Liverpool Music Week opens with a sublime performance from dreamy rockers but suffers from a weak crowd.
Back in 2010, a new upcoming band made their acclaimed Liverpool debut opening Liverpool Music Week, the band known as Warpaint have since released more two albums both different from each other and after their stop at the O2 Academy in 2014, they’re back with a bang.
Entering the astonishing surroundings of The Dome at Grand Central Hall, an oddly unused beautiful venue tonight being the welcoming place for LMW-goers and of course, the gathering place for Warpaint to flaunt their new material.
However opening the proceedings are the act chosen as support for Warpaint‘s last Liverpool outing, the polished All We Are brought some new material to the confines of The Dome.
With All We Are opening the night just after 8pm, brought their alternative pop sounds to The Dome with an immersive set much different than what you’d expect listening to them in the past. The act used their mature abilities as preformers to set the stage for the week.
Pullling away from their previously dreamy style, with a change akin to tonight’s headliners, the act have gone for a more upbeat, busy sound. All We Are provided brilliant support for their friends, which isn’t a surprise since they’re supported before and All We Are‘s bassist/vocalist Guro Gikling and Warpaint‘s Theresa Wayman are well versed together after colliding as the supergroup project BOSS with Yeasayer/Hot Chip‘s Sarah Jones during the 2014 and tonight’s shows.
Just 15 odd minutes past their scheduled time, the Californians waltzed on-stage to start their set. It quickly became notable the difference in styles Warpaint have travelled between recent albums, from their dreamy style to a more, bassy-pop sound.
The most impressive thing about Warpaint‘s live performances is the immediate showing that the band equally adds to the band, while they act as a fully-fledged unit, more-so like veterans of their craft. It’s an honest sentiment to state there hasn’t been a band able to perfectly match their voices to create heavenly harmonies in this city since our own greats The Beatles.
Highlight would come early, when the four-piece went into an intense rendition of the fan favourite “Undertow”, a dreamy classic from 2010’s The Fool. For the first time tonight, the crowd showed true life, signing along. Their set was jam-packed of material from their very recently released album Heads Up, which could’ve been an issue as a majority of fans may not have memorized key songs yet.
Other highlights of the night would come at the end, with an amazing live interpretation of “Love Is To Die” and the latest single, crowd-pleasing “New Song”. During the final moments of their set, the sight of Theresa and fellow guitarist/vocalist Emily Kokal picking up sticks and joining drummer Stella Mozgawa for the big finish, with all three smashing the drums in unison for an unbelievable and mesmerizing sight.
Through a long, warm set mixed with older Warpaint sounds and material from Heads Up was explored on the grand opening stage, with Warpaint showing their excellent prowess, however the almost unresponsive crowd downed the night for us, hopefully that will change.
If this is how we start Liverpool Music Week, we don’t ever want it to stop. We’ll be back for coverage of the rest for LMW, with modern noise legends Dinosaur Jr. tomorrow.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, Photography by James Ainsworth.