Warpaint @ Leeds Beckett SU 23/03/17
Months after the release of their third album Heads Up, Warpaint came to Leeds to bring it to life.
The beginning of the show seemed to be weighed down by the relaxed atmosphere. Kicking off with the title track from the new album, the band played perfectly to the point that it was mesmerising to watch, but it was soon becoming clear that the live performances to accompany album still have some growing up to do. More energetic songs were sacrificed on the set list for the demurer, moody sounds that came from Heads Up, and some of the songs that stood out on the album like ‘By Your Side’ and ‘Don’t Wanna’ were also absent. Little of The Fool made an appearance, other than ‘Bees’ and ‘Undertow’, which was disappointing considering how iconic that album has become.
Nevertheless, the set was beautiful and showcased the talent of Warpaint, with grooving basslines, eclectic riffs and hypnotically whining harmonies. The end of the set breathed life into the show. ‘Love Is To Die’ drew a real connection between the band and the audience; guitarist and vocalist Theresa Wayman danced and seemed to laugh with the front of the crowd as the song descended into a fast-paced and driving jam. ‘New Song’ secured itself as the perfect Warpaint pop song with Emily Kokal’s vocals making their most profound performance. The set came to a satisfying close with ‘Disco//very’, bringing about an even better reception from the audience as the dancing beat and animalistic simplicity brought a tangible energy to the show.
Even though the songs from Heads Up didn’t translate quite as well live, Warpaint continue to secure themselves as one of the most transcendent and exciting bands of our time.