Live Concert Photography: White Lies with Acid Dad at Irving Plaza 5/2/19
Primarily centered around core (and founding trio), Harry McVeigh (lead vocals, guitar), Charles Cave (bass, backing vocals) and Jack Lawrence-Brown (drums), the London-based post-punk act White Lies can actually trace their origins to the trio’s first band, a band they started while in high school Fear of Flying. Although Charles Cave has publicly described Fear of Flying as a “weekend project,” and one of many bands each of the individual members were involved in at the time, Fear of Flying released two Stephen Street-produced double A-side singles released through Young and Lost Club Records.
Building upon the initial buzz surrounding them, Fear of Flying earned opening slots for nationally acclaimed acts like The Maccabees, Jamie T, and Laura Marling. Along with completing one UK tour as an opener, they also played the inaugural Underage Festival.
Two weeks before the trio were to start college, they decided that they would take a second gap year and perform new material, which the trio felt didn’t suit their current project. “I felt as though i couldn’t write about anything personal, so I would make up semi-comical stories that weren’t really important to anyone, not even me,” Charles Cave reflected on that period. Fear of Flying broke up in 2007 with a MySpace status that read “Fear of Flying is DEAD . . . White Lies is alive!,” before introducing a new name that the trio felt better represented their newfound maturity — and a much darker sound.
Officially forming in October 2007, the members of the then-newly formed White Lies delayed their first live shows for five months to build up media hype. And as the story goes, a few days after their live debut, the band signed with Fiction Records, who released the band’s first two singles — “Unfinished Business” and “Death,” which quickly drew comparisons to Joy Division, Editors, The Killers and Interpol. And as a result of the attention their first two singles earned, McVeigh, Cave and Lawrence-Brown wound up touring across the UK and North America, including a headlining BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend Festival set, a slot on 2009’s NME Awards tour, as well as a number of appearances across the international festival circuit.
In early 2009, the members of White Lies were prominently featured in multiple “ones to watch” polls for the coming year, including BBC’s Sound of 2009 poll and the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award. Within a few weeks of those early accolades, the act released their full-length debut, To Lose My Life, an effort that made them as the first British act that year to land a number one album on the British Charts — and the first album to debut at number one that year.
The band’s third album, 2013’s well-received and commercially successful, Ed Bueller-produced Big TV, an album that debuted at #4 on the UK Charts. Interestingly, the album thematically follows a couple, who leave a provincial area for a big city while touching upon the theme of equality within a romanic relationship. Album single “Getting Even” managed to land at #1 on the Polish Singles Charts.
Released earlier this year through [PIAS] Recordings, the London-based post-punk trio’s fifth full-length album, the aptly titled FIVE officially marks White Lies’ tenth anniversary together. Interestingly, the album finds the band deftly balancing an ambitious, arena rock friendly sound with enormous hooks and bombast for days with intimate, singer/songwriter pop lyricism that’s earnest and comes from a deeply familiar, lived-in place. Interestingly, album singles “Time to Give,” “Tokyo” “Jo” and “Believe It” all describe longtime relationships on the brink of collapse or suffering through one or both parties’ dysfunction, complete with the ambivalence, uncertainty and confusion that relationships often entail — paired with some of the biggest, anthemic hooks I’ve heard all year.
Now, as you may recall I chatted with the London-based indie act’s Charles Cave before their stop at Irving Plaza earlier this month; but I also caught the band’s career-spanning set, which featured material from To Lose My Life, Big TV and their milestone marking latest effort. New York-based indie rock act Acid Dad opened the night. Check out photos from the show below.
Opening the night, was the New York-based indie rock act Acid Dad.Currently comprised of JP Baisleo (bass), Sean Fahey (guitar, vocals), Vaughn Hunt (guitar, vocals) and Trevor Mustoe (drums), the New York-based indie rock act have received attention both locally and nationally for a sound that they’ve dubbed psych punk, as they mesh elements of psych rock, punk rock, garage punk and guitar pop.