I stumbled across WALK THE MOON just a couple of years ago: a super-fun indie pop rock band based in Cincinnati, Ohio. You’ve seen them live at SXSW, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza (and read about them in Esquire, Nylon, Rolling Stone, and SPIN Magazine), but I saw them for the first time at their Homecoming 2011 show at the Madison Theater (the day after Thanksgiving 2011), as well as when they were at the Madison this past November 2012.
[WALK THE MOON is the first band I’ve seen live in concert more than one time. See, I’ve made it my personal mission to see all my favorite bands live at least one time if I ever have the chance and, well, WTM is cool enough I’ve seen them twice. And I plan on seeing them as many times as I possibly can for as long as I possibly can—so until they get so popular that tickets are too expensive for me to purchase to see them at the acoustic hellhole I like to call US Bank Arena. I digress.]
Both times I’ve seen them, the entire set has been very high energy and so much fun. I even looked at my friend at one point during my first tryst and said, “I am so happy!” with a huge, stupid grin on my face. And I was. Both of these shows took me to some kind of happy place that I feel only WALK THE MOON can. Their “swirly pop beats, infectious guitar riffs, and loud, sing-a-long choruses” have me lovestruck.
Date (accompanied myself and a friend this past November) so aptly put it best when he proclaimed that WTM is one of those bands that’s a bit infectious and wonderful to listen to, but you fall even more in love with them when you see them live. In Layman’s terms: a live show can make or break a band. A live show definitely makes WALK THE MOON.
Honorable mention: There aren’t many tracks that I dislike. In fact, I’d even say that—on most days—I rarely skip any while listening. Surprisingly, however, “Liftaway” is one of those songs that completely blew me away when I saw it live. Perhaps it’s just a fantastic, upbeat, fun way to get a show started, but its rhythmic drum beats and sing-songy lyrics encapsulate its viewers and sing-alongers. It helps that Nick, the lead singer, even busts out his own drum part while carrying the crowd through this fun, infectious ditty.
Instagram: @wtmkevin, WTM’s bassist, follows me on Instagram. If that doesn’t make me a celebrity by association, I don’t know what does. (If you aren’t following Kevin or @walkthemoonband on Instagram, you should.)
Most crowd interactive: No surprise here, “I Can Lift A Car” is one of the most entertaining songs WTM performs. It garners the most crowd participation, and it’s a ton of fun. I’ve definitely found myself having one of those “I’m so happy I could burst” moments both times I’ve been so lucky to have seen it live.
Popularity: WTM is one of those really rare bands that I want to get so unbelievably popular and I willingly and unconditionally want them to do so. There. Any pre-conceived notions that I may be a hipster are now null and void.
Talent: They’re actually talented! From what I’ve read and understand, most of the band studied Music Theory. They know what they’re doing and it shows.
The venue: Perhaps it’s the original charm that resonates even in music that reflects the modern times, but there is something so great about a 20th century one-screen movie theater that has been transformed into a 21st century music venue. I’ve only been to Madison Theater a few times—most notably for Method Man and Redman and more recently for Cincinnati treasure, ahem, WALK THE MOON. The acoustics are pretty great as well as the lighting. With a capacity of about 1,200, this venue enjoys the unique feeling of housing a sizable crowd but with defined intimacy, and I think that is one of the more pronounced highlights this venue has to offer.
Even if they’re not your thing to listen to regularly, if you ever have the chance to see them live, make it happen. While “Anna Sun” was written to symbolize youth (according to lead singer, Nicholas Petricca), you can say the same thing about every song on their albums and every track they perform. “It’s about college, about maintaining that little bit of being a kid,” Petricca said.
“Don’t be afraid to play.”