Words – Erin Shea

If you watch HBO’s Girls, then you’ve probably heard The Echo-Friendly. Their single “Same Mistakes” was used at end of the series’ pilot episode.

If you don’t watch Girls, well you should probably give The Echo-Friendly a listen anyway.

The band’s front woman Shannon Esper reminds me of a cross between Florence Welch — mainly because of her wild red hair — and Zooey Deschanel. Esper is joined in vocals with her best friend and on-again, off-again lover Jake Rabinbach, who also plays guitar.

Their connection is what brings their five-part band together. All night they alternated between singing into the same microphone and glancing at each other. I think they spent more time looking at each other than they did looking at the actual crowd.

Overall, there was tons of energy on stage, especially from Esper who was shaking her mane around while Rabinbach was trying to play it cool as he kept his wayfarer sunglasses on throughout the entire set. Good stage presence can make or break a set, and Esper really kept the band going. She even continued to flip her hair and move while taking a sip of her beer. It was nicely executed.

The set got even more amped when they played their most popular song “Same Mistakes,” which they turned into a longer ballad of the song. At one point, Rabinbach was using a drumstick to strum — more like smack — his guitar. While rocking out, the band then started to turn their song into a faster-paced “Ain’t No Grave” by Johnny Cash, which was a welcomed surprise.

As the crowd just started to fully into the set, it was time for it to end. The shitty part about CMJ is the short sets, especially the ones of the bands who put on a good performance.

The ended the night with “Suppliers for Arson,” which contains brilliant lyrics such as, “I think about you when I think about sex.” While seeing Esper and Rabinbach sing that to each other on stage, I don’t think their romance is over just yet.

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