Lifehouse at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
American band Lifehouse have been dropping in on the Shepherd’s Bush Empire during their European tours for over twelve years now, returning to a loyal crowd of fans. Tonight is no different as the room is filled with people who look like they fell in love with this band a good decade ago.
There is a palpable sense of excitement as the band arrive on stage and launch into the current single Hurricane which reminds the listener of a Suede track before slipping into All In, the introduction of which is reminescent of a Coldplay track. The Lifehouse sound is upbeat, soft and thick with atmosphere with singer Jason Wade’s husky voice giving a bit of edge to this very white, American, soft rock: lovely to sway along to, but strictly a pogo-/mosh-free zone. Similarly, they are lyrically inoffensive, with nice sentiments wrapped up in fairly predictable rhyme structures: Broken’s “in the pain there is healing, in your name I find meaning” is a particular standout in terms of lazy, formulaic writing.
However, as the set goes on it’s hard not to appreciate their talent, as they feed the crowd the old favourites with just a few of their newer ones interspersed. Spin – originally released in 2002 – takes the audience back to contemporary Brandon Boyd, and as the band play with the anticipation surrounding Everything by starting off acoustic and adding a big pause before bringing the whole band in for the crescendo, it is hard not to succumb to the appeal of nostalgia. Lifehouse play a slick, held-together set, with only a small hiccup as they awkwardly capture a video of the crowd for the Facebook page before snapping back to the setlist with a jolt.
Having returned to stage for the encore, the full expectation is that they will launch straight into Hanging By a Moment, but they make the crowd wait just a bit longer with 2014’s comeback track Flight, a lighter break before the main event. This is the song everyone in the room knows, the Lifehouse equivalent to With or Without You, and the crowd sings along loudly before dispersing into the dark, hanging onto moments of the noughties.
For further information about Lifehouse and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Hurricane here: