We Were Promised Jetpacks bounced their way through the Great American Music Hall (GAMH) to grace us with their presence and promote their new album, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream, a few weeks back. After taking a few years to re-find center, celebrate a few marriages, and define a new direction, this album constitutes a mature and intentional WWJP. As evidenced in this incredible show, they continue to be one of the more solid and finely tuned machines of rock ‘n’ roll out today.
After finding myself a nice little vantage point to the right of the stage to hold down the fort while Tracy Grahamcracker shot the show, the guy standing next to me struck up a conversation. Honestly, he was a breath of fresh air from some of the people I talk to at shows. He also was a great example of the dedicated cult-like following We Were Promised Jetpacks fans continue to have--from Aspen, CO, he had flown in for this show, on an almost Odyssey-like journey which had taken him to New York previously.
A delayed flight had meant he’d just missed the show, showing up to the venue just after the show ended in comedy-movie fashion. Talking excitedly about this new album, and his personal favorite, drummer Darren Lackie, it was impossible to not get hyped up with his infectious love of the band, and everyone surrounding me was having similar conversations. What a wonderful thing to bring people together for, and a testament to the quality and personality of this band, making great music and fostering real connection.
Once they started playing, the band did a masterful job of weaving together new tracks from their latest album and classic throwbacks the audience lapped right up. Singer Adam Thompson is one of the few Scottish vocalists whose accent stays audible in his singing, and it uniquely continues to be a mouthy, very physical rock voice.
Their presence as a unit is like a well-oiled, powerful machine. My initial thought was to compare them to The National married to Japandroids, ending up somewhere in the middle of the mellow, driving rhythms of the former and the anthemic chords and choruses of the latter. They move and groove energetically, but not so much that mosh pits break out. They were a great fit for GAMH as well, where we’d just seen Lagwagon. (Bonus points for the venue because their bookings continue to be awesome.)
Throw on The More I Sleep the Less I Dream as soon as you can because you won't be disappointed. More importantly, check out We Were Promised Jetpacks when they come through wherever you are next. Bring your friend, a date, or just yourself for a fun evening of great rock ‘n’ roll. Thank you to We Were Promised Jetpacks for continuing to make incredible music, and we’re excited to see this next phase of their career.