Lifehouse ended their European tour at Shepherd’s Bush Empire before they headed off to tour Australia and the Philippines. Irish four-piece Raglans did a fantastic job at supporting and getting the crowed pumped with their indie-rock, folk infused sound. London’s prestigious venue was packed to the rafters with fans of all ages and they made an almighty sound when the Raglans banner was taken down and behind it revealed the banner of the headliners. As soon as Lifehouse graced the stage the packed venue erupted with cheers even louder and they kicked off the set with the lead single from their new album, ‘Hurricane’.
Unusually frontman Jason Wade did not interact with the crowd much, but it seemed that role was reserved for bassist Bryce Soderberg. Even still, there was not much interaction at all; there should have been more to make the crowd feel more involved than they ultimately were.
Technically the band were excellent and their musical talent is truly admirable. However, if you weren’t hugely into their music, or their particular style, you may have came to the opinion that their tracks sounded very similar at times, lacking much variation in pace or energy, which meant that for a few scattered around Shepherd’s Bush, boredom struck and yawning commenced. BUT. There were times when the crowd could really get behind the band and the track being played, with a prime example being their hit single ‘You and Me’.
The highly recognisable opening notes were played and the whole venue shook with the eruption of screams and cheers. As soon as Wade started singing the first few lines, the entirety of Shepherd’s Bush Empire got right behind him; there wasn’t just one guy singing his heart out on stage, there were 1,500 or so vocalists at this point, belting out the iconic lyrics. Things only got better with the eventual key change when bright lights were shone directly onto a large glitter ball dangling above centre stage, which refracted spots of light across the entire venue – it was something to behold, something special.
‘You and Me’ was certainly the highlight of the evening, which in hindsight was a little disappointing considering it was played during the middle of the set. Other hits such as ‘Broken’ and, in particular the final song of the evening, ‘Hanging by a Moment’ evoked large cheers and lots of sing-along fun, but they didn’t live up to the glittery perfection of ‘You and Me’.
Following ‘Broken’ Lifehouse left the stage before remerging for the encore, and boy did the crowd make sure they came back on! I have genuinely never been to a concert where the crowd made so much noise during the interval. Everyone was clapping, chanting and stomping their feet for a solid couple of minutes, from the moment the band left, to the second they stepped back onto the stage. And they were rewarded with two excellent performances of ‘Flight’ and the aforementioned ‘Hanging by a Moment’.
Overall, the music, technically, was great. Wade and Soderberg’s vocals were on point the whole night, as were the abilities of each musician with their respective instruments. They are certainly a band I could listen to constantly on a summer’s day or when I just want to chill out and relax. Yes, sometimes the variety was lacking and some of the songs just seemed to merge into one due to their similarities, but that didn’t takeaway from how good they were musically and vocally. Altogether a very complete and accomplished performance from a great band.