On Monday night, crowds and taxis filled the street outside the Grace Cathedral, where fans were lining up to get into the Masonic Theater. The evening air held their anticipation of performances by Saint Motel and Walk the Moon.
Saint Motel started the night off early and properly. At first, Saint Motel seemed unable to match the energy of the crowd; this was especially noticeable during songs like “Benny Goodman.” As they proceeded through the set, this problem quickly faded away as frontman A/J Jackson rallied the crowd with his piano and shining bubbly personality. Jackson could not hide his incessant smile under his straw hat and was easily the jolliest man in the building. Simply hearing him speak and sing brought a smile to every audience member’s face.
The band mostly kept to songs from their My Type EP playing through hits like “Cold Cold Man,” “Ace in the Hole.” Of course, they closed with the iconic “My Type.” What set this group apart was their incorporation of horns to their arsenal: almost every song is not only centered around Jackson’s keyboard playing, but also around the powerful interjecting sounds of the saxophone and trumpet. The rolling solos and chemistry between these wind instruments met beautifully for “My Type” and “Ace in the Hole.”
After a surprisingly quick set change, Walk the Moon appeared on stage. The four-piece somehow actively dominated the large Masonic stage and created an energy comparable to that of an entire marching band. Without saying a thing, the band immediately started with their harder, upbeat tracks like “Jenny.” For the most part, the band adapted hits from their first album to fill spaces between songs from Talking is Hard (2014).
For each song, every member put on his own show in his respective corner of the stage. This energy made tracks like “Up 2 U” and “Down in the Dumps” some of the best parts of the performance. At one point, during “Tightrope,” Nicholas Petricca sung lead vocals and worked the keyboard with one hand while also hitting a small set of drums with his other hand. While this was enlivening, it made it seem as though there was a lack of chemistry and cohesiveness in behavior; his bandmates were spotlighting themselves, doing their own thing elsewhere.
Nevertheless, the night was redeemed in the grandiose way that all Walk the Moon shows end: Petricca brought the croud together and “initiated” them by having everyone expel their negative energy. He translated this into finding inner happiness, which the crowd ate up. This euphoria persisted to the show’s close.
Walk the Moon continue their tour with Saint Motel for Talking is Hard in the US until early November. They then set off to Europe and South America to finish off the tour around late March.
Article by Arnav Chaturvedi