By Eleanor Stammeijer (@ElStammJam)
3.10.15, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Dublin indie boys Raglans are supporting tonight, strolling on-stage at eight o’clock sharp, an unassuming group featuring four guys all wearing tight black skinny jeans. Unfortunately their first couple of songs fail to win over the crowd, though their newer material fares better. Lyrics blur together a little too readily in most of the songs, apart from one carefully enunciated line of “fuckin’ prick”. Most distracting of all is Dan’s performance on lead, who insists on prancing around, jumping up onto the raised section of the stage at the oddest times, only to stay there for a few seconds and then delicately hop down again. Drummer Conn is the star of the group, treating the audience to an impressive solo before lead singer Stephen pulls out a tambourine.
Lifehouse know how to open a show, kicking off with the fantastic ‘Hurricane’. While their music is powerful their demeanour on-stage is completely cool and calm. Their showmanship is honed, their sound clean. Popular classics like ‘Between the Raindrops’ still have the power to get the crowd screaming, and it’s clear that Lifehouse love the reaction.
What I think is the best selling point for Lifehouse is that you can’t decide if their slow, soft songs are more effective or their up-beat, blow-the-roof-off material. Either way, the setlist tonight strikes a great balance. There is just the right mix of new and old, allowing the audience to relax and enjoy something they may not be familiar as well as indulging in classic tunes such as ‘You and Me’ for a good sing along.
Jason Wade’s stage presence brings the whole show together, especially in his few solo acoustic moments. ‘Everything’ is a personal favourite, starting with Wade alone before the rest of the band join in. It’s an energetic performance, and ending on ‘Hanging By A Moment’ brings the night to a perfect close. For an existing fan it’s hard to fault tonight’s performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those in attendance unfamiliar with Lifehouse are newly converted to their passionate rock sound.