Friday the 13th is a notion that has a stranglehold over some people, casting a spell that makes them hesitant to leave the house or engage in anything of interest. More fool them: according to a commonly repeated statistic that this writer isn’t going to bother verifying, most accidents happen in the home.
If you believe in that sort of mumbo jumbo, it’s in your odds to get out of the house. Anyways, for those of us who only cotton on to these things because social media posters bleat on about them, it was a Friday like any other in Glasgow. A bit grim weather-wise, but one that held the promise of a good night and a strong weekend.
Warpaint certainly didn’t bring Californian sunshine with them to the West End, but by the end of the night, gig-going punters were as chilled out as you can be in getting to and from SWG3.
Streaming clearly helps fans to be well informed, but when you consider Radiate Like This had only been out for a week, there was a lot of love for the songs. The intro to ‘Champion’, just the second song of the evening, was lustfully received. The new album was well represented, and the singalongs and dancing indicate it’s already burrowed into the consciousness and hearts of attendees.
In interviews, the band spoke about the new version of ‘Melting’, which didn’t disappoint. All four members came to the front of the stage, harmonising while Emily (Kokal) played guitar. To quieten a Glasgow crowd on Friday night (apart from two guys, there’s always two guys) takes some doing, but it was a reverend atmosphere as the band reinforced how versatile they are.
Props to the girl who had a confetti party every so often throughout the evening. It’s the silly things you forget or overlook in the frazzled insanity over the last couple of years. The gig was great, but the smiles on people’s faces when the air was littered with brightly coloured circle paper suggested people were here to make the most of their night. At modern-day gig prices, you should make the most of your attendance. It might have been a day of supposed horror, but the news that Ticketmaster have been trialling surge pricing for gigs is something that ensures music fans won’t sleep at night.
Anyways, returning to the confetti, some of it landed in a guy’s hair who, at that point, was oblivious to it all; that’s always funny.
The new songs were counterbalanced by more robust tracks from the band’s back catalogue, albeit only ‘New Song’ survived from the band’s 2016 Heads Up release. Whether that indicates a certain discomfort surrounding that album and era for the group, or they just felt there was more gold to be mined by dipping further back, there wasn’t a moment out of step throughout the evening.
Any set which contains ‘Disco//very’ is a good one, closing the end of the main set in grand style. 2022 Warpaint, on record, are wiser, mature and at ease with themselves, but it’s great to see the live version of the act is more than capable of prowling with menace
The encore started with Jenny Lee helming a ramshackle but boisterous cover of ‘I’m So Tired’ by Fugazi but finished on more familiar terms. Old favourites ‘Elephants’ and ‘Beetles’ lifted spirits and the new album closer ‘Send Nudes’ rounded off the evening in style.
Who knows when we’ll see the band make their way here again, but hopefully, there won’t be as big a gap as the last time? External factors might have influenced that, but with the air of positivity and acceptance carried by the band these days, they’ll surely will themselves around the world a few more times in the foreseeable future.
All image credits: Andrew Reilly