Eyes Lips Eyes kicked off a highly anticipated autumn tour by touching base with their local roots Thursday night at Velour.
The band rolled into town energized from a successful summer season and performed with The North Valley, Regal Beast and Tighty Willis.
Spencer Petersen, guitarist for Eyes Lips Eyes, said playing at Velour is always a treat.
“Provo crowds are always the rowdiest and we get carried away in the night,” he said. “The Velour is an integral part of our scene, so it’s always nice to reconnect with our local fan base there.”
This summer, Eyes Lips Eyes prepared for their fall tour by performing at Frost Revival at Stanford University. The amphitheater where the show took place was once the hub for all the major ’60s and ’70s bands but has been closed for the past 25 years. The Frost Revival was the first show since the space reopened. Eyes Lips Eyes performed there with Modest Mouse and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Petersen related the experience as very influential and honorable.
“When you play with a band like Modest Mouse, you have to put everything into your playing,” Petersen said. “The nature of being around them raises expectations and you have to live up to that standard.”
Now that summer is over, Eyes Lips Eyes can really focus on their most marketed tour yet. With the release of their new EP, What You Want (If You Want), that is quickly gaining radio support all across the country, they will travel from Miami to Chicago to New York City just to name a few locations, where Petersen said the band is excited about catching glimpses of the regional cultural nuances of local music. Before their journey across America though, Petersen said the band is excited to come back home to Provo.
The other bands who were invited to play with Eyes Lips Eyes used the excitement and energy to their advantage. Preston Lewis, the drummer for Tighty Willis explained that playing with a bigger band such as Eyes Lips Eyes is a great opportunity for smaller bands, like his.
“I always love opening for a band when there’s already a line out the door,” Lewis said. “It gives a lot of people the chance to hear us who might otherwise not have. It’s a compliment to us when a good band wants to play with us because it tells us that we’re good. (Eyes Lips Eyes) wants to have a good show for their fans.”
Eyes Lips Eyes gave Provo the show it deserved—high energy and an environment for people to go wild.
Among the mashing fans, flashing lights, and toilet paper tossing, Skylar Hansen, a senior studying sound recording technology, and Blayne Fekete, a junior studying microbiology, said they were lost in the electric sounds of Eyes Lips Eyes and really let loose in the screaming audience.
Both Hansen and Fekete have been big supporters of Eyes Lips Eyes since their freshman year when the band was formerly known as Elizabethan Report.
“Back then I would go and see Elizabethan Report two, sometimes three times a week,” Hansen said. “Now that they’ve gotten a little bit bigger, I don’t get to see them as much, but I’m excited whenever they do come back to Provo.”
Hansen loves Eyes Lips Eyes because of the passion they embody in their music and his expectations for a high energy show where he has room to dance are never let down.
“Anyone can play something that people will like,” Hansen said. “Eyes Lips Eyes is there for the music and that much is evident in every performance. Whether there are five people or 50 in the audience, they always give it their all. Their music equals their passion.”
While Hansen and Fekete served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Eyes Lips Eyes gained popularity and their new sound became a hit. Fekete said it was hard not being able to see them while he was away.
“Immediately after I got home from my mission, I was excited to see how much they’ve been able to work their way up,” Hansen said. “Their name may be different, but they’re still the same fun guys who love to play their music—and that’s my favorite part about them—their personality always shines through when they’re performing.”