the six song encore, the guys took us back to the beginning, reminding us of how we felt the first time we ever heard “Brightest,” or “Coffee,” and completing the evening with “California,” all from 2003 debut album, Beneath Medicine Tree. I can safely say this first record saved so many of us from ourselves as we navigated the cruel halls of middle and high school, taking comfort in knowing that we weren’t alone. Copeland’s music throughout the years has created an epic love story of love, loss, community, celebration and imagination. It's accessibility will always undoubtedly draw a crowd of excited fans who are ready and willing to be taken on a blissful, nostalgic journey every Now and Then.