Monday, May 07, 2012

REVIEW: We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Black Cat, Washington, DC, 5/2/12

When We Were Promised Jetpacks performed at the Black Cat in DC this past Wednesday, it marked the 41st date of their current North American tour. And while the Scottish four-piece may have appeared somewhat drained physically, their performance didn’t suffer and was rather thunderous. What’s more, they took hardly any breaks in their hour-long set, playing as though the comfort of their homeland was embedded deep within the fabric of their post-punk/rock-meets-shoegaze sound. Even with earplugs in, that sound was very loud, making the band’s already monumental riffing sound a good deal more pummeling.

Performing a fine mix of material from their two studio albums (2009’s These Four Walls and last year’s In the Pit of the Stomach), songs like “Quiet Little Voices” and “Through the Dirt and the Gravel” were sharp and perfectly illustrated the band’s ability to hit hard with waves of controlled chaos. Frontman Adam Thompson often belted out portions of songs while standing a few feet away from the mic, which made him seem even more invested, and emotionally connected, to the music. But, more than anyone else on stage, drummer Darren Lackie was most impressive as he managed to keep up the pace and remain on point throughout the set, even when executing drum fills as though he was attempting to put out a fire on his drum kit. Whether they were simply exhausted or displaying a serious demeanor, We Were Promised Jetpacks proved that they prefer to let the music do the talking – and with how drawn in they seemed, you can tell that all they want you to know is in the notes of their songs. They ended their set with the song that started it all: These Four Walls opening track “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning.” It was a fitting choice that summarized the night and perfectly closed the show, making their non-existent encore seem pointless anyways.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - "Medicine"

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