LIVE: Lower Than Atlantis / Milk Teeth / Strange Bones @ O2 Academy 2, Oxford

By Kathryn Black

Ahead of their performances at Reading and Leeds Festival, Lower Than Atlantis took to the stage at Oxford’s O2 Academy 2 for a so-called Reading warm up show. Well, warm it certainly was as the venue was stiflingly hot and it only took about three minutes of waiting for the band before the whole audience had become a mass of (mostly Creeper) sweaty t shirts.

Opener Strange Bones were well received, the unapologetic energy of tracks such as ‘God Save The Teen’ lapped up by the younger audience. Milk Teeth were met with blank stares from a lot of the crowd, with their grittier punk rock sound much more suited to their support slot with Thrice, but songs like ‘Swear Jar’ and ‘Brain Food’ sounded amazing nonetheless.

Justifying it afterwards as the exact set they’d set out to play at Reading and Leeds, the headliners only played for forty minutes and most of that was in the dark. Last year’s single ‘Get Over It’ saw the fans bounce into action but it was difficult to see the band for a lot of it. Compared to the relentless strobes of Milk Teeth’s set, there wasn’t much to be seen in the way of lights.

A huge cheer erupted for ‘Criminal’, continuing the chord heavy, formulaic pop rock. They know how to write a good hook, these guys, and the songs written for much bigger venues than this – ‘Words Don’t Come So Easily’, ‘English Kids In America’ and ‘Another Sad Song’ – made an easy job of impressing in such a small space.

New single ‘Work For It’ was debuted to a rapturous reception and despite Mike Duce quipping the festival bookers must have thought they were Twin Atlantic by mistake, they’ve certainly earned their place on the Main Stage. ‘Here We Go’ saw the energy levels at their peak from the crowd but the band appeared exhausted and walked off at the end of the track without a goodbye.

More of an opportunity to plug their latest tour announcement and performances at Reading and Leeds than a show in its own right, it didn’t feel like the band’s hearts were fully in the moment, (understandably) looking forward to the weekend’s events rather than enjoying the here and now. That being said, Lower Than Atlantis remain one of the biggest pop rock names in the UK with fans that absolutely love them, so what’s the secret eh?


See more photos from the show in our gallery.