Mystery Jets @ O2 Academy Oxford – 4/11/2012

A sweet, chilled-out vibe is the embodiment of Mystery Jets’ fourth album, Radlands. Although the album hasn’t been a chart-topping success, it has led to some great musical endeavours for the band, such as performing the new material at several festivals over the summer and smashing the main stage at Reading. Mystery Jets were therefore well prepared for their long autumn tour across the UK, and was Oxford the first stop.

At first, I was slightly concerned about the lack of people at the gig. Then I noticed that the small audience was probably due to the mediocre support acts. The crowd during The Nights was extremely passive and the band clearly picked up on this, making awkward comments and perhaps worsening the situation. The second support act, Temples, looked as if they had taken ‘embrace messy hair’ to a completely new level. The band sounded as if they had a lot of repressed teenage angst and used the power of reverb to articulate that, but I think the crowd, for the most part, spent their time deliberating the band’s appearance…

Finally 9:30pm arrived. The lights went off and a dim, dark stage was presented. A deep purple light was projected onto the stage and the audience was teased with pre-recorded music. When Mystery Jets finally walked on- stage, screams of “I love you” resonated and smiles of contained enthusiasm were pasted on everybody’s faces. My personal favourite, ‘Someone Purer’, was played first and Blaine Harrison absolutely killed it. Throughout the whole gig, I was truly mesmerised by the band’s constant energy. I also think that guitarist and fellow vocalist William Rees deserves to be highly commended for his generally outstanding performance. As far as guitarists go, he was definitely the most dedicated and passionate one I have ever seen. When Rees announced, “We feel like coming home when we play in Oxford”, the connection between the band and the crowd was really ignited.

A typical encore followed chants of “we want more, we want more.” When the band returned, the melody of ‘Two Doors Down’ began: arguably the band’s most famous song. Sadly, this was the beginning of the realisation that the gig was soon to be over. I think it is fair to say that everyone took the opportunity to let themselves go and celebrate the return of Mystery Jets to Oxford. I hope we did the band proud and gave them the upmost confidence on the first day of their Radlands tour. Please visit again soon!