Since releasing their phenomenal debut album, To Lose My Life…, in 2009, London indie band White Lies (PIAS) have released four subsequent records and experimented with Editors-like new wave as well as 80’s-inspired synth pop. Now back to their roots, the trio returned to Brixton’s O2 Academy after 10 years for two consecutive nights to pay tribute to their phenomenal first record.
The first half of the set was entirely dedicated to To Lose My Life…, with the band playing the album in its entirety from such massive indie hits as the title track or Death to seldom-heard deep cuts like EST or Nothing to Give. Banger or ballad, the audience was living for every single song off the trio’s epic first record, singing and cheering along throughout. While the second half of the gig featured White Lies’ newer, less memorable material, the synth pop elements brought a welcome change of pace to the concert and the second act was just as great as the first.
Old or new, all songs on the set sounded amazing live, owing to frontman Harry McVeigh’s powerhouse vocals as well as to the perfect synch between the band’s members. The trio seemed humbled and genuinely happy to play their debut record again, and at such an iconic venue. The biggest surprise of the concert, however, was the simple greatness of the stage production, inspired by the album cover of To Lose My Life… While both the LED pillars and the lighting adhered to the record’s black-and-white aesthetic in the first half, they showcased their incredible customizability in the second, bringing the stage to new life with each new song.
All in all, while White Lies were paying tribute to their past, they definitely showcased how much further they can go in the future.
Written by Balàzs Mihàlyfi