Lower Than Atlantis’ UK headline tour is a big deal. A big deal to more than just the four-piece themselves, but to fans, to aspiring British musicians and to the rock music scene. They’re a tale of rags to riches and a prime example of how perseverance, determination, talent and creativity really does pay off. For tonight’s attendees in Cardiff’s Great Hall, it’s their chance to see what the past ten years as a band has amounted to.
Arriving from down under, Hands Like Houses are the perfect warm up act to raise spirits. Their melodically led songs draw in intrigue and all eyes are now on them and the stage. Riffs, catchy choruses and head bangs aplenty, with a new audience that’s hanging onto their every song and movement, it’s an exciting time to be Hands Like Houses.
Young Guns, no strangers to the venues of Cardiff, play the perfect combination of fan favourites like, Bones and Weight Of The World to the likes of Buried and Rising Up, all of which provide strangers of the band an accurate insight into what they’re all about and satisfy the craving that existing fans have been seeking. From tonight’s performance, it certainly won’t be the last time the group will be back in the city with a whole bunch of new faces watching them too.
After a triumphant show in Brixton’s Academy yesterday evening, and performing in six UK cities prior to this, it would be wholly understandable and unsurprising that Lower Than Atlantis’ final show on this run in Cardiff would be limp, at best. It was anything but!
A roaring introduction with Had Enough ignites an energetic spirit in the crowd. One that the band immediately feeds off of, removing any hangover or post-show sadness from Brixton that they might’ve had.
Continuing their introduction with performances of newer tracks, it’s difficult to differentiate between whether Dumb’s heavier bass line is making the inside of our bodies shiver or whether it’s the sheer excitement of knowing, from these two songs, that we’re in for the time of our lives.
Almost all of Lower Than Atlantis’ songs are undeniably catchy, with choruses that evoke sing-a-longs that are imperative to join in with. Could Be Worse is the epitome of this. Having only been released for a month, fans belt out the words with as much forte as a national anthem – this song was written for arenas.
In fact, the foreshadowing of their intentions to fill arenas in the future is clear with creative DIY visuals; miniature cameras at every microphone, a large white sheet for a blank canvas background and a projector displaying the microphone cameras view and shining carefully curated animations for each song. It’s simple but effective and incredibly convincing.
In between faultless plays of fiery, Work For It, mosh-inducing Beech Like A Tree and emotionally-fuelled Another Sad Song, frontman, Mike Duce uses his down-to-earth “lads-lads-lads” personality to maintain the crowds attention; discussing “sweaty bollocks” and pleasing strangers on Instagram, pointing to eager individuals and encouraging the lacklustre; all of which makes the audience more engaged and willing to stay loyal.
The biggest difference about this set in comparison to previous, is the major change in the band’s demeanour. They’re notably more energetic, with contagious smiles permanently stamped across their faces. It’s a smile that’s indicative of enjoyment, appreciation and hopefulness of their future.
Live Review and Photography by Natalie Lam. Lower Than Atlantis at The Great Hall in Cardiff on 18th March 2017