Venue: Fort Canning Park, Singapore
Date: 19th January 2016
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Anna F.
2015 was undoubtedly the year for Walk the Moon. They kicked it off with the North American “Talking is Hard” Tour and visited Australia and Japan thereafter but mainly focused on their home fan base. They also made multiple television appearances, performed at the American Music Awards and received three nominations as well. Luckily for us, the waves of success which they have been riding on since releasing their third studio album with the same name, allowed them to dip their feet in waters further from home. The band is currently embarking on the #TALKINGISHARD Tour, which saw three dates in Japan before they brought the face paint and dance beats to our shores.
The quartet, comprised of frontman and flashy keyboard extraordinaire, Nicholas Petricca, bass-master, Kevin Ray (endearingly nicknamed Kevin Bae), professional axe wielder, Eli Maiman, and the man keeping it tight behind the kit, Sean Waugaman, was formed in 2008 out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Having opened for a long list of bands before, they seem to be embracing the limelight, headlining at festivals and shows all around the world.
Fans began queuing as early as 10.30AM and if that is not a testament to how loved these guys are, then I don’t know what is. They hung in there, through the thick (read: rain) and thin, occupying themselves by painting each other’s faces (some even brought their own paint!) and getting to know other people in the queue. It was quite the sight to see everyone’s faces creatively adorned with neon dots and stripes. And how often do you get to see face painting services at concerts?!
At about 8PM, homegrown band Take Two took to the spotlight, and completely dominated the stage in their own way with their atmospheric and intense vibes gelling well together. I was quite pleasantly surprised with the nuanced elements and minor details they infused into their live performance and the dedication they put into putting on a memorable experience even for those who may have never heard of the band’s originals before.
Then came the moment we were all waiting for, some for over ten hours. As the recognizable “Circle of Life” introduction resonated through the air amidst frantic screams and the smoke machines fired up, the band came out in all their glory, donning face paint themselves. United we all stood, and as Petricca put it, “strangers no longer”.
One of the most special moments of the night included a very unpredictable but rehearsed Star Wars-themed guitar solo during the bridge of “Work This Body”, one even Han Solo would be proud of (I’m sorry). The guys were very playful on stage and genuinely surprised and grateful to be playing to 2000 people in “a place so frickin’ far away” from where they grew up. Kevin was so enamored by the reaction that they were receiving that at one point he just gazed into the crowd with awe and shook his head saying, “You’ve made us feel like family. I can’t wait to come back.”
The band did everything right. They even paid tribute to the late David Bowie, whom Nick called a “teacher” by covering his 1983 hit, “Let’s Dance”. It was only fitting that the guys completely let loose and busted out all their moves, letting go of all their inhibitions and just enjoying the moment, along with every single one of their fans.
Before launching into one of my personal favorites, “I Can Lift A Car”, Nick gave a speech about lifting each other up, empowerment and celebrating difference in their own version of an initiation ceremony, which felt uplifting, calming and spiritual. This is what I love most about Walk the Moon – they celebrate difference and individuality and aren’t afraid of being themselves, and through their music, encourage us to celebrate each other as well. It was refreshing to see and experience in person. They ultimately succeeded in rallying everyone to forget about their troubles and worries in life. Half way through the song, Nick jumped into the crowd, only to be supported by one lucky audience member, whose hand he held for a good minute for support.
In December 2014, the band released their second major-label studio album, Talking Is Hard, containing everyone’s beloved and extremely groovy summer anthem, “Shut Up and Dance”. The track received immense popularity and charted at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number 1 on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart and Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. The hit got everyone jumping, dancing and singing along. Nick’s tantalizing yet corny dance moves earned excited squeals and cheers from the crowd every time he swayed his hips a little or did a 360° twirl. Manning the side drum beside him and a tambourine as well as a shaker at certain points, he kept everyone’s energy up and just looked amazing with that Paddle Pop-cotton candy inspired hair.
Ahhh…the iconic W+M song every fan completely adored before “Shut Up and Dance” succeeded in their quest for world domination and obliterated the airwaves – “Anna Sun”. As their go-to encore tune, they went back to their roots and it was clear that this was the crowd favorite after SUAD, with everyone’s lips moving in sync with Petricca’s, regardless of the fact that the verses are a mouthful.
From diehard Walk the Moon fans to Bring Me the Horizon fans who were there just for fun (those who purchased BMTH tickets were allowed free entry, after the show was postponed), it was evident that this band, still in the nascent stages of their career, charmed the audience with their cheesy dance moves, high-octane hits and energetic stage presence, leaving everyone feeling not only over the moon, but on top of the world.