Lower Than Atlantis at Hevy 2011
Sometimes, you get to see a band who are completely golden. It's usually an absolute disaster if your sound is knackered and your tent is rib-crushingly overcrowded, but a band like Lower Than Atlantis can weather storms like these and find themselves with the accolade of being one of the best sets of the weekend. Makes you sick doesn't it.
Here is a band that put on a gig that was incredible, nuts and indicative of many more amazing things to come. They came on stage to see that the Etnies & Front tent was near bursting at the seams with a buzzing crowd who had been waiting all day for this moment. It would, therefore be easy to assume that having the vocals and guitar completely turned down for the opening '(Motor) Way of Life' and the subsequent two tracks was the worst thing that could have happened. Wrong. The crowd was there with enough manpower to get those words sung, and the band were still giving it their all despite the technical hitches. In hindsight, the lack of booing may have meant that the band weren't actually aware of the fact that it looked like someone had pointed the remote control at them and pressed mute. Things did get a lot better after that though.
Lower Than Atlantis are about stage presence and persona as much as music when they're up there- an impression of swagger and justified arrogance gives them a ballsy edge you might usually associate with old school punk rock rather than their melodic post-hardcore. It may very well be part of the act, but even so, when Duce tells you to 'sit down like you're being told a story' and if you don't 'I'll pick you out and make you look like a dickhead in front of this huge crowd', you feel inclined to believe him. As a result, their go at 'sit down, jump up' was somewhat more successful than others that weekend.
One thing that Hevy learnt during this set was that if you will insist on providing eight foot high ledges around tent supports, you shouldn't be surprised when adventurous crowd surfers see these as convenient launch pads. When anthemic guitar-heavy songs like 'Far-Q' and closer 'Beech Like Tree' kicked in, you could almost see security suffering a mass coronary as kids scrambled up the tent poles before leaping into the crowd below. But just when you thought things couldn't get any juicier, LTA nonchalantly dropped in a mini-medley of Foo Fighters tracks played to absolute perfection. You may never get the chance to hear Mike Duce have a turn with 'Everlong' and 'The Pretender', but as you might imagine, it's really quite something.
This was a complete package. Lower Than Atlantis have cracking material, loads of attitude and a die-hard fan base that didn't even care when things went wrong. If they don't become one of the biggest names on the UK scene in 2012 I would be nothing short of surprised. I would say 'eat my hat', but I don't want to take that sort of gamble.