It’s been a huge year for Lower Than Atlantis. In August 2011, I caught them playing in the basement of a small bar, and a year later they played the Festival Republic stage at Reading and Leeds. Now, they set out on their biggest headline tour yet in support of their new album Changing Tune; released the same date as their tour began.
On the second date of the tour, they are at Southampton’s Mo’ Club with support from Don Broco, The Dangerous Summer, and Gnarwolves – who are first up. Kicking off their set unfortunately close to the time doors open, half the queue is still waiting around the corner of the building. They sound great nonetheless, and as people filter in they capture a lot of attention.
Next, it’s The Dangerous Summer who seem incredibly sincere throughout their set. Drifting melodies and an elegantly strong sound seems to almost split the audience in two: those who are already fans, and those being won over.
Don Broco are the main support this evening, having seen them before I know the crowd are in for a treat, and they clearly have a strong support from the audience. Instantly entertaining, their first song of the set blasts out in a massive wall of energy, and even comes complete with dance moves from the band. I can’t fault Don Broco’s live performance tonight; between the guitarists leaps in the air from his feedback speaker to the way they work the audience, many circle pits and walls of death leave almost no one standing still in the entire venue. Each of the support bands have complimented each other musically, and set the evening up perfectly for the headliners.
After an already strong evening of live bands, its Lower Than Atlantis’s turn to take the stage and there is a buzz of anticipation. As they appear through a small mist of smoke, lead singer Mike Duce says a very polite “Hello” and they get cracking with Love Someone Else, their most recent video single. Two tracks from the bands second album World Record follow. With a great opening riff and a great energy, (Motor) Way of Life erupts on stage, and really gets everyone moving, as does another favourite from the same album, Beech Like Tree.
Off to a great start already, the band now play an enormous online hit – If the World was to End, which, although only released on a special edition version of Changing Tune, is clearly one song everyone has been waiting for. And when Mike begins the opening line of the song, screams burst from all corners of the venue. With a beaming smile, Duce continues the song, with a lot of help from the singing crowd.
A track from their new album, Go On Strike sounds great live, and the catchy chorus goes down well. Two more tracks from the second album follow, starting with High at Five, then a short introduction “This song is about a tree-house” eludes to Marilyn’s Mansion, a punchy, fast song, and probably the heaviest so far.
I was expecting the band to play a track or two from their brand new album, which only came out the day before this show. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was for the fans to already know the words having had a mere 24 hours with it. PMA is clearly a favourite new track, and to my amazement a huge amount of the crowd join in the same as they do for their older material.
From the first, much heavier, and ‘punkier’ album comes the title track Far Q. Although their sound and style has clearly evolved since then, it’s good to see they haven’t completely laid it to rest; and its just as good to see it getting equally as good a reception as their later material. Having left the stage for a few moments, returning, Duce introduces the encore saying “The next song, is pretty apt, seeing as I’m feeling a bit sad” which, causes many screams from the audience as he hints at playing something mellower. A more progressive track from their collection, Another Sad Song ultimately builds to an emotional crescendo, made all the more emphatic by the rooms’ combined singing power.
Finally, Lower Than Atlantis have picked one of the most popular singles to wrap things up. Deadliest Catch, a sure crowd pleaser, ends the show, and although it’s all over, a large number of people remain chanting for just one more. The majority of Lower Than Atlantis’s headline set has been taken from their second album World Record, which is understandable as there are a number of crowd-pleasers to choose from. Throughout the set Mike Duce is almost apologetically nice, constantly sending thanks for fans continued support. He comes across as a genuinely nice guy, if anything, complimenting their fans far too much – you all deserve it, Mike.