Editor’s Note: This article contains explicit language.
Correction: Prior to this correction it was reported The Neighbourhood’s two albums were “Let it go” and “Female Robbery.” These are in fact song titles – not the names of albums.
Jesse Rutherford, lead singer of The Neighbourhood, wore Adidas sweat pants, an “I Heart US” T-shirt and his signature sunglasses.
The venue was the intimate 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., on a rainy Tuesday evening.
The set opened with strobe lights and the song, “What Do You Want from Me,” and concluded with the hit “Sweater Weather.”
An anxious and energetic crowd of hipsters and music lovers, all of whom yearned to be taken into a dream world by Rutherford’s powerful vocals and Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels’s instrumental talents, welcomed them.
The show’s set list incorporated new tracks, which will appear on the band’s upcoming album to be released Oct. 30, in addition to hits such as “Let it Go” and “Female Robbery.”
— The Writer’s Bloc (@umdwritersbloc) September 30, 2015
Rutherford belted out the ballad “Baby Came Home,” hitting every high note and allowing his voice to pierce through the sounds of the electric guitars, synthesizers and percussion, leaving listeners with a chilling yet satisfying echo.
After “Baby Came Home” came the band’s most intense and powerful song, “Afraid,” which viscously describes the singer’s insecurities and paranoia. Upon hearing the bending guitar intro, fans immediately raised their hands in admiration and finished the song’s infamous line “Fuck You Anyway” each time Rutherford backed away from the mic.
Then the band briefly disappeared from the stage. Rutherford returned alone, performing some of the band’s newest hip hop singles, or as he put it “trying something new.”
He effortlessly took ownership of the small stage throughout the set—snapping his fingers and dancing to the music—exuding an incredibly confident, entertaining stage presence that left the audience hanging onto his every word.
Five out of the six members of the first show’s opening act, Hunny, vaguely resembled early, pre-Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, each fighting his own battle of long, sweaty hair versus clear vision, while wearing baggy T-shirts and ripped jeans. The up-and-coming band took the stage with an alternative rock, indie sound and mesmerized the crowd of the then half-filled venue.
Hunny’s lead singer looked as though he just walked out of the 1980s, sporting a yellow smiley face earring in one ear, a choker necklace, painted fingernails and a baggy sweater. He passionately sang each song with sensual gestures, vocals and body language, with his lips caressing the microphone in a way that every girl would expect from her significant other.
Hunny later offered exclusive pre-ordered EP’s for audience members, explaining that the only CD’s they had left were those with their “stupid autographs on them,” after having sold out during a previous show in Florida.
The second opener, Bad Suns, amped up the energy of the venue as more audience members filed in, playing dance anthems such as “Cardiac Arrest” and “Salt.” Lead singer Christo Bowman gyrating his hips and pointing to lucky members in the crowd, broke the audience’s trance from the previous performance, promising that the band would “keep playing as long as you guys keep dancing.”
Bowman’s exceptional vocals in accompaniment with his skilled guitar playing proved impressive, resulting in him having a visible effect on the audience. The removal of his leather jacket evoked screams from audience members and one lucky fan obtained bragging rights after having held his hand for 20 seconds upon his entrance into the first row of the crowd.
Upon the resolution of the concert, fans left 9:30 with satisfaction in their eyes, a ringing in their ears, songs in their heads and the desire to relocate to Southern California.
Jordan Stovka is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.