Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but not for those who managed to get their dirty little hands on tickets to see Lower Than Atlantis perform an electric show on their home turf.
Kicking things off with ‘Had Enough’, the Watford lads took to the stage and immediately got the crowd jumping. However, it cant be ignored that this was also in part thanks to the brilliant set up set performed by support acts; The Faim and Milk Teeth.
Milk Teeth’s performance deserves a special mention here as not only did they manage to blow the roof off of The Watford Colleseum, but they managed to do so without their vocalist, Becky Blomfield, who unfortunately had to leave the tour prematurely due to issues regarding her mental health.
We here at ICM wish Becky all the best at this time and are sending lots of love and support. Mental health can be an incredibly difficult beast to battle, and it’s truly wonderful to see the sheer amount of encouragement and support from fans especially online.
In light of having no lead vocalist, the band’s guitarist, Billy Hutton triumphantly stepped up into the role of lead vocalist alongside the band’s guitar tech who apparently had managed to learn the setlist in a day leading up to Milk Teeth delivering an incredible set despite the odds.
With the stage presence of a frontman himself, I must say that Billy really pulled it off, even seeming to channel his inner Billie Joe Armstrong regarding his stance and head tilts, especially during their first song, during which I couldn’t help but envision him singing Welcome to Paradise. Milk Teeth really came into their own on stage, and definitely got the crowd amped up and ready for the headlining act.
Having seen Lower Than Atlantis a handful of times already, it was clear early on that the hometown heroes really brought their ‘A’ game as soon as they dropped ‘Had Enough’.
Known for their insane stage presence and being typically loud and raucous, their Colleseum show did not disappoint and definitely delivered something else entirely.
Next on the setlist came to fan favourite ‘Emily’. With the crowd truly under the spell of the oh so familiar guitar hook, and the infectious beat. The band had their audience hook, line and sinker.
During their performance of ‘Emily’, it became clear that the band was recording footage of the event. For the most part, the cameras seemed to stay out of the way of the crowd. Unfortunately, they decided to stand right in front of me at the tail end of the show. For many, that wouldn’t have been a problem, but being as vertically challenged as I am, it certainly posed one for me.
At least when people usually record gigs, you can see the stage through the smartphones they’re waving in your face.
About halfway through the show, frontman, Mike Duce told fans to open up the pit so that he could join us and play some “fucking emotional shit” acoustically if we sat down and made space for him on the floor.
You could feel the excitement in the room surge like a current, as rows upon rows parted in the middle of the floor before descending like crumbling buildings.
This, however, was abruptly brought to a disappointing close, with Mike being lifted back over the barrier as he told us that we had “ruined it for ourselves”. From where I was, it wasn’t fully clear what had transpired, however, it seemed to be down to some individuals ignoring the bands request to sit, and the word “Fight” seemed to have been thrown around a couple of times.
I must admit that after the previous fiasco and stern telling off, it did feel as if the show had lost some of its momentum. Let down fans seemed to shift awkwardly from right foot to left, and the atmosphere dipped into a mellow hum.
It took a little bit of work, but the band did manage to bring the vibe back eventually. Their progress was probably helped a lot by their turning to the crowd and singling people out with beers to down them. This was of course met by raucous applause, and the show suddenly felt like a house party drinking game with the crowd all chanting. And simple as that, the crowd was back on side.
After that came the bands turn, encouraging each other like frat boys to down their drinks. When it came to drummer, Eddy Thrower showed us how it was done by chugging a beer without missing a single drum beat as he went.
It only later occurred to me that the bands drinking game was most probably only started in order to make up for the lost set time due to the acoustic debacle.
The feel-good rock show atmosphere had fully returned by the time “I Would” graced the speakers, unifying the crowd to go wild in a chorus of soaring voices.
For a show that suffered a little in the middle, it ended up being successfully salvaged after having been derailed somewhat.
Overall, in spite of the show suffering a little in the middle, the lads of Lower Than Atlantis definitely managed to salvage what could have been a potentially disastrous show which could have left fans feeling awkward and disappointed.
It’s understandable that ‘the show must go on’, however it really could have been handled in a better. I’m not sure about others, but I definitely felt left in the dark about what had actually happened, and it did feel pretty shit to be punished as a crowd for the actions of a couple of pricks.