Often times if I do not get to writing a review of a show I went to within 24 hours I blow off doing it. I figure the muse is gone and the chance to create the desired effect is as well. However, this show was so unbelievable that even five days later I am still reeling!
First off, kudos to the locals! I have seen a lot of shows at the Rhythm Room over the years, but I honestly cannot recall it ever being this packed. Finally, Phoenix comes through and gives an out-of-town artist the respect they deserve. This was very cool to see.
Let’s start with local band Colorstore. Wow! Interesting music, very eclectic and full of subdued power. There is a lot going on at one time when this band plays, from a wild dual vocal delivery to a music style that at times had me thinking of a fusion of Juno and Radiohead. Anytime I see a band with a three-guitar attack I take notice! I was impressed and look forward to another opportunity to see them play.
Next up was Bear Hands from Brooklyn, New York. This show was hit and miss with me. When the band was delivering a mellow number their set dragged a bit. However, their mid to up-tempo songs were outstanding, great well-written indie-pop. A lot of energy from this band, with the bass player delivering a stellar performance. When he would occasionally quit playing his bass and provide extra percussion on some songs, that was pretty awesome to watch. He absolutely destroyed with the drum sticks in hand. The jury is still out for me regarding Bear Hands, but I do see lots of potential.
Now, for the main event. HOLY G’NITE! I went into this show with some serious expectations of what We Were Promised Jetpacks could deliver, but I was not at all ready for the beautiful fury I was in store for on this evening. This show has one heck of a chance to land in my top spot for Best Concert of 2010!
My goodness, I was exhausted just watching the energy the four members of WWPJ have while playing. These guys got up onstage, strapped on their instruments and took the packed house at the Rhythm Room on an intense ride.
What blew me away was how tight the band was and how clean the sound was! Music this intense can be difficult to deliver with any kind of precision. That may have been what impressed me the most about the band during their performance. With that much energy and that much power going on at one time, the band was completely dialed in the entire performance, delivering each song with stunning meticulousness.
The majority of their incredible 2009 album These Four Walls was played. Every song sounded great, with Ships With Holes Will Sink, Roll Up Your Sleeves and Quiet Little Voices particular set favorites of mine. A new song was played that is on their forthcoming 2010 release, The Last Place You’ll Look EP. I believe it was the first track on that disc, A Far Cry. That song showed some considerable progression from the band and became an immediate favorite of mine. The band was selling the EP at shows, so I am pretty stoked to have a copy already before the official U.S. release date.
The highlight of the set had to be (in my opinion) when We Were Promised Jetpacks unleashed the truly EPIC It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning on the audience. My God, what a moment! I absolutely love the way this song builds and builds until that resounding chorus of “Your body it was black and blue” is repeated over and over by vocalist Adam Thompson. What really blew me away during this tune was watching Thompson hold the mic against his chest while screaming the lyrics at the end of the song. I have never witnessed anything like that before. Incredible.
I was spent in every way, shape and form when I left the Rhythm Room. I love it when I leave a concert feeling like that, knowing I just witnessed an amazing performance. What a band, what a show, what a night. I can only imagine how much bigger of a venue WWPJ will be playing the next time they play in the Valley of the Sun.
This year just keeps getting better for live music. If you have an opportunity join me this coming Monday, March 1, once again at the Rhythm Room. The Appleseed Cast will be playing Low Level Owl 1&2 in their entirety. This could be pretty awesome.