Live Review: He Is We @ Newcastle Think Tank

Date: 21/06/18

Support: Lizzy Farrall

He Is We are an indie rock band, hailing from Tacoma, Washington, fronted by Rachel Taylor. The first time I ever heard their music was probably the track All About Us which features Owl City. Something about that track never left me and I just hoped that one day they would announce a UK run of shows. Several years later, I had the opportunity to see He Is We in one of the most intimate gigs I’ve ever attended in Newcastle.

I had the chance to speak to Rachel before the show and you can just tell there’s more to her than meets the eye. She’s insightful, thoughtful and a caring individual which transcends to her stage presence as a highly underrated vocalist everyone needs to know about today. However, the performance of He Is We as a whole? Captivating to say the least.

The first act to play was Lizzy Farrall. She’s had a busy year so far, opening for Seaway on their most recent UK tour, a Tiny Moving Parts sold-out show in Manchester and going to America to work out her next steps. Given her experiences this year, you definitely see she’s a much better and capable performer than before. She released her debut EP: ‘All I Said Was Never Heard’ in January of this year and it’s just that raw emotion which draws you in. Similarly to He Is We, both vocalists have a similar style at the base of their performance but the main difference (other than nationality) is the musical style, but that’s what makes them both stand out as performers to make them all the more inviting to watch on stage. With tracks such as ‘Better Off’ and ‘Broken Toy’, it’s a pleasant experience once again and on the next tour, I’m sure Lizzy will blow us away, with one or two better jokes in mind.

Now the crowd was smaller than I’ve seen at the Think Tank, but that makes it all the more intimate for the evening’s experience. I mean, British crowds are usually a little shy but people could’ve come closer to He Is We. Even though it was a small crowd, they looked as if the place was packed with Rachel talking to everyone in the audience and getting people involved, especially when they decided to perform (I can’t remember off the top of my head what it was so I’m going to compare it to a Riff Off from Pitch Perfect) a riff off, to the delight of fans. Taylor took this to her younger days when she said to her guitar teacher you could use the four chords from any pop song and string them together. Although, please don’t hold me to that, it’s not word for word accurate I’m sure.

The band continued through a catalogue of tracks which would leave anyone envious that they weren’t there. Pushing their vulnerability, at times it felt as if they bore all to the audience, but here that’s where you really admire them because when stripped down to its bare necessities which make He Is We the band that it is.

Honestly, I felt like the show didn’t last nearly as long as I had wanted it to. Before I had to leave, I was pleased to find the fans and the bands interacting with one another as it’s accustomed for artists to rush off after their set to avoid being swamped by fans. Here though, you see these two acts that are extremely down-to-earth and grateful for the support they were receiving.

If I could relive the night again, I’d say 100% yes, please do because this is the sort of gig you come across rarely and for He Is We’s first time performing in the UK, it’s a dream come true for the band and the fans.

Rating: 8/10

 

Lizzy Farrall

He Is We

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