We Were Promised Jetpacks opened their 2016 North American tour Tuesday night May 31st in New York City, a special place for the band, as it was the first city they ever played in the USA. This time doing it by rocking The Bowery Ballroom.
The dynamic Scottish indie-rock band comprised of Adam Thompson on guitar and vocals, Darren Kenneth Lackie on drums, Sean Smith on bass and Michael Palmer on keyboards and guitar, have all been playing together since their school days and their friendships have taken them through the past ten plus years, developing into not only a talented writing group, but also an amazing
live concert band.
WWPJ began the night with the encore song from the last time they played the Big Apple, the beloved “It’s Thunder and it’s Lightning”. With the entire audience joining the explosive Adam from the first note, and clapping in unison with the band, the tone was definitely set for the evening. Having the chorus sung by the capacity crowd, the frontman left it up to us to handle the vocals, as he feverishly played the life out of his guitar.
Jetpacks have a talent of projecting their immense amount of energy onto the crowd, and in return the crowd becomes a big part of the show. When the band launched into the cardio-inducing “Roll Up Your Sleeves”, the fans became a driving force in the refrain, as the guys took the tempo up, and then back down with Darren Lackie’s haunting, beautiful verse of “keep warm”. Next advancing to the 5 minute building intro of “Sore Thumb”, an expansive, sweeping tune which led into Adam’s powerful delivery of the lyrics– “Retrace all my steps, which helps me when I start to forget”, leaving everyone in a musical trance.
The next two songs “Safety in Numbers” from the WWPJ’s recent album Unravelling,and “Boys in the Backseat” from the previous album In The Pit of The Stomach, both got the crowd jumping and shouting the lyrics once more. These were then followed by crowd favorite, the great “Keep Warm”, one of the truly exceptional songs off the band’s most epic album These Four Walls.
Downright stand out moments of the show included “This Is My House, This is My Home”, followed by “Quiet Little Voices”, both from the newly re-released silver vinyl edition– These Four Walls. Any song from this piece of work is loved by all who call themselves devotees. With everyone so pumped with excitement from these picks, there is no question that this opening show really showcased the band’s growing comfort level on stage. They’re clearly enjoying themselves much more, as they were far looser than from when they last toured. WWPJ
have every reason to be more comfortable. Their musical sound and creativity is abundant, they’ve come into their own and their fan base has grown exponentially.
“Pear Tree” and “Repeating Patterns” capped off the musical evening, taking the energy level from 10 to off the charts! With “Pear Tree”, the enormous sound of the pounding instruments made you feel as if a freight train was running you down. “Repeating Patterns”, their new release, was the type of encore that requires the band to dig deep, and use every ounce of energy left to carry the fast paced tempo. At its conclusion, Adam releases his Fender, drops it down and jumps into the crowd as the house lights came up. Shaking hands and giving hugs as he makes his way through the crowd, all the way to the very far-reaching end of the floor, to where there was a bar-for what would be, no doubt, a well-deserved beer awaiting him.