Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad, and Frightened Rabbit in Gainesville

Frightened Rabbit Live at The Social : Photo Courtesy of Chip
A barrage of talented Scottish musicians took the stage at The Social in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday night. Not since a youthful fascination with the Loch Ness Monster had I been this delighted about anything from the home of golf. Three overtly talented groups, all signed to Fat Cat Records, took the stage for a passionate and electrifying showcase. In a fashion similar to the mythical creature from their home country, the trifecta of Scottish talent drummed up an air of magic in the room, providing gleeful amazement for all in attendance.

We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad, and Frightened Rabbit have bolstered a bill that was a hit all summer long. And, just as summer has come to an end, so has the trek of their tour that finds these three talented label mates all together. Their final, united stop being the city in Florida where Mickey Mouse resides.

The night began with a fresh-faced foursome taking the stage. The group, We Were Promised Jetpacks brought a raw, youthful angst to the stage that resonated throughout the bar as frontman Adam Thompson not only wore his heart on his sleeve but shared it with the entire audience. Their live set was not quite as polished as their debut release, These Four Walls but the rough around the edges sound they produce on stage is even more enduring.

Next up on the docket were The Twilight Sad. James Graham’s vocals and lyrics are so dark and deep ,and for whatever reason the cold, heavy rock did not seem to fit sandwiched between the similarly lighter sounds of We Were Promised Jetpacks and headliners Frightened Rabbit.

Though sonically The Twilight Sad were on point, well-polished and well-presented, there was a disconnect with the audience. It felt almost as if they were a grunge rock band practicing at home in their garage, totally encapsulated in their own music with no regard to what may be going on around them. It was actually quite an intense and passion-fueled performance, but it just seemed misplaced. It seems as though they should have been the opening band. This simple solution may have provided for a smoother transition between the different styles of music.

The group ended their set with guitarist Andy MacFarlane throwing his guitar to the ground and creating feedback to go along with a cacophony of distortion which was blaring form the other instruments as well. During this dramatic ending, Graham was on his knees smashing a drumstick against the ground and against his body in a somewhat disturbing way. Again, seemingly unaware of the audience’s presence.

As the musical ruckus died down and The Twilight Sad exited the stage, it was time for headliners, Frightened Rabbit. The mood in the club very blatantly shifted from dark to cheerful as the excitement and anticipation in the room reached its climax. The place came to life.

The members of Frightened Rabbit took the stage, all generally sporting some form of plaid button-down shirt. The band opened withThe Modern Leperthe first track on their album, The Midnight Organ Fight and then transitioned into “Fast Blood” which is track four on the same album. The crowd was supportive and graciously showed their appreciation for the band by singing along at the tops of their lungs during songs and breaking out in fits of applause and cheers at each tune’s completion. There was a very positive energy that was emanating throughout the room and the band must have felt it as well, because frontman Scott Huchinson looked like a kid on Christmas as he joyfully proclaimed, “This is Fucking Amazing.”

Frightened Rabbit kept with music off of their sophomore effort, playing “Old Old Fashioned” next. During the song a disco ball lit up and ignited the room, along with Scott Hutchinson’s eyes. The lead singer genuinely seemed amazed at the abundant  audience approval. Remarking on it once again saying, “This is the perfect way to end any tour. I think we should finish all of our tours in Orlando.”

The band showed their appreciation to the fans by playing a brand new song off of their forthcoming album, due out in Spring of 2010. The catchy new tune, entitled “Nothing Like You,” also got quite a response from the crowd. Another treat for fans was Huthinson’s solo, acoustic performance of “Poke” which evoked much audience participation and perhaps the loudest eruption from the crowd all night.

As the cheers died down Hutchinson once again remarked on the plauditory pack saying, “You guys are fucking incredible. This is our last song and we’ll be back for fucking sure.” Frightened Rabbit then closed things out with “Keep Yourself Warm” and a mass sing-a-long ensued. Members of We Were Promised Jetpacks and The Twilight Sad stood on the side of the stage wearing Frightened Rabbit t-shirts and belted out the lyrics alongside everyone else in attendance. It was really a special moment for the three bands and a unifying one for the audience as well.

Listen up for music from We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad, and Frightened Rabbit all here on BreakThru Radio!


– Emily Smith


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