Concert Review: Walk The Moon, November 4, U Street Music Hall

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One (of the many, many, many) thing(s) that I love about the U.S. of A is the fact that each state has a license plate motto that lets the rest of the country know what’s up. New Hampshire: Live Free or Die (basically: don’t tell ME to put a seatbelt on). Washington DC: Taxation without Representation (read: We’re bitter and here’s why). Idaho: Famous Potatoes (no explanation needed).

My all-time favorite, though, is Ohio whose citizens sport license plate frames that assert: “Heart of it All!” So true. Every American I know, bar none, has friends and/or family from Ohio, been to Ohio, and either loves, or loves to hate, the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

But besides acting as the core of our country, Ohio is also notable for another very important reason: gifting the world with Walk the Moon. The quartet, based in Cincinnati, has made a huge splash in the music scene since their founding in 2008 by lead singer Nicholas Petricca (Kenyon alum, what up small liberal arts crowd!). Their tracks “Anna Sun,” “Dance with Me,” and “Tightrope” are absolutely infectious – capturing everything there is to love about youth, friends, and love itself. The energy in the band’s persona and rhythms, mixed with the nostalgia of first love and stolen kisses their lyrics evoke, make for obsessive listening on their recorded tracks (I’ve been known to listen to Dance with Me on repeat for the first solid hour of being in the office) so I was SUPER pumped to see what the band brought to a live performance.

Oh my goodness but they did not disappoint. Honestly, I usually shy from calling out one bandmember as reason to buy a ticket, but Petricca is worthy of an exception. He’s like David Bowie Version 2.0: super lithe, super slim, magical hips, and dimples you can see from the back of the venue. He moves SO naturally on stage, there’s just obviously no disconnect between the lyrics coming from his mouth, the drum (or tambourine) beat emanating from his hands, and his fancy footwork as he jams out. The man lives his music in the best of ways. To add to the throw-back feeling of the night, the first four rows of fans were all SCREAMING girls, all with the tell-tale under-age “X” on their hand just weeping their feelings as they yelled the lyrics back to their beloved idol. It was like Beatle-mania meets The Thin White Duke. Unreal. Only to become more unreal when Petricca managed to crowd-surf on those first four rows of screaming fans – thank goodness the star must be as light as he looks – those women carried him with pride.

But, like I said, one bandmember can’t be the sole reason to see a show, and the entire band really shone. They were smiling, pumped, and super happy to be there – exuding an energy that permeated the entire crowd. From the opening track of “Tightrope” the band exploded into track after track of their songs, throwing in “Shut up and Dance with Me” towards the middle and finishing with “Anna Sun.”

So, OK, you’ve read this far and I thank you enormously for it. But I’m sure you’re getting fatigued so let me revert to list form to make the end a bit more quick. What were the top highlights of the show? See below:

1) At “Tightrope,” a woman next to me turns to her friend and goes: “This is my ring tone!! MY ringtone! I wonder if I should play it? No… they sound better live I guess.”
2) I honestly and physically couldn’t help jumping up and down and pumping my hands over my head for my favorite tracks.
3) Petricca’s super polite request: “We’re not going to ask you to put away your phones, but, you know, it would be cool if you hung out with us.”
4) The fact that the band played Anna Sun BEFORE the encore. It’s not like anyone was leaving the venue before the last note was played, but I super appreciated the band throwing in their super famous track on the earlier side.
5) Discovering “Next in Line.” Take a listen.
6) Have to give a shout-out to U Street Music Hall too – any and all readers who make it through DC, check this place out. The staff is uber-friendly and the feeling is awesomely intimate.

OK, dropping the mic. Thanks for reading. See Walk the Moon.

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Posted on by halley in Concerts

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