White Denim at O2 Academy Liverpool

Posted on 24 February 2019
By Thomas Massam
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Since their 2008 debut, American band White Denim have been blurring the lines between fantasy and reality with their psychedelic-rock music.

Their most recent gig at Liverpool’s O2 Academy is no exception. 

Kicking off the gig with the upbeat ‘Backseat Driver’ from their seventh album Performance, this four-piece band from Texas treat their instruments as though they are parts of their bodies that must be kept sacred.  

The sound of James Petralli’s and Steven Terebecki’s guitars heavily pierce the eardrums of just about everyone in the room, including Petralli himself who admits that he currently has a clogged ear. 

However, you would not have guessed this based on Petralli’s engagement with the audience and the sound.  

With tracks like ‘Had 2 Know (Personal)’ you feel like your stepping back in time to the 70s rock scene. 

Then with the euphoric ‘Mirrored in Reverse,’ it feels like White Denim have travelled from a previous era of rock music to the present, and simultaneously provide us with an insight into the future of rock.

There are moments however where the band’s instruments overshadow Petralli’s vocals, rather than complimenting one another. 

Nevertheless, the standout of the gig comes with ‘A Place to Start,’ which adds a more melancholic tone to the band’s back catalogue with the lyrics “I found a reason to live long ago, I’m still looking for a place to start/The only thing I can give to you are the bits of this broken heart.” 

These raw, vulnerable lyrics allow White Denim to break down the stereotypical rock star persona, showing that it is ok for men to be broken-hearted and that they do not have to “man up” to fit into today’s society.  

Instead, White Denim make getting lost in the music a priority, as exemplified by one of the gig’s last song ‘Fine Slime,’ a more indie-rock banger that permeates the heavier end of the guitar spectrum in both your ears and your mind.

Purple Revolver rating: 3/5 stars