He Said, She Said: We Were Promised Jetpacks
For Scottish outfit We Were Promised Jetpacks, the Bowery Ballroom gig last Saturday night was a homecoming of sorts. The Lower East Side venue was apparently its first-ever performance on American soil back in 2009. They brought the music muscle, yet left behind banter with the fans. That was all well and good for our Boston reviewer, who was unable to attend the gig at Brighton Music Hall in Allston, MA, due to yet another Nor’Easter. Nevertheless, here’s a He Said/She Said for your reading pleasure.
Elie: Bowery Ballroom.
Holly: My living room.
Elie: Several swigs of bourbon before the show; 1 can of shitty Naragansett beer at the show.
Holly: Also bourbon, drowning out my sorrows for missing the show.
Elie: Had never heard of Active Bird Community – seriously, it’s a terrible band name – but the Brooklyn-based outfit sounded solid and is worth checking out.
Holly: I had never heard of Active Bird Community, either, but have to agree on the band name. It sounds like a retirement facility in Florida. I listened to them a bit earlier in the day – I couldn’t really get into them, but I’m happy to hear they were decent live.
Elie: I’ve been a relatively casual fan of WWPJ over the years, but have always enjoyed the urgency and sense of heartache in their delivery. I wasn’t expecting too much from the show, but I walked away pleased, with an overall enjoyable night. For some reason on this tour they haven’t been playing their biggest hit, “Quiet Little Voices,” but that’s not too surprising (FREEBIRD, dammit!).
Holly: Having seen them way back in 2009 at the Great Scott, my expectations were high. They were awesome, and I had such a great time at that show, but no ticket stub to remember it by. So like a normal person, I wrote the show details out on my wristband to save forever in my concert tickets shoebox. Anyway, my expectations were then completely shot when a “wintry mix” decided to descend over Boston. The show went on, but there was no way I was making it from where I live. Back in ’09 they were so young and full of emotion, I was really looking forward to seeing what they’ve become since. Completely gutted.
Favorite Part of the Set
Elie: The band acknowledged how much of a joke “encores” are at concerts these days. Rather than leaving the stage for a couple minutes while fans clap for more, they dispensed with the theatrics and launched into “Short Bursts.” Second favorite would be the feverish reaction from guitarist Michael Palmer when his cables malfunctioned during this song. He was able to fix the issue in just over a minute while the band played on. At the end of the show, he threw his Telecaster at the double-stacked amps in a fit of rage.
Also, the crowd on the whole actually seemed interested in the performance itself and not glued to the screen of their phone.
Holly: Rage listening to These Four Walls in my living room, fully immersed in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.
Elie: No banter with the crowd.
Holly: Mother nature.
Best Song Performed
Elie: “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” and “Repeating Patterns.”
Holly: I would have liked to hear “Conductor.” Maybe when they embark on their full US tour later this year…
Something You Saw that the Rest of the Crowd Didn’t Notice
Elie: That guy up front who stood there Shazaming almost every song the band played. Also the band had something like six roadies.
Holly: The bottom of the Ben and Jerry’s pint. Whoops.
Would You See Them Again
Elie: For sure.
Holly: Absolutely. Preferably in better weather.