Anna Cieslik ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
If I had to describe the Walk The Moon and Pacific Air concert January 24th at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club in one word, it would simply be “fun.” Despite the frigid temperatures outside, both bands successfully brought a fun, energetic vibe to the club.
Pacific Air opened the show with an eclectic performance that set an appropriate tone for the rest of the concert. The band, which has only been around for seven months, had surprising control of the stage and managed to get the crowd dancing and clapping along to the songs. Ryan Lawhon, the singer and guitarist, regularly conversed with the crowd and kept them laughing in between songs. Lawhon accurately summed up the entire concert when he proclaimed, “let’s have fun tonight,” before the band finished their set.
While the band’s commanding stage presence was a definite asset to their live show, perhaps Pacific Air’s greatest decision was to play songs featuring a wide range of tempos and instruments. The band features lyrics, keys, bass, drums, and guitar on every song, but on multiple occasions, they brought out unique instruments like wooden flutes and a variety of percussion instruments like bells. This eclectic mix of sounds helped the band’s indie pop sound stand out from other bands of the same genre.
Pacific Air got the crowd at Paradise Rock Club pumped up and dancing, but it was Walk The Moon that really got them going. The band played into the fun atmosphere created by Pacific Air by starting their set with a recording of the theme song from Will Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The all-ages crowd, which ranged in age from preteens to mid-twenties and older, burst out into laughter upon hearing this and the light-hearted atmosphere of the show only increased from there.
As Walk The Moon continued to play, the cold temperatures outside were quickly forgotten and the club began to feel more like an outdoor summer music festival. Beach balls were being bounced around in the audience and the band members ran around on stage in tank tops and face paint.
The band played a good mix of songs, but it became apparent as the show progressed that Walk The Moon is not trying to impress their audience with dramatic, complex musicianship. Most of the songs seemed to stick to a rather basic set of chords and typical pop lyric topics about love and being young. By the end of the set, Walk The Moon’s songs all started to blend together and sound the same. With that said, the band had an impressively tight sound and it was clear that they practiced together enough to avoid being sloppy.
Although there is not a lot of depth to Walk The Moon’s lyrics and music, their strength lies in their ability to connect with the crowd. Before playing “Me and All My Friends,” lead singer Nicholas Petricca declared that the song was for everyone in the crowd and asked them to sing along with the chorus. Later, Petricca also asked everyone to “be human, be messed up, be weird, be happy” and it appeared as though the crowd took his words to heart. The crowd of people laughing and dancing in tie-dye, sequins, and face paint set a definite carefree vibe in the club.
Pacific Air and Walk The Moon worked wonderfully together and successfully created a great dance party at the Paradise Rock Club. Both bands played it safe in terms of musicianship, but that was more than okay because they made up for it with their commanding stage presence and danceable songs.