2014 was easily the easily the biggest and most successful year of Lower Than Atlantis so far – it saw them release their top 20 self-titled album, head out on a headline tour and support tour with A Day To Remember, and play Reading and Leeds. Is there any way they could top that? Well, it might be difficult, but heading out on their biggest headline tour to date across the UK and Ireland is some step of the way, especially considering every show was sold out and several dates had to be upgraded, as much as three times over.
Later this week we’ll be posting our interview with Declan and Ben of the band, as well as one with Jack of We Are The Ocean. Back when both bands were in their earlier days, Lower Than Atlantis had headed out on tour as support to We Are The Ocean, so seeing this reversed several years down the line held a touch of sentimentality among the two smashing performances. Opening for the pair were PVRIS (pronounced “Paris”), rock electronicas making their UK debut, a real one to watch.
Set for the release in the imminent future, We Are The Ocean’s ARK would seem set to explode the band much the way the headliners did last year, with a tight, clean show to back up their music. Only a marginal lull in the show came from a guitar tech issue, which in turn allowed the band to come back as melodic and determined as ever. Mixing up the show with a few (pretty funky) as of yet unreleased tracks, and closing on well known The Road, Young Heart and The Waiting Room, the band proved their back and ready to make their mark on the year.
If you’ve ever been to a Lower Than Atlantis show, you’ll be well aware that the tracks don’t sound exactly as they do in the studio versions – this is no criticism, ’cause if you’ve just gone along to see how the songs performed exactly, well… why? The impassioned and comfortable performances Lower Than Atlantis deliver add an in-the-moment feeling that live music should bring. Take, for example, strutting on to the Star Wars theme tune, and bursting straight into Criminal – though half a verse seemed to be skipped, it’s as much about the energy as the technical accuracy.
A solid performance of Love Someone Else followed suit, with the audience more than pulling their weight when it came to chanting along. Technical issues plagued the next few songs, and at moments only Eddy Thrower’s (drums) determination and a ridiculously enthusiastic crowd seemed to pull the set along. After a slightly hesitant Stays The Same, the band got themselves back on the straight and narrow for a top notch rendition of Emily, a consistently well-executed track.
Fan favourite Ain’t No Friend jerked a massive reaction from the crowd, even from the opening electronica seconds, and the line between mosh pits and rave tent became somewhat blurred. A few “cheesy” words from frontman Mike Duce, a manic circle pit and a pumped up English Kids In America later, and the snowballing power of the show seemed on a level impossible to stop. Words Don’t Come So Easily evoked an overpowering vocal effort from the crowd. Deadliest Catch proved the old work can still come out as strong as the newer tracks and then.. rather simply, they left the stage.
With hardly time for an encore, Mike and co returned to take the piss out of the “leave and reenter” trick, and to sing happy birthday to several lucky fans by the barrier. And then, probably widely accepted as the most memorable moment of the show, Mike parted the crowd and took to the floor for an acoustic (well, plugged in, but semi-acoustic) performance of best known Another Sad Song. Safe to say, he and the crowd carried the song in equal parts, and the room became filled with recording devices.
Recognising a member of the crowd and getting a photo with the sold out room added to the down to earth attitude of the quartet, before (“the security aren’t going to like this”) a crowd surfing worthy Beech Like The Tree and a manic Here We Go wound the night to a close.
Yes, they might not be as technically, painfully technically perfect as your friendly neighbourhood manufactured boy band, but Lower Than Atlantis will give you a bloody good time at their show. Remaining tour dates below.
17 Dublin Academy
18 Belfast Queens SU
20 Bristol Marble Factory
21 Bournemouth Old Fire Station
22 Brighton Concorde 2
23 Norwich Epic Studios