Report: We Were Promised Jetpacks Live


At Tralf
Music Hall in Buffalo on Oct. 16, the Scottish band charmed
a modest but enthusiastic crowd.


Photos/Text By
April S. Engram


After touring
the Northeast with label mates Twilight Sad earlier in the year, it was
questionable if the Scottish quartet would make a hasty return. Luckily, We
Were Promised Jetpacks were not quite finished touring in support of their 2009
debut These Four Walls. The band’s
reputation of putting on impressive live performances preceded them and was
proven more than accurate.


Jetpacks took a
detour from their support of Jimmy Eat World to host a headlining show at Buffalo’s Tralf
Music Hall. Though the
quaint venue was not full to capacity, the band definitely put on a passionate
show for their equally zealous fans. Yet the opportunity to see the talented
group was almost lost as the road to Buffalo
proved a troublesome one for the Jetpacks: the musicians had to battle an
immobile tour van, and the previous night the gents relied on the kindness of a
fan to make their Boston
show. Fortunately all was mended in time for Buffalo.


When singer Adam
Thompson, guitarist Michael Palmer, bassist Sean Smith and drummer Darren
Lackie finally graced the stage the crowd gathered for instrumental opening
track “A Half Built House.” After playing a few high octane numbers,
“Conductor,” and “Quiet Little Voices,” Thompson took a moment to address the
audience. “How’s the van?” a fan shouted to which Thompson admitted that the
break down was due to someone putting the wrong grade of gasoline in the van.
“We won’t admit who did it,” he joked as Smith pointed to Lackie. “He didn’t do
it,” Thompson continued, “but we’ll blame him since he was there.” He quietly readied
his guitar and the band leapt into another track.





And thus
continued the congenial night; audience members loudly sang and shouted along
with Thompson, they clapped and cheered with the music and the more inebriated
supporters danced about and tried to get their neighbors to do the same. Every
song performed by Jetpacks was as perfectly executed as those on These Four Walls; however, this was a
longer set for the band. Thompson noted that it was a change of pace to play 12
songs versus seven so the band played several unreleased songs expected to
appear on their upcoming album.


The night was
filled with fast paced, punk rock tracks like “Moving Clocks Run Slow,” “This
Is My House, This Is My Home,” and “Roll Up Your Sleeves.” We Were Promised
Jetpacks’ lengthy performance closed with the obvious crowd (and personal)
favorite, “Short Bursts.” Before beginning the number Thompson thanked everyone
for coming, to which the grateful fans thanked them for coming to Buffalo. “We’ll be
Facebook friends,” he joked. And though Lackie’s abuse of his drum kit led to a
split drum stick after just two songs, “Short Bursts” truly exemplifies the
drummers lightning fast beats as he slaughtered his cymbals.


The crowd
happily shouted the closing words and cheered, as Jetpacks laid down their
instruments and departed. They did not return for an encore, but the kinetic
hour of explosive music had definitely pleased all.



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