The Neighbourhood Take Over Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ 2-3-16 w/ Casinos & Hunny

The Neighbourhood Take Over Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ 2-3-16 w/ Casinos & Hunny

The band known as The Neighbourhood has been a rising stock in the Alternative Rock world for the past few years. From Newbury Park, California, they are a group of friends who united to decide that music was their life, and as a result, they yearned to create their own style. With Lead Vocalist Jesse Rutherford, Lead Guitarist Zachary Abels, Rhythm Guitarist Jeremiah Freedman, Bassist Michael Margott, and Drummer Brandon Fried, the Neighbourhood laid the foundation of an undeniable Pop sound set on a driveway of Rock-n-Roll with a cool landscaped front and backyard of Hip-Hop overtures. Quickly distinguishing themselves, they debuted with the album I Love You back in 2012. Topping charts across the world, the album was anchored by a massive hit single in “Sweater Weather,” and as they say, the rest is history. Following heavy touring in 2014 and the early part of 2015, The Neighbourhood took the next step in their career when they released their highly anticipated sophomore album, Wipe Out!, via Columbia Records October 30th. Hitting number 1 on US Alternative Album charts, Wipe Out! has created a trademark image, mood, and sound for the band.

Now looking to pick up where 2015 left off, and daring to raise the bar even higher in 2016, The Neighbourhood continued their touring in February with some shows along the West Coast. With select dates to offer, on Wednesday, February 2nd, The Neighbourhood chose Arizona’s Marquee Theater in Tempe as landing spot to play. A music venue which has become known quickly as the place to be seen, as well as heard, a large gathering arrived for a night of music that included supporting acts Casinos and Hunny. Quickly filling to capacity, Marquee Theater soon had little breathing or dancing room left, as eager fans awaited the show’s start.

Breaking the ice, around 8 PM, Casinos hit the stage. Currently based out of Los Angeles, CA, this interesting musical project consists of Guitarist/Vocalist Kreider Dane, Synth Player/Pianist Rafe Noonan, Drummer Jackson Katz, and Synth Player/Noise Technician Reed Kanter. With a sound that contains all the elements of monotone vocals and shoegazing flat notes, the band has an experimental edge that can not be denied on each of their EPs associated with Danger Collective Records.

Catching the audience off-guard perhaps, Casinos overall intrigued the room as they played seven songs that included single “Catacombs.” Creating a thick atmosphere, the Art Rock band was set to release “An Album” on December 26th, but reported they want to make sure they give audiences the best product, so the release date has been setback. Stay tuned to see what this interesting band has coming up next.

As 9 PM hit, the band known as Hunny took the stage. Also from the Southern California area, Hunny came together in 2014 and can be described as a Rock/Post-Dance Punk-like style band with sounds that bring early Killers to mind, while at other times the throwback moods of The Cure. Made up of Vocalist/Guitarist Jason Yarger, Guitarist Jake Goldstein, Guitarist Jacob Munk, Bassist Gregory Horne, Keyboardist Kevin Grimmett, and Drummer Joey Anderson, the musicians grew up in different bands prior to deciding to unite their talents together in Hunny. Now they look to spread the word, touring about the West Coast, building a fanbase, and what better place then an opening slot for their long-time friends The Neighbourhood.

Grabbing the anxious and ready to rock audience by the heels, Hunny quickly kicked the evening into high gear. The house was packed, the crowd was moving, and the barrier between the stage and fans was doing its best to hold the enthused masses in place. Hunny totally brought their brand of Rock to life right before the audience’s eyes, and many were spotted singing along with the tracks “Cry For Me” and “Natalie.” Continuing along, Hunny possessed a powerful stage presence to match their solid songwriting that features great keyboards, drums, guitar, bass, and their poignant approach to their whole music style. Yarger was the catalyst in front it all, making connection tighter between the band and the audience all set long. In the limited light glowing towards the floor, one could see just how much Hunny’s music was loved. Arms were reaching over the barricade towards Yarger as he leaned forward towards them, and people were swaying and singing along with the lyrics to each song played including “July” and “Parking lot.” Leaving the crowd yearning for more, the question now is when Hunny will put out a full-length record. Hopes are sooner than later, because this young band certainly has something good going on.

As Hunny’s set ended, the restless crowd waited for The Neighbourhood’s arrival. In the meantime, many were singing, laughing, and enjoyed themselves to Hip Hop music playing over the PA during the downtime. Someone even brought a travel size Twister game, which had no place at all to be played on the packed concert floor, but waved it proudly above the crowd. Furthermore, beach balls bounced up and towards the ceilings girders and stage lights, showing the crowd was ready to have a night of fun and be a part of The Neighbourhood.

Then, without further ado, the house lights went down, the stage darkened, and The Neighbourhood climbed on board as the stage began to rock to the sounds of “Greetings From Califournia.” The screams of excitement filled the air as bodies crunched together as many were gyrating, moving, and swaying to the music. Quickly going into “Prey,” before 2012’s I’m Sorry… cut “Baby Came Home,” the band was fully engaged in the music, and so was the audience.  Following up with their debut single “Female Robbery,” the band took it back to the I’m Sorry… EP once more with “Wires.”

Having complete control of the night, the band’s sound flowed like a stream as they went into heavy bass laden “Daddy Issues,” and the laid back beat of “Wiped Out!” as Rutherford continued to sing passionately. Then singing out the words, “She was five foot four with some money on the floor…,” the opening lines to “Baby Came Home 2,” Rutherford further mesmerized the room in a dark, but inviting manner. The haunting track hung over the crowd as Rutherford’s voice danced around the words and the guitars built steadily to the climax. Continuing along, “Cry Baby” possessed a thump of bass with a hip groove that had everyone dancing again.

On a barely lit stage, which was actually so dim that playing one’s instrument or trying not to stumbling over a cord on the floor would be a challenge, Rutherford managed to navigate through the darkness, dancing and singing his way into the audience’s hearts. Abels, Freedman, and Margott were the only narrow spots lit, while Fried’s drum kit location was murky in sight as the filtered lights were even clouded more by the smoke effects. These hushed monotone shades of the band prevailed throughout their whole set. A momentary glimpse of Rutherford here and there  seemed to spur on their adoring fans into wanting more. With that, they were given “The Beach,” “Afraid,” and “Warm.” Then the room lost control during the climatic textures of hit single “Sweater Weather” and the finale of  “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” that built a complete evening for everyone who joined in The Neighbourhood.

With their followers referring to themselves as “Hoodlums,” they are as much a part of the structural hangout of The Neighbourhood as the band themselves. A unified movement is what seems to be very important to the band as a whole. With that said, The Neighbourhood is a community, one that is driven by the moodiness of their music. This latest tour proves the intimacy their fans feel and the honorable sanctity of being a part of their hood. Everyone at Marquee Theatre devoured the newer tunes from The Neighbourhood, singing along, and at one point exuding so much enthusiasm that Rutherford actually paused to ask the audience to make room for each other. Good advice, and again an outstanding way to build a hood of admiring fans by showing concern, caring for their own, and spinning extraordinary tunes to their own unique set of sound-prints. The crowd afterward glowed and basked in perfect satisfaction as they could be heard talking about the performance as they departed from the venue. Now The Neighbourhood set their sights on a Summer tour that kicks off May 6th and runs through June 18th, so get out there and see what all the hoopla is about with this extraordinary band.

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Song River
Song River
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Song River has over thirty years combined experience in photography and writing, from music to politics and everything in between. She is the owner of CowGirlZen Entertainment, a registered business that focuses on photography for both musicians and families, and also offers PR/social marketing/bios/press. Currently a photojournalist for several music magazines and a publicist/A&R for High Road Publicity. In her downtime, you might find her helping the homeless, volunteering to aid the elderly, hiking in the desert mountains, taking care of her family, cooking new dishes, gardening, beach combing, amateur astronomy, and traveling with her Nikon by her side at all times.

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