Not every powerful concert leaves you filled with adrenaline. The Neighbourhood enchanted Newport Music Hall Saturday, but the spell seemed to break when the clock struck 11:08 p.m.
When the opening acts of The Neighbourhood’s The Love Collection tour stop in Columbus came out, though, the evening looked promising.
Ghost Loft, a one-man electronic show, was a strong opener without a single stop between songs. Frontman Danny Choi’s songs were filled with heavy bass, but had a smooth effect that wasn’t rattling like electronic music can be. Ghost Loft was an interesting choice to open for an alternative band, but I felt mellow and satisfied after the act and was ready to see what the night would bring.
A synth-pop band from England called Lovelife was next. The band’s members had lots of energy — they love their music, and even more, they definitely love the spotlight. The act was more exciting than Ghost Loft, but as second opening acts usually leave you feeling, the crowd and I were ready for The Neighbourhood to come out.
And come out it did.
While the venue was still dark, members of the band made their way on stage — but not quietly. The song “Shabba” by A$AP Ferg blasted from the speakers and shook the audience up, increasing the excitement for the main act to start.
From there, the night was a testament to how commanding of a presence The Neighbourhood can have.
The band members were all dressed differently, but were mostly in black, and while the majority of them looked like they were in an alternative band, lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s hip-hop-esque stage presence made him look like he was going to start rapping any minute.
That appearance lends itself to the songs, which all have a thick swaying and headbob-inducing rhythm. Openers “Female Robbery” and “Let It Go” were performed fantastically live — the band members are so confident and comfortable on stage, they could just as easily be playing while kickin’ it in a friend’s living room. They know they’re talented.
Later in the show, The Neighbourhood played a slow, sensual mashup cover of “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake and “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child — easily my favorite part of the show as the crowd swayed and sang along to (my generation’s equivalent of) old time jams.
By closing with “Sweater Weather,” easily the band’s most popular song, the audience was left feeling good, but somehow that didn’t seem to be as powerful as most of the night was.
The crowd at the show came alive with cheering and clapping every chance it could during the evening, but after “Sweater Weather,” everyone streamed outside to start buying T-shirts or heading onto High Street. Perhaps it was partially because there were nine minutes left in the Ohio State football game against Northwestern that had been back and forth all night, but either way, fans just didn’t seem interested in hanging around long.
The evening made for a great October concert, but somehow The Neighbourhood failed to bewitch the audience enough to stick around for an encore.