Hit the jump to read my review
Plaid shirts circulate around the bar. A few make their way down to the stage.
Bottles of PBR begin to crowd the tables and booths.
The ceiling fans have no idea what they are in for later in the night as Bad Veins frontman Benjamin Davis addresses the crowd.
“It’s so great to be in Bloomington for the first time. Oh wait, we’ve played here before. Is The Bishop a thing? Yeah, we’ve played there. But we like it here, too.”
So begins a typical Tuesday night at The Bluebird.
Patrons begin to trickle forward as Bad Veins’ set comes to a close.
A guy in a Scottish rugby jersey sits on the front of the stage, chatting with his friends, as the stage crew switches out gear in preparation for the main event.
The ceiling fans begin to feel the strain.
Most of the crowd has finally moved forward, leaving the back bar open for the taking.
“What’s the cheapest beer on tap tonight?”
“$4 everything, man.”
“Fine, I’ll take a rum and coke.”
Hell’s furnace seemingly funnels into The Bluebird just as the front row of fans begins to get restless.
Chants of “Jetpacks! Jetpacks!” are heard from the back of the room while a group of girls orders another round of drinks at the bar.
The main event is about to begin and at least half of the crowd realizes/is getting excited for it.
We Were Promised Jetpacks take the stage to a surprising amount of applause from a previously apathetic crowd. It is becoming clear they were just biding their time, waiting for the right moment to unveil their enthusiasm.
The ceiling fans are now shaking under the pressure they have just been placed under.
Things are starting to get hot.
Frontman Adam Thompson strikes his first chord of the evening and we are off. It’s a show, people.
Both the crowd and WWPJ settle into the show for the first couple of songs. Beads of sweat begin to roll off Thompson’s youthful face and onto the storied Bluebird stage where his beers are waiting.
Drummer Darren Lackie wipes his face down with a towel while bass player Sean Smith takes a swig of his own beverage.
The crowd finally fills in and Jetpacks can sense they’ve got the room.
“Quiet little voices creep into my head / I’m young again / I’m young again / I’m young again.”
At least the first five rows erupt into applause as Jetpacks launch into one of their most popular tracks, “Quiet Little Voices,” from their debut album These Four Walls.
“Quiet little monsters creep into my bedroom wall / I’ll fall for you / I’ll fall for you / I’ll fall for you.”
Now the rest of the concert-goers who may have just decided to go out on a Tuesday night are hooked. Michael Palmer thrashes on the guitar while Lackie abuses his cymbals.
“Quiet words of wisdom creep into your victim’s ears / I’ll die for you / I’ll die for you / I’ll die for you.”
The temperature inside The Bluebird is becoming, at best, uncomfortable, as the ceiling fans have seemingly admitted defeat and are just spinning for show now.
No one seems to care, as the front half of the room are dancing and singing along.
Jetpacks continue a solid set dominated with tracks from their newest album In The Pit of the Stomach, which admittedly is becoming a better album the more tracks they play from it.
“You died alone, you died on impact.”
Thompson plays the opening rift of “Act on Impulse” to an enraptured crowd. No one makes a sound until the rest of the band joins in, so as not to ruin the moment.
It’s hard to tell if that would happen over the weekend, but nothing beats an educated crowd on a Tuesday night. It’s all about the music now.
The ‘Bird could now be funneling the body heat back into hell and raise its temperature.
Each Jetpacks member grabs their auxiliary beer and takes a long swig. PBR has never gone down so smooth.
The Scotsmen demonstrate their understanding of irony as they launch into their next tune.
“It’s hard to remember a colder November.”
Everyone has shed all their extraneous layers and are looking for some respite from the heat while continuing to jump up and down.
When WWPJ are going for it, they’re too good not to have fun, no matter the cost.
“Thanks for coming out tonight. This will be our last song,” Thompson says after one last swig of his beer.
He and Palmer play a nice riff while Smith and Lackie wait, ready to jump in when the time comes.
No one says a word. Not Thompson. Not the crowd. Everyone knows what is coming, this is the calm before the storm.
They finally switch their riff, “Right foot / followed by your left foot,” and the crowd erupts. Now this is a closer.
This is easily the loudest it’s been all night.
“It’s thunder and it’s lightning / and it’s all things too frightening / I could barely see outside.”
The man in the Scottish jersey screams lyrics at his friend.
The entire front row screams lyrics back at Thompson.
Thompson screams back at The Bluebird.
“Your body was black and blue / your body was black and blue / your body was black and blue / your body was blaaack.”
It almost doesn’t seem fair to work up the crowd in such frenzy in this heat.
“I have to say goodnight / I’m leaving before you’re punching out my lights.”
Fans are pounding on the stage with clenched fists, voicing their approval through the loudest noises they can muster while Jetpacks gives everything they’ve got.
Thompson doubles over and screams into the mic his last word on the matter.
We Were Promised Jetpacks hustle through the back door while the crowd funnels out through the front, leaving behind empty PBR bottles and healthy eardrums, out into the cool night air.
Another Tuesday night at the ‘Bird is in the books.