We Were Promised Jetpacks El Rey

It’s been three days since Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks began their US tour in Los Angeles, and my ears are still ringing. After a long flight from the UK, WWPJ and their opener, Honeyblood, must have been exhausted. Jetlag sucks, but Los Angeles gave the groups a good welcome to the US.

Glasgow female garage duo Honeyblood opened the show and seemed a little shaken up from the flight, but who wouldn’t be? Over 10 hours in the air and straight to soundcheck…trust me, dealing with sound guys is difficult enough, but harnessing the energy to perform a full set after all that is beyond difficult.

Honeyblood

Despite their exhaustion, Honeyblood put on a fun show. They were even graceful (or tired) enough to not call out the asshole in the audience who shouted “You guys are hot!” Their singer’s light and pretty voice rested gently on top of her dirty guitar sound, which was similar to early Pixies tracks, but even dirtier. Overall, the duo’s simplistic approach to guitar and drums was a perfect raw start to the evening.

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When We Were Promised Jetpacks got to the stage, it was clear who the headliner was that evening. The crowd roared as the band members picked up their guitars and started with a new song that was slower than the majority of the show, but that generated an excitement that would build throughout the night.

Shortly after, they played one of my favorites, “Human Error,” which starts with a driving, down-picked guitar and hollered vocals (as do many of their tunes). This song is a great shot at writers and personal reflection with the lyrics “If I was a writer I’d write my opinions, save them for later, just to see how wrong I could be.”

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The raw energy and power We Were Promised Jetpacks is able to summon is amazing and often hard to match without using backing tracks. Take the pulse of a band like Foals and add in the aggression and presence of a band like At The Drive-In, and you will wind up with the live show of We Were Promised Jetpacks. Their music follows the Scottish tradition with its simplistic nature, but it builds and swells from song to song.

Their dynamics are wide and emotional, with songs hitting quiet moments that have listeners hanging on by a thread followed by crushing, pulsating rhythms that drive through the core of the audience. One song had an about two-and-a-half-minute-long intro that was one single note played in a simple rhythm, building from nothing to eventually shake the room. We Were Promised Jetpacks’ ability to create moments like that really made the show interesting and worthwhile, keeping the crowd’s attention and praise throughout the set.

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We Were Promised Jetpacks started their US tour off right with a big show in a major city. Los Angeles was lucky to be their starting point in what will be a great tour ending at SXSW. The band is expected to release a new album later this year, so keep a eye out for it!

We Were Promised Jetpacks Tour Dates:

02/25 – Neumo’s Seattle, WA
02/28 – Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN
03/01 – Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI
03/02 – Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
03/03 – Grog Shop Cleveland, OH
03/05 – The Sinclair Cambridge, MA
03/06 – Arden Gild Hall Arden, DE
03/07 – The Black Cat Washington, DC
03/08 – Webster Hall New York, NY
03/09 – The Camel Richmond, VA
03/11 – Rhythm and Brews Chattanooga, TN
03/14 – SXSW Austin, TX
03/15 – SXSW Austin, TX

For more info:

We Were Promised Jetpacks
Honeyblood