Walk the Moon’s quick assent into pop-rock culture prominence could, on the surface, be attributed to their viral video release for their massive hit single “Anna Sun.” Though much could be said about this song’s memorable chorus and direct lyrics, which discuss a need to escape from a destructive world to be present and youthful, the band has another talent that could mean the difference between becoming a “radio band” and an unstoppable force. They put on a damn good live show, as proven by their pitch-perfect acoustic performance for a group of lucky radio contest winners and friends at the 987 Penthouse at the historic Hollywood Tower last week.
Upon arriving at the historic Hollywood Tower, I was greeted by valet parking, free food and drinks, and a spectacular view of Hollywood at sunset. An hour of mingling before the show just added to the suspense of the performance to come, and I used the opportunity to snap a couple pre-show pictures before the event coordinators led us onto a balcony where the stage was located. A couple of microphones, a shaker, and a guitar sat scattered on the stage, as well as several old hard-shell suitcases, which were later revealed to be a makeshift drum kit.
98.7 FM jock Tobi introduced Walk the Moon, and the band — comprised of lead singer Nicholas Petricca, guitarist Eli Maiman, bassist Kevin Ray, and drummer Sean Waugaman — took the stage, kicking off the show with “Tightrope,” a fitting song to reel in the crowd with the group’s harmonious voices and upbeat sound. Between songs, the band discussed their new music video for said track, slated to be filmed in Los Angeles, and expressed their excitement for this project.
Tobi bantered with the band about all things Midwest, their pleasant disposition, and their excitement for the MTV Video Music Awards. The band then played “Next in Line” and “Quesadilla” with effortless precision. Etherial acoustic guitar strums hung in the atmosphere as a wave of energy bounced throughout the crowd during these two songs. “Next in Line” particularly accentuated Nicolas Petricca’s expert vocal control and ability to harmonize smoothly with the rest of the band.
Tobi next discussed Ohio culture with the band, which included an in-depth discussion about the famous culinary classic Cincinnati Chili. The discussion then shifted to the topic of favorite moments while being in the band. Nicholas Petricca, without hesitation, mentioned the PS22 children’s choir from New York as a highlight. The choir performed an emotionally charged and uplifting version of the hit track “Anna Sun” with the band, which can be seen here:
The choir also sang a version of “Tightrope” and “I Can Lift a Car,” both of which organically culminate in standing and clapping out of pure enjoyment. These kids are talented. I’m not jealous or anything.
Walk the Moon rounded out their acoustic set with “Shiver Shiver,” “I Can Lift a Car,” and “Anna Sun.” The set may have felt short, but the impact of a night filled with rich and authentic music lasted well into the valet parking pickup line. The band members’ genuine good nature and love for performing came through in their concert. They even let us take pictures with them after the show, which further highlighted their veritable good nature. I’m the one with my thumbs energetically in the air. Nerd.
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