Live review: Twin Atlantic @ Barrowlands


by Nathan Matheson, @Nathan_Matheson

Following the release of album GLA, celebrating the city and people of Glasgow, there was only one option for the venue to showcase the much-anticipated masterpiece.  None other than the world famous Barrowland Ballroom. With three sold out shows, this turned out to be the perfect homecoming for the Twin Atlantic lads.

Arriving at the third and final show, there was a real buzz in the air. The boys had given it their all the last two nights, so had to pull something special tonight to top it all off. I’ve seen Twin Atlantic many times, but tonight was next level. This is what they have been working towards. All of the risks associated with this album have paid off and these shows have really proven that.

Opening with the ferocious Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator, frontman Sam McTrusty commands the stage, showing off his natural Glaswegian swagger.  They waste no time, diving next into You Are the Devil, the song that sparked this new direction for the band, full of big riffs and even bigger vocals. The anthemic chorus and upbeat rhythms of The Chaser have the whole room alive and full of energy.

Not to hang onto the new album for too long, they move through some hits from their back catalogue, each receiving a rapturous response. As always, Free is a poignant moment in the show, with every single person screaming the chorus right back at them.

McTrusty explains that the band are playing different old rarities every night, in honour of those attending more than one of the dates. Tonight, the crowd’s reaction to Audience and Audio proves that even their oldest material is still adored.

The final track on GLA, Mothertongue, creates a truly special moment in the show.  McTrusty tells the audience that it’s one of the most personal songs on the album, tackling issues with identity and accepting the positive aspects of what he’s spent his life running from. Even stripped back to raw vocals and his guitar, the energy and passion he gives is incredible. This passion is matched by the Glasgow audience, as they follow the lyrics word for word, hearts full with emotion and pride.

Continuing with the stripped back theme, next is Crash Land, no Twin Atlantic show is complete without it, especially in Glasgow. It was a highly poignant performance and there were very few dry eyes in the house.

Once everyone has wiped their tears, the guys turn it back up a good few notches with an incredible rendition of Ex El truly showing off a completely different side to their song writing; McTrusty’s vocals are a real highlight on this track.

A quick dash through the singles from the band’s previous album Great Divide and there’s just time for one more. Bassist Ross McNae starts the thunderous riff of No Sleep and the room goes into a frenzy. McTrusty loses the guitar and joins the fun by getting down into the crowd before launching himself into a crowd surf as he screams out the chorus.

Overall the night was an absolute triumph. The boys have given everything they have over the last three nights. This is everything they have ever wanted, and they bloody well deserve it. You could still feel the buzz from everyone as they left, each hoping that it wouldn’t be too long until they can do it all over again.