I would be peddling mistruths if I was to say that I was an avid listener of JAWS before heading into Phoenix last Sunday. I heard the name mentioned a few times, and had seen gigs advertised but had never really got into them. However fortunately for me a friend recommended them the day before the concert, just in time to get some tickets. In all honesty I had only listened to them a few times before the concert but sometimes going into concerts with no pre-decided impressions can make for an interesting experience, and Sunday night at Phoenix certainly proved that to me further.
The moment they started playing I could tell it was gonna be a good night. The whole band seemed incredibly passionate, and at the same time didn’t take themselves too seriously. They went as far as introducing themselves by confessing that the last time they played in Exeter their audience had been only ten people. The case was very different on Sunday, as they played to a crowded, but not full Phoenix. Right from the outset both the audience and band were fully committed, with mosh pits forming even in relatively laid back songs. The pumping lights and flashing LED display of the bands name added further to the atmosphere the band were creating. They opened with ‘Surround You” which is easily my favourite song by JAWS, and although it’s very chill, it got the crowd in the mood instantly. As the show continued JAWS went from strength to strength the energy levels grew and grew. There was little in-between song chat from the band who repeatedly commented that they were better at music than talking. This meant the show never really slowed or let up, from start to finish, it was all in.
the show never really slowed or let up
There were a few stand out songs that I would be remiss to not mention. Firstly ’17’ although a particularly relaxed number was perfectly timed within in the show contrasting with the more intense moments. It showed that JAWS can effortlessly move from more dance inducing rock to relaxed, pensive and, emotional numbers. This calming made the crescendo towards the end of the song hit twice as hard. Another highlight was the closing number ‘Gold’ which was the perfect end for the concert, pairing the intensity and passion with perfect deftness. It was clear that most of the crowd had been waiting for the moment ‘Gold’ was played, having entered unsure, I left a fan. Something of particularly note for me is that JAWS are one of those rare band whose studio recordings aren’t as good as their live performances, the passion and power in Phoenix is almost incomparable to their albums.
In all the evening was fantastic and although before I wasn’t necessarily a massive fan of JAWS I’ve been listening to them all the time since. Phoenix was by no means as full as I have seen it but everyone in the venue was absolutely off the wall with excitement the whole way through the set. JAWS completely surpassed my expectations and I would more the recommend going to see them to anyone who has not. JAWS seem like they are destined for greatness and there music is certainly more worthy of recognition then many much more well know bands on the scene at the moment.