Review by Robert Moody
The sold out signs had been put up weeks in advance of Thursday night’s show at The Rescue Rooms, with Watford’s Lower Than Atlantis headlining a strong line-up in support of their newly released album, Changing Tune.
The early start time meant that the venue was still fairly empty when Brighton’s Gnarwolves took to the stage, but their fast and lively punk songs certainly grabbed the attention of those walking through the entrance. The band showcased a selection of songs from their mini-album Cru, released earlier this year, as well as other tracks, keeping the energy and tempo high throughout much of the set. Whilst Gnarwolves were a late addition to the line-up on this tour, they were well received by the crowd, and set the tone nicely for the rest of the evening.
Next up was the only band of the evening hailing from overseas in the shape of American quartet The Dangerous Summer, who offered a more traditional style of alternative rock and a more relaxed atmosphere. The band have toured regularly for a few years now and this was reflected in a very polished performance, with vocalists AJ Perdomo and Cody Payne looking extremely comfortable onstage. There was a unexpected twist towards the end of the set when AJ paused to tell a rather unsavoury story regarding their last visit to Nottingham, when they had an altercation with another American band, We Are The In Crowd, and it was surprising to hear the softly spoken frontman end the story by simply announcing “F*** those Mother****ers”. Aside from this though, it was an enjoyable set from the band, and they left the stage to warm applause.
By this stage the Rescue Rooms was now full to bursting, and this represented the ideal environment for Don Broco to come out and perform offerings from their recent release Priorities. Don Broco are the sort of band anyone would like to have on before them, as they are upbeat and full of energy, and make regular use of both crowd interaction and choreographed moves on stage. Vocalist Rob Damiani worked the crowd superbly, with the audience dancing and clapping along in almost every song. This is not to say their music was lacking – the new album has cemented the band’s transition from a very punk-focused outfit in their early years to a much more accessible rock sound, and the audience response seemed to favour the newer material over the old. Don Broco have appeared on some major tours in recent months and it will be interesting to see if they can make a name for themselves as a headlining band in the months to come.
There was no doubt who the crowd had come to see though, with chants of ‘LTA’ echoing through the venue before Lower Than Atlantis even made it to the stage. Predictably the response to their arrival was emphatic, and by launching straight into recent single ‘Love Someone Else’ everyone was bouncing from the first note. Whilst this was, strictly speaking, a new album tour, the majority of the material came from the band’s previous releases, with only a couple of tracks from the latest album being given an airing in the middle of the set – probably a good call, as it was clear that a lot of people were not yet familiar with the newest work. Vocalist and guitarist Mike Duce had the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout, whilst Guitarist Ben Sansom and Bassist Dec Hart looked to be thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere of the sold out show. With a set lasting just short of an hour, the band highlighted both the number and variety of well-known songs in their repertoire, with ‘Motor(way) Of Life’, ‘If The World Was To End’ and ‘Far Q’ all generating huge reactions and noisy sing-alongs. The best was certainly saved for last though, with ‘Deadliest Catch’ ending the set to a chorus of applause from those present. On the basis of this show, Lower Than Atlantis already have a major following, and with a new album which is likely to gain them an even larger following, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them headlining larger venues on their next tour.