It’s crazy to think that a few years’ ago Watford based Lower Than Atlantis were almost ready to throw in the towels and call it quits but after a stellar self-titled album their entire careers turned 360 and the band we’re used to hearing on daytime Radio 1 got set to play their largest headline tour.
Opening the night was Eastbourne based pop-punkers Roam who were followed by Australian post-hardcore six piece Hands Like Houses. The later might be a long way from home but due to a lot of visits on our shores, the crowd are certainly familiar. Their confidence shows through the decision to play a setlist entirely focused on their latest album Dissonants, an album it seems plenty of people are familiar with.
By the time Young Guns burst onto the stage the venue was starting to burst at the seams and their bouncing rock hits got the crowd moving. Finally in a position to announce the band unveiled details of their own headline shows in September, a welcome sign after so many supports slots in recent months. Thanks to their latest album Echoes Young Guns seem to have found a new leash of energy surrounding them and while fresher hits like ‘Bulletproof’ fills the venue, oldies like ‘Weight Of The World’ and ‘Bones’ are obvious fan favourites.
Safe In Sound is the album of the moment and the band’s’ highest charting record to date so opening with the first single from this album ‘Had Enough’ was an obvious choice. As the Watford four piece strode onto the stage the whole thing shone from the gigantic screen plastering the back wall to their ecstatic grins. While the production itself was simple with live footage shining on the back board the band play a career-spanning set to their dedicated audience.
With plenty of style and sound changes over the year from post-hardcore and alt-rock to the radio rock goodness that they produce today. Lower Than Atlantis seem to have finally found their ideal after plenty of years’ experimenting. It might be their relatability which fans love about the band, Mike Duce regularly thanks fans’ describing himself as “just another bloke”. He doesn’t put on a front, there is some foul language, some laughter and a whole lot of personality about the band and this transcends into their music and relatable lyrics including slower numbers ‘Words Don’t Come So Easily’ and ‘Emily’.
Tracks like ‘Had Enough’, ‘English Kids In America’ and ‘Here We Go’ were made for larger venues like Brixton as the band can play with such confidence that the entire thing seems so natural for a band who I remember seeing live down a various working men’s clubs and pubs in Watford over 10 years’ ago.
Newer album material like ‘Dumb’ and ‘Could Be Worse’ went down a treat with plenty of the crowd familiar with the album, a laughing Mike Duce asking if people just “illegally downloaded it”. Either way lyrics are screamed back and the atmosphere boosted. Old cuts like ‘Beech Like A Tree’ and ‘Another Sad Song’ make an appearance, the later beginning the band’s’ three track encore with just Mike and a guitar in the middle of the stage and the crowd screaming back “We all make mistakes from time to time/ Unfortunately for me, being me was mine”.
Really listening to the band it’s easy to pass them off as just another rock band with enough Radio 1 plays to place value in a show like tonight, but listening to the band’s lyrics, watching them connect on stage and just hearing the end products show that they’re actually underrated music icons.