Live Zone

We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Orpheum, Tampa Bay Florida, 16th February 2020




With their return to Tampa Bay, Scottish rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks kicked off the 12th show of their tour with a sold-out night full of their best known songs, and a loudly appreciative 200-strong crowd.

The band got their start in 2003 in Edinburgh, Scotland when Adam Thompson, Sean Smith, and Darren Lackie played their first gig at their high school’s “Battle of the Bands” competition, which they won.

A few years later in 2008, signing to Fat Cat Records. By 2009, the trio had released their debut album, “These Four Walls”.

Their fourth and current album, “The More I Sleep the Less I Dream” was released on the Big Scary Monsters label in 2018.

Opening for the band was Tampa Bay’s post-punk band “Hi-Beam”, igniting the crowd with their punk rock energy and heavy guitar riffs.

Followed by Philadelphia’s alternative band “Slaughter Beach, Dog”, which consisted of two former members of Modern Baseball.

By 9.30pm, the headlining rockers took to the stage, opening with a flurry of heavy guitar power chords equalled in power by Adam Thompson’s voice.

No time for banter between the songs, they were machine-gunned out one after the other at frantic pace for a solid hour.

A mixed crowd in gender and an age range up to maybe late 30s were clearly well up for it, despite this being a Sunday night and work or studies the next day,

But it could well have been a Friday or Saturday night, based on the energy level of the crowd and their obvious desire to party. Every last person strutting their stuff and feeding off the electric atmosphere the band were generating.

Adam noticed the fancy foot work too: “You guys dance really well. We’ve never seen a group dance that good” he told the audience after “Moving Clocks Run Slow” from their debut album. Turning in a few nifty moves himself on stage.

After the first non-stop hour, there was need to grab water or a beer between songs for the rest of the set. The place was cooking.

The material dipped into all four albums, and the newer songs got as much reaction as the older stuff.

Reaching the climax of the show, they fired off “Boy In The Backseat” from 2011’s “In The Pit of the Stomach” and “Roll Up Your Sleeves” from their debut album.

As the set bounced towards the final song, they delivered a rousing performance of “Quiet Little Voices”, their most well know track from the debut album.

As Adam bashed out the opening notes on his guitar for the fan favourite, the screams confirmed this was very much a crowd pleaser – the entire place singing back the lyrics to the beaming band.

“We’re a little band from Edinburgh, Scotland and we can’t thank you all enough for coming out. A really lovely audience, thank you for all the love and support”, Adam tells the audience before a superb rendition of “Hanging In”, from their current album.

As the band soaked up the love at the end of the set, Thompson hopped down from the stage to the front row to grab a picture with the whole crowd. Giving out hugs, high fives and fist bumps to as many as could get to him.

Climbing back on stage, the trio waved a final goodbye and you could see they loved every second of this gig and appreciated the response. A 200 strong crowd giving out as much volume and response as a packed arena audience.

Scotland’s finest exports swapped the gales and the flooding that hit the UK this weekend for the warm air of Florida, jet propelling themselves into the hearts of all 200 of us here tonight. Make that 201!


Words: Chandler Culotta







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