White Lies @ Center Stage, February 18


By: Rosie Judd

White Lies brought their gorgeously ominous music to Center Stage Tuesday night to a truly enthusiastic audience. While the set was mostly made up of tracks from their latest record, Big TV, there were enough of their older songs sprinkled into a dark and danceable evening of live music.

Opener Frankie Rose offered an ambient set full of harmonies, eerie guitar and walls of sampled sound that combine into an almost wistful kind of gloomy pop aura. Frankie’s dark electro-pop is certainly a departure from her garage-rock days as drummer for Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, but it was overall well received by the audience and provided a sophisticated experience to the audience that night.

It’s been over 2 years since White Lies has performed to an Atlanta audience and the crowd was more than ready and excited to hear the British indie-rockers again. Opening with their debut single from their first record, “To Lose My Life”, it seemed that lead singer Harry McVeigh was truly stunned by the enthusiasm and excitement from the crowd. The entire front row singing along to every song seemed to take the band by complete surprise. The rest of the set was no exception, with the crowd gaining more steam as the set plowed into more new and old favorites. The first single from Big TV, “There Goes Our Love Again”, drew a big cheer and had most of the crowd moving along to the rhythms. The anthemic “Getting Even” came in the middle of the set and was a true high point for the band and the crowd. McVeigh’s vocals were beautifully pure while the power of the song came through from Charles Cave’s beautifully rich bass lines. When the band stripped down to a trio rendition of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” the crowd was almost breathless and still watching this powerful band step into a softer mode. They didn’t dwell on this mode though, as they went back to a full band setup to close out with “First Time Caller” and “Death.” The crowd wasn’t finished with them though, and the band’s encore of “Big TV” and “Bigger Than Us” had the entire audience singing and dancing along.

White Lies is able to beautifully weave light and dark elements into their music, both in the studio and live. Dark themes of loneliness, lost love and life’s challenges are dramatically crooned in McVeigh’s rich baritone, while the soaring quality of the music provides a little bit of hope that whatever dark topics are coming out in the lyrics, there is still hope to be had. All you have to do is listen and dance along to the music and things will get better.

Set List:

1. To Lose My Life
2. There Goes Our Love Again
3. A Place To Hide
4. Mother Tongue
5. Streetlights
6. Farewell to the Fairground
7. Be Your Man
8. E.S.T.
9. The Power & the Glory
10. Getting Even
11. Unfinished Business
12. Goldmine
13. I Would Die 4 U
14. First Time Caller
15. Death

1. Big TV
2. Bigger Than Us


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