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GIG REVIEW: Lower Than Atlantis @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

March 26, 2017 2:00 pm

17th March

For more O2 Academy listings, click here.

Review by Chloe Waterhouse

Lower Than Atlantis_Album Press Shot

Lower Than Atlantis embark on their UK tour with a no-nonsense swagger that mirrors the success of their anthemic fifth album, ‘Safe in Sound’, released last month. This tour is chiefly a victory lap for their triumph, and I enter the venue filled with anticipation for their charismatic performance style.

Eastbourne pop-punkers Roam open the show with an energy that seems boundless, frontman Alex Costello possessing a giddiness that could rival the sugar rush of a child. Advertising their new album ‘Backbone’, the band’s adrenaline clearly rubs off on the crowd, who are immediately immersed by their punchy guitar riffs. Roam’s potential is implicit, and they could be viable contenders to headline such tours in the near future.

Similarly, the synth melodies of post-hardcore Australian Hands Like Houses tear through the crowd, building up a bubbling anticipation for the main act. Young Guns enter the stage in style, with an assertive, radio-transmitted speech acting as a prelude to their almighty pop-rock choruses. The crowd hits a peak with chart topper ‘Bones’, as the lyrics are yelled back to frontman Gus Wood, who finally achieves audience participation after new songs fail to gain such a response.

There is a fall in momentum waiting for the main act to appear due to some technical difficulties, but after a painfully prolonged intermission they swagger onstage unfazed. They kick-start the set with ‘Had Enough’, the infectious lead single from their new album. The crowd erupts with the breakdown of the meaty chorus, and after its finish descend into a crescendo of screams. A dishevelled Mike Duce beams at the exuberant throng of students, giving a heartfelt apology for their technical problems and then moves into the poppy melodies of ‘Dumb’. Highlights of their set include ‘Ain’t No Friend’, a crowd pleaser with its electronic stutters and heavy breakdowns, and fan favourite ‘Beech Like a Tree’, where Duce commandeers the crowd to sit on the floor and then burst into thrashing movement at its opening. It’s a magnificent scene, and this participation gives their set a personal touch, which in their rushed circumstances is impressive to say the least.

Their production is the biggest to date, with a backdrop shrouded in groovy colours and close-up screens of their live footage, going beyond the typical realms of what is expected in a room of such size. This boasts a newfound confidence that the band had not exhibited in prior tours, a hint that an arena stint may be something to contemplate in the future.

Finishing with the mammoth hits of ‘English Kids in America’ and ‘Here We Go’, it is clear that Lower Than Atlantis are where they belong. Although they have to blast through their hit-heavy set, it is apparent that they thrive on such pressure, assuming a blistering force of aggression that would put the Foo Fighters to shame. Arena Giants? Who knows, but they can deliver one hell of a show.


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