“…and DANCE!!” And dance they did.
As The Circle of Life from the Lion King blasts through the speakers and the stage is flooded with red and yellow light the audience falls absolutely silent for a second before bursting out in shouts, cheers and yells.
The band walks onto the stage and within seconds of starting to play have raised the energy through the roof. And that is where it stays. Having been described as “an undeniable pop-rock gem” and “an ode to freeing yourself from the shackles of self-consciousness and embracing the present”, Walk the Moon fulfill all expectations.
The band owns the O2 Academy Liverpool stage, clad in glitter and bright colours, predicting the atmosphere and feel of the upcoming gig, which keeps up with them on all things colour and energy. Once the first song, Jenny, has kicked in, the audience, covered in face paint to match the band, is jumping, something that will not stop till the end of the encore. Amping up the crowd with their high energy tunes and bass that goes right through you, the band goes through a few songs before introducing themselves. The shouts and cheers make it clear that there is no need for introductions, the audience is already very familiar with Nicholas, Kevin, Sean and Eli. An audience that is surprisingly varied, with white haired heads on the sides of a crowd made up of teens as young as 14 and couples that could easily be their parents.But no matter the age of the audience members, everyone enjoys themselves equally as much as the band. Which is a lot.
Nick Petricca, the band’s lead singer, frequently takes the time between songs to thank the audience, letting us know how happy they are to be in Liverpool. As we get half way through the energetic performance Petricca, now shirtless under his pink sequined blazer, commands the audience to “push all the negativity out of your bodies and up”. Satisfied with the audience that is now clear of negativity and has raised its arms collectively, Petricca and the band launch into their next song. This power the band shows over the audience is demonstrated throughout the gig, Eli Maiman and Kevin Ray regularly making the audience jump, wave their arms or sing louder with a simple wave of their hands. This effortless control not only shows the fans commitment to the band but also the skill this band presents while performing, knowing exactly how to steer and please the crowd.
As soon as the last notes of the final song, their number one hit Shut Up and Dance, have played the audience shows just how much they appreciated the band, their efforts, music and skill by immediately chanting for more. Continuing on the give and take relationship the band has established with the audience throughout the gig they almost immediately return to give the crowd their wish. Playing Shiver Shiver before covering Let’s dance as a tribute to David Bowie, the band continues to work the audience into a sweat, dancing and jumping to the catchy tunes. As they close with another of their hit songs, Anna Sun, the bass and beat can be heard and felt all the way at the coat check, a fitting ending that summarizes the gig well.
Photo credit: Lorna Gibson Media