We Are The Ocean

Gig Review: We Are The Ocean, Garage, Glasgow, 30th April 2011

We Are the Ocean have certainly paid their dues when it comes to the live circuit. They list off everywhere in Glasgow they have played over the last couple of years, noting that they’ve played the Garage four times already, with this being their first time headlining. Unfortunately, the room is not quite as packed as they would have liked (or indeed deserve), but it doesn’t stop any of the night’s bands giving it their all.

Don Broco (8) face the challenge of playing to a room that is still mostly empty due to being thrown on fifteen minutes after the doors to the venue open. Impressively, they still manage a wall of death during the first song of the evening. Their post-hardcore sound is ideal for this tour, and while the crowd may not be ideal sized, they more than deliver the goods. In Beautiful Morning, they have an anthem in the making. These guys are ones to watch, and they easily won over those in the room who were lucky enough to get down to the Garage early.

Lower Than Atlantis (7) on the other hand need only to walk on stage to get the ever-growing crowd screaming. With a devoted fan base of their own, they provide the first real sing-along moments of the night. Songs from their latest album World Record go down a treat, most notably The Deadliest Catch which is welcomed like an old favourite. While lacking the onstage energy of Don Broco, and feeling perhaps a little out of place on the line up, they keep the energy going and win plenty of new fans.

By comparison, Veara (5) are underwhelming and completely out of place. As they themelves point out, the last time they were in Glasgow was to support Sum 41 which would have been a much more fitting gig for them as their pop-punk sound is a million miles away from that of the headliners. Still, they do their best, and there are those who have come specifically to see them. Apart from that one section of the crowd, however, most head to the bar to await the headliners.

The thing about a mediocre support is that it can really kill the momentum before the headline act arrives. Thankfully, We Are the Ocean (8) pick that energy right back up again, storming the stage with recent single What It Feels Like. The fact that the room isn’t quite at capacity turns out to be a good thing, as it just encourages vocalist Dan Brown to create larger circle pits than would’ve been possible were the venue full. The comparisons to Alexisonfire are obvious, but Dan and co-vocalist Liam Cromby are doing the screaming/singing duo just as well as their Canadian counterparts. The combination of the antagonising screams from Dan (which encourages the circle pits) with the soaring vocals of Liam (which encourages the crowd’s vocal chords) works perfectly – when the crowd stops pushing and shoving, it’s only to dedicate more energy to singing their hearts out. Fan favourites Look Alive and These Days, I Have Nothing are obvious highlights, but it’s important to note just how well the songs from Go Now and Live, released just 5 days prior to the gig, fit into the set – Trials and Tribulations and Runaway sound like they have been being played for years. A finale of old-school tune Nothing Good Has Happened Yet and the massive Confessions shows that We Are the Ocean have one of the more passionate fan bases of today’s live scene, and with more shows like this it’s only going to get bigger.

     

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