With a late start and a line that wrapped around the block, the Fox Theater was abuzz with excitement for The Neighbourhood’s show last Saturday. With their sophomore album, Wiped Out (2015), dropping at the end of the week this show marked one of their later stops in the US portion of “The Flood Tour.” Accompanying The Neighbourhood on this tour were fellow SoCal bands HUNNY and Bad Suns.
Oftentimes, the words “moody” and “brooding” come to mind when describing The Neighbourhood’s music, but with the number of teenage girls in the crowd, their piercing screams, and their hand-made signs, the five-man group is certainly beginning to live up to their self-proclaimed title of “the modern boyband”.
Dressed in black, the band and front man Jesse Rutherford made their way to the stage amidst flashing white lights, adhering to the band’s staunch determination to maintain a black and white aesthetic.
Beginning with “WDYFM,” there was no interlude from sound; whether that sound be Rutherford’s smooth vocals or the screams from the crowd. After performing older songs “Let It Go” and “Wires,” material from Wiped Out finally made an appearance with the single “Prey.” As hit “Afraid” came on, the crowd responded immediately with nearly everyone singing along.
Despite his bad boy persona (made complete with his numerous tattoos and piercings), Rutherford revealed a softer side when he paused the show midway through “Beach” as apparently a fan had collapsed in the front. As the EMTs made their way to attend to the fan, an opportunity opened for more personal interaction between the band and crowd, albeit this was done mostly through a barrage of candy being thrown onto stage accompanied by numerous shouts of ‘I love You’ from the crowd.
After about ten or fifteen minutes, Rutherford wanted to ensure that the fan was alright before resuming the show with a “fun” track. After the green light, he led the crowd into murky territory, delving into a more noise/experimental-esque track. The crowd was visibly subdued as the onslaught of noise and flashing lights continued. During this track, vocals took the backstage in contrast with typical NBHD.
Following the experimental track, the crowd seemed to collectively release a sigh of relief as Rutherford’s vocals made a return with “Warm.” As the night drew to a close, there was a brief pause in what seemed like an attempt to fool the audience before “Sweater Weather” came on. Cell phones lit up the floor like Christmas lights as the entire crowd sang along to the hit in unison.
The very last song of the night was “R.I.P 2 My Youth,” the most popular single released off of Wiped Out. Typical of The Neighbourhood policy, any chance of an encore was squashed as the lights came on immediately after they left the stage.
This show proved that alongside their youth, the Neighbourhood is also laying to rest their gloomy rock image, especially with their upcoming album, and beginning to embrace boyband-level stardom in their own edgy gray scale way.
Article and Photos by Isaac Yi.