The Neighborhood’s lead vocalist, Jesse Rutherford, greeted the audience coming onto the Commodore Ballroom stage, introduced himself and the 5 member Californian band as if we didn’t know things. But perhaps necessary as he wore a loose flannel over a grey hoodie with hair all outgrown and platinum blonde. You would’ve sworn Rutherford was Kurt Cobain (RIP) from where I stood.
“W.D.Y.W.F.M.” was a strong track to lead the night. An alternative rock-like lullaby that positively stretched his vocal chords. I could finally hear his bandmates’ sing during “Wires” in which Rutherford ended the song with a quick mention of the NBHD’s new album, Wiped Out!, releasing on October 30th. “Prey” being the first record off the upcoming album to be performed, followed by “Baby Come Home”.
There wasn’t a whole lot of audience interaction besides the occasional check-in, “You guys okay?”. However, to my surprise, there was added value in the quality of lighting design and backdrop video production. I couldn’t see much of the their faces since the lighting mostly beamed from behind them. Therefore, we were left to the mystery of their body’s outline performing in the dark. Slight crescendos of light would grow with the sound and their features were visible if only for a split second every other verse. White silhouettes moved against a black background and it matched perfectly to the NBHD’s rich, haunting sound that stirred through the room. Even so in the dim, I could see their demonstrated emotions slathered into each song. It was in the soulful display of their music that allowed for the lighting and video elements to further elevate the intensity that lasted for much of the show.
To introduce “Daddy Issues”, Rutherford asked the room, “Who’s got daddy issues in here?” in which all the strangely proud girls screamed with delight. Whereas I only screamed in my mind like a true lady. Rutherford was left alone onstage for a one man show. One man in a fur coat to compliment his hip-hop influenced mash up of “Lurk”/”Jealou$y”/”Dangerous”/”When I get Back”/”#icanteven” and ‘U&I”. He switched genres so quick and well that I began to think he was a Jamaican Jeremih. Like, how dare I??
At last, “Sweater Weather”. The crowd hugged a little tighter towards the front and phones shot up to press record. “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” closed the show but their energy had yet to fail. I left with a decent amount of feels and just a little faded from what seemed like a dream-like stroll through a mystical cemetery. Too far? Okay.