2/4/14 – Great Scott

This show was a cake. A great big wedding cake, with multiple levels – cut a slice and there’s layers of cake and icing and ice cream and more cake. If there was one thing British band Lanterns on the Lake brought with them overseas, it was a snowballing, layered sound.

Each song was a level with its own shape and look; some were bursts of high-energy intensity, Paul’s hand strumming faster than our eyes could detect, the vibrations of the powerful drumming actually shaking my pant legs. Others were more quiet ballads, with Hazel Wilde’s soft vocals coaxing us into false trance before the band dived back into their fuller rock sound.

And the layers? Wilde’s soft vocals served as sugary-sweet icing, shortly followed up with a layer of hard-hitting, drum-filled rock sound. As Paul Gregory left his guitar looped to move over to the drum set and helped bang on the cymbals to add yet another layer of percussion, a physical tremolo rippling across the audience.

I might be taking this cake metaphor a bit too far but Candles on the Cake, erm, Lanterns on the Lake proved to be masters at adding sound upon sound. Seriously though, much like instrumental group Explosions in the Sky, who is known for their tendency for crescendoing, building layers, Lanterns on the Lake slowly expands their sound, which grew beyond the crowd’s expectations.

Usually, the singer is the center of our attention, but on Thursday, that was not the case. The guitarist gave off a confident, powerful vibe regardless of the type of song being played. Armed with a cello bow during the softer tracks, Gregory’s strong, sweeping motions left fraying hairs hanging. And when the songs peaked, his jamming out left me mesmerized.

Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne in the North of England, the group has yet to form a solid following here in the states, and the band wittingly built-in their encore into their performance. Wilde remarked “This is the part where we stand in the cupboard and people clap until we come back out. Instead I’m just gonna stay here as they hide over there.” Though it seems the band has yet to perfect their act, particularly in terms of audience interaction and concert banter (you’re in America – your accent means we’ll swoon over just about anything you say) the group proved that they aren’t just another band from another English town.

Not Another Band from Another English Town: Lanterns on The Lake
Audience Interaction5.5
7.2Overall Score

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