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We Were Promised Jetpacks concert review and interview Webster Hall 3/8/14

3/9/14 16:32

I just woke up from a nap.  There has to be a good reason for me to take a nap.  Exhaustion or sickness, I’d give into the boredom nap once in a while.   This morning we came home close to 1 AM.  I made a tea and slurped it in our dark bedroom while Ali snored.  I kept an eye on the clock with a strange anticipation sort of like waiting for the New Year’s Eve ball to drop.  I assumed at 1:00 the clocks would magically jump to 2:00.  I am here to tell you - it did not happen.  Not sure when the magic happens, but I put my head down and slept on my side facing my wife, even as she had her back turned towards me.  I knew in a few hours I’d be up and drive Emma to church, dropping her off to watch the kids in the nursery.  I thought I was deacon for the 11:00 which I was not.  In a delirious state of mind I attended church and for the life of me I’m trying to recall what Reverend Diane said in the morning message.  You’re not reading this to hear about my naps or the message anyway.  I understand.  Talk about the concert.  First, we picked up Amanda in the city and spent a couple of hours in the city…Strand Books…OK to the concert.  Well to start, did I tell you about the time when I was kicked out at The Cramps concert when Webster Hall was known as The Ritz?  True story, but for another time…Opening up for We Were Promised Jetpacks were a strong Scottish two piece all-girl band, Honeyblood whose songs varied, sort of power pop with a snarl.  They are Stina Tweeddale (vocals, guitar), Shona McVicar (vocals, drums) who with full blonde hair and fists pumped pounded on the drums, ala Moe Tucker from Velvet Underground.  They don’t have an album out as yet, but come the fall Fat-Cat- Records will release their debut.  I’d like to see them back in the area headlining.  Both musicians were hanging out at the merch table and were very grateful for the recognition as well as the opportunity to open for We Were Promised Jetpacks.  Promoting their live album EREY (live in Philadelphia) At 21:00 We Were Promised Jetpacks were on the stage, opening with a new song for their forthcoming album.  In all their set consisted of five new songs from their forthcoming album.  Quiet Little Voices was next and the set was scattered with the new songs mixed with their staples like Roll Up Your Sleeves, It’s Thunder and Lightning, Ships With Holes Will Sink, Boy in The Back Seat.  From our perspective on the balcony, the crowd swelled from the sides to the back of the venue, including those of us in the safe distance on the balcony.  I don’t recall as many crowd surfers or even an all-out assault of slam dancing at any of the previous shows.  Last night was the seventh time I’ve seen the band.  I saw one kid whip his elbow across the head of someone he crashed into.  There were only a few in the mist of the hits and the pent up male macho aggression, but their antics I have to say - distracted from the performance.  I'm all for slam dancing at a punk show.  I get it.  It's part of the show - at a punk concert.  Even Adam Thompson, singer for WWPJP made a comment the wanna-be punks were stealing some of their thunder.  The surfers lasted till eventually slipping and crash landing onto their bony shoulders and soft heads once the crowd got tired from keeping them up. There were no bodies left on the floor when the show was over.  To their credit, the band played throughout their set - not taking breaks and kicking last night’s performance to a new extreme.  Adam said thank you a few times and how the band looked forward to coming back to Webster Hall after a couple of years.  The band is playing with an additional musician, Stuart McGachan, who is an old friend, he plays keyboards, guitar and backed up on the vocals.  After the show, what else, but we waited to see who from the band would come out. Stuart was at the merch table soon after the show ended, and told Amanda and Emma the rest are still back stage.  The band now has roadies who take down their instruments and equipment which was different from the previous shows; normally it was Mike and Sean and one roadie breaking it down.  Let’s face it, they are getting bigger, more popular and will be playing in larger venues.  So, after waiting for quite a bit, eventually Mike and Sean came out.  I spoke to Mike for a couple of minutes, but only after Ali left me to retrieve her coat from the check.  You see I was not allowed to talk to the guys from the band.  I was told to let Amanda be in her element.   Anyway, Mike said the show was close to a sell-out.  Webster Hall holds 1,400 and they sold 1,200.  Most of this tour has been sell outs…and yet Webster Hall was the biggest venue so they were very pleased with the turnout.  I sensed there was some concern about the ticket sales there since they were a little slow.  They were surprised how empty it was at 20:00 and yet knew most wait for the headliners to come on.  I told him there was a different energy, they came out and kicked ass.  It was true he said, they were not stopping for anything and wanted to give New York everything they had.  Look out for the shows in Austin which they’re going into with a storm.  I asked how long the band has been together, 11-years…has it ever got tired?  Any in- fighting?  No…Mike said they’re all good friends.  And if you were there last night, you witnessed the bond which only friends can have when they are having a great time; the way they looked at one another with smiles and bumped into each other a few times…they were in the element…maybe I will get them to play at my fifty-year old party - which I discussed with Mike and Sean.  I’m not sure Amanda or Ali would allow it to happen.

Thank you for reading this.


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