Neumos, Seattle 11/15/11 – This was the 2nd time I’d seen We Were Promised Jetpacks in about 2 years at the same place, and in a lot of ways they were similar shows, but in the little ways that count, this 2nd show was so much better. For both shows, the band played frighteningly fast – something that is maybe only possible for a band this young – and really, really loud. Both shows featured songs that are sparse in their lyrics and are relatively simple in structure. For what they lack in complexity, they make up for in strength.
Each lyric in a We Were Promised Jetpacks song seems very thought through and carefully chosen, and for that, the lead singer Seal Hands screams each out and repeats them like he didn’t want to let them go. With few lyrics in each song, the rest of the time is made up with relentlessly fast and furious rhythms. They play with speeds I haven’t heard since I was a little thrash metal head. They often find times between the guitar crunching to stop for some sweet little melodies, a bit more frequently on the first album “These Four Walls” than the new one “In the Pit of the Stomach”.
All of this translated into a great mix for a loud rock show in a tiny little club. They opened with Circles and Squares from the new album and then went into what I think was Ships With Holes Will Sink from “These Four Walls”. Both are huge songs with waves of guitar and great little pit stops for dancy melodies. That and with the bassist and the guitarist from Bare Hands (one of the openers) on stage with them, we were all back on our heels from the start. That’s 3 guitars, 2 bass and a drummer. It was awesome. I would have been pushed over by the wall of sound if the floor at Neumos wasn’t bouncing so much from the crowd’s joyful jumping. I’ve never experienced a floor moving that much, ever. I was sure we were going to go through the floor.
The show continued for the most part like that, not exactly was every song a big dance number like the first two, but each song was met with extreme excitement from the crowd that nearly matched the energy the band was banging into their instruments. So much so that for a few songs that involve some quieter moments, the band had to politely ask the audience to shut the fuck up so their voices could be heard. They did not want those well crafted lyrics to go unnoticed. Who were we there to hear anyway? Both times it happened – the 2nd time, I thought the guitarist was going to jump down and kick some ass – it took a bit of air out of the room, but the show quickly recovered.
Not a lot of difference between the two shows, although thankfully this one did not include an unnecessarily long intro like the first one did, but it was the little things of this 2nd show that raised it over the top. Bigger, more fun, more knowledgeable crowd, band was a bit more prepared. All in all a great show, would gladly seem them a third time in the same place, even if they only inched forward a bit from where they were this time, it would still nearly bowl me over.