Show Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Mohawk (11/12)

We Were Promised JetpacksAfter a short day of rest from festivaling, the ATH crew was back at it again on Tuesday night, braving the cold weather for an evening of Scottish indie rock music outside at The Mohawk. The bill was stacked for a great night–The Twilight Sad‘s heavy indie rock and the more poppy sound of We Were Promised Jetpacks offered a mixing of genres for the evening, but kept it rock and roll. It was a special evening for all, but an even more special evening for B.Gray and Nathan, who were celebrating their Manniversary. Read on for a double perspective of the show from Nathan and Nicole, as well as pretty pictures from B.Gray.

Nicole – While it wasn’t any kind of holiday for me, Tuesday night was an all around good time. The cold seemed to dissipate once The Mohawk filled up with people and The Twilight Sad took the stage to warm things up. Having just released their new and delightful album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, these Glaswegians treated us to a set of mostly tracks from here. Once they opened with their stormy “There’s a Girl in the Corner” I knew we were in for it—front man James Graham’s dulcet Scottish pipes cut through the crisp air and their growling guitars sounded great. The band wasted no time going through their set and Graham’s frantic take on the role of front man stole all my attention, as he wandered around the stage slightly, arms rigidly holding the mic and his intense eyes always searching. My personal favorite track of the evening was a tie between old track “I Became a Prostitute” and new “I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want,” but I enjoyed the whole set thoroughly: this band is great.

I don’t have much to say about We Were Promised Jetpacks’ set because it was simply fun—the band brought a ton of energy and the crowd was ready to give it right back to them. Each member of the band played off each other at some point, and then danced around the stage for the rest of the time. While I was really there to see The Twilight Sad, this band made me exceedingly glad that I stayed. Their post-punk energy won me over to say the least and I don’t think anyone had a bad time through their set.

Nathan.Lankford – This was all about the #manniversary. When I first met our photographer Brian Gray, I was attending a Twilight Sad show; since then, we always make it a point to catch the band when they blow into town. It was interesting to see them open for their younger countrymen, but they always deliver…there’s few bands playing powerful rock music that do it like these guys.  It’s always great to watch them play some of the songs from Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, which I think is my personal favorite LP.  Also, one can’t comment on the band without mentioning James Graham’s performance…he always seems to be orchestrating this demonic symphony around him…though I must admit, his stage banter was quite personable and friendly. Their whole set was a reminder of me and B.Gray brought together.

I’ll have to really side with Nicole on the We Were Promised Jetpacks‘ set.  They closed it down with “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning.” That song alone brings both bombast and pop sensibility; it’s the fine line that the band walks throughout every LP they’ve released. There’s such energy on stage, guitars raised then crashing down with explosive force, such that it’s hard not to get emotionally drawn into the crash of noise.  I haven’t given the new LP proper time, but their set was really balanced across all 3 LPs, so the fans got a little bit of everything, polishing it all off with great success.  They’re still young, so it’ll be interesting to see the continued progression of such a musical power.