Review: The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Lido, Berlin 19/09/11

23 Sep

From the offset it was clear that while there were definitley a lot of people here to see Twilight Sad, they had reservations about showing it. Admittedly they aren’t really a band to dance to, but you can’t help but go a little mad to the immense noise made by one guitar and one bass so it’s a wonder why the majority just stand still. Synths and booming drum beats add texture to the progressive riffs but with your eyes closed you’d think there were three guitars up there.
Without saying a word they start with That Summer…as James stands side on, not looking into the crowd once. When the song finishes he smiles and thanks everyone for being there, showing genuine happiness to be in Berlin playing his music. For I Became A Prostitute he looks in pain as he screams out the words, with a look on his face as though he’s agonising over every single word but again his eyes are closed all the way through.

On several occasions he mumbles words to songs before the music even starts, as though there’s no one watching him. One minute he’s kneeling on the floor singing to the stage floor and then gets up to stare at the ceiling with flitting hand movements in between. But it’s the new song people are looking forward to hearing tonight, and while you can tell it’s Twilight Sad it’s definitley different to anything they’ve done before. Kill It In The Morning has a thumping repetitive bass driving all the way through the song, which is faster and dancier than previous songs but it’s still dark as he screams ‘ I don’t care’ over again and again.
Cold House… is full of echoing reverb,  which is slowed right down so you can barely sing along to it. It’s so quiet and slow that there’s almost complete silence which is slightly intense when James just stands still staring straight out into the crowd.  The set comes to an end with And She Would Darken The Memory and it’s at this point that you see just how much their own music means to the band. James jumps around, projecting his voice, spinning round on stage so much that he comes in late for some of the lyrics. He’s barely paying attention to the crowd and smiles to himself, bending down to get back into time before he goes spinning round the stage again.
They live up to their expectations of being a loud band that make the bones of your ribs rattle in their cage with melodic songs that elevate you. It was quite an intimate setting but judging by the clapping and whistling the crowd were really into it after all, even if they don’t show it. They should really be headlining more shows but only the next album released in February can really judge where this band will go next.

As soon as We Were Promised Jetpacks come on it seems everyone was really just saving their energy for the headliners as the crowd evolves into a sea of people jumping, clapping and trying to have as much fun as possible. Even though singer Adam Thompson looks kind of serious, standing straight and looking down at his guitar, everyone else is waving their arms in the air and singing along almost like they’re at a festival and not a music venue at all.

As for the music, they played such a promising set that you can’t help but like this band. Having released their debut album These Four Walls in 2009, they show that they’re in this for the long haul and not just until immediate interests wears off. The most interesting thing that sets them apart from bands with a similar sound  is their lyrics with intense imagery about violence and attics. Seconds after the guitar riffs come in on It’s Thunder and  It’s Lightening, the crowd erupts with applause and sings along as the song builds up in texture until Adam screams over the guitars.  Lyrics like ‘I’m leaving before you’re punching out my lights’ really stand out.  You can tell they’re influenced by Twilight Sad with songs like Keeping Warm and their new song Act on Impulse is a lot slower but gets a great reaction.

They have a good balance of slow songs that show of their guitar skills, and faster songs like Short bursts that show they can write ‘proper’ songs.  They often go into songs without a break and don’t seem to let the positive attention phase them, almost sure of themselves that this is only the beginning. With a set like this they justify why they created a buzz in 2009, but are also determined to not be forgotten any time soon. Despite being a band for a long time, they will only just release their second album in October which depending on how it’s received will certainly show how serious this band is.

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