SAN FRANCISCO – Indie rockers Colony House returned to the Bay Area with hopeful hearts and eyes set toward the future in a rollicking performance at August Hall on Saturday night. The Nashville-based quartet is touring in support of its third full-length release, Leave What’s Lost Behind, an ambitious collection of songs about change, loss, and ultimately finding hope within.
The band kicked things off on a dimly lit stage with “Looking For Some Light,” a grandiose anthem of yearning for direction, which segued into the title track from the new album and set the course for the night. If Colony House was feeling a bit adrift, having gone through a split with its record label in the three years since their last album, Only The Lonely, it would be understandable. However, vocalist and songwriter Caleb Chapman and his bandmates showed their intent to forge a new path forward, following with “Keep On Keeping On” and “Waiting For My Time To Come,” from their debut.
A pair of love songs from the new album, the unconventional “El Capitan” (a nod to the famed Yosemite landmark) and the stunning “Julia” gave a glimpse into part of what grounds the band in turbulent times. An acoustic rendition of “Where Your Father’s Been,” featuring Chapman by himself on guitar, and the pensive “Where I’m From,” provided a poignant center to the show.
It was the latter half of the set where Colony House reminded that it not only has something to say, but that it could truly rock with the best bands of today. On “220” the band let loose with thundering beats and searing riffs, finishing with a drum solo by Caleb’s brother Will Chapman that might remind one of the intro to Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” Soon, the band followed by admirably covering The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which had the crowd dancing and chanting in unison.
Colony House finished the night on a hopeful note, starting with what might be the best track on the new album, the cathartic “Why Even Try.” It flowed smoothly into “Beautiful Life.” On “Moving Forward,” Chapman noted how the song had been written in a uniquely painful season of life following the tragic death of the Chapman brothers’ younger sister. The band brought resolution to the main set with “The Hope Inside.”
Opening the show was Tyson Motsenbocker, who featured songs from his recent album, Someday I’ll Make It All Up To You. Highlights included the lead track, “High Line,” and the scathing “In Your Name,” a song wrestling with the purpose and misuse of prayer, which Motsenbocker noted got him a lot of angry emails from listeners when he first first released it in 2016.