Scotland’s very own We Were Promised Jetpacks performed in Chicago’s West Loop hub, the Bottom Lounge, this past Friday night. Backed by Bad Veins and New Cassettes, the show sold out a couple of hours before it started, and ACITM had the pleasure of attending. Check out pictures and reviews below!
Straight out of England, New Cassettes, started the night off at the Bottom Lounge. Frontman Tom Stubbs began the show with energy that never subsided. He was shifting all around the microphone stand, moving from end to end of the stage, and sang the catchy hooks the New Cassettes have used to explode all over the UK. They’re an upbeat indie rock band that speeds things up a bit, while keeping everyone in the band involved. Drummer Tommy Francis thrashed throughout the whole set, at times raising from his seat as he banged out rhythms, and guitarists Nik Gray and Owen Reed (who celebrated his birthday Friday night) played infectious riffs that were stuck in my head throughout the rest of the night. Seeing Silent Guns played live was a treat, and the band definitely left with a bunch of new fans. Plus, who doesn’t love an english accent?
More pictures of New Cassettes are featured below in the photo gallery. All photos by Michael Bojda.
Cincinnati’s Bad Veins hit the stage next after set up included bringing out a rose flower decorated box with a telephone receiver attached to it and an old school reel to reel tape player. It was a one of the first times I was as close to the drummer as I was Friday night (since Bad Veins is a duo they bring the drums out to where normally a lead singer would stand) and Sebastien Schultz took everyone at the Bottom Lounge for a ride. The emotional attachment to the music he played was evident, with his frenetic drumming crashing down through hooks and verses as he used every ounce of energy to play, and the meshing to the reel to reel tape player was done perfectly. Benjamin Davis, the guitarist, keyboardist, and singer, was something else though. I’ve seen singers tire before, but Davis was near passed out once the bands set was finished – he really lived through his music. He sang into the telephone receiver for much of the night and the sound was like a mix of Franz Ferdinand, the Killers, and the Bravery. Davis brought chills to the crowd as he lifted his voice for choruses and sang each note as if it was his last. Really impressed by these guys.
More pictures of Bad Veins are featured below in the photo gallery. All photos by Michael Bojda.
My anticipation for We Were Promised Jetpacks had been building ever since the last time I saw them in 2010, where they were just a new band I stumbled upon at a festival. The Scottish foursome arrived to a rousing sell out applause, and delivered through each track. Guitarist and singer Adam Thompson’s sonic vocals sent vibrations through the crowd as the band went through tracks off of their second album In the Pit of the Stomach, but touched on the hits that brought them to the point of actually having a headlining tour (Thunder and Lightning and Quiet Little Voices). The crowd seemed to know every word of almost every song, and the rendition of Thunder and Lightning at the end of the set was like a sing-a-long at a pub (that’s a good thing), where the audience felt linked to the band. Thompson’s voice is very strong, literally and in a “wow” sense, and even when he pulled a foot or two away from the microphone stand the verse was still audible and stirring. Michael Palmer on the other hand, was Michael Palmer. The lead guitarist’s energy was steady throughout, mouthing the words to songs as he shredded through riffs and choruses like he’d been playing them since he was 2. He toasted the crowd in between songs and had them on puppet string during the 8 minute long jam session that is Keeping Warm. The giddy feeling I had when I first discovered them 2 years back was still there after Friday’s show.