Concert Review: The Neighbourhood
Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU
July 22, 2014
Indie rock superstars, The Neighbourhood, have evolved as a band since the last time they played a show in San Diego. Last October, the band played at the House of Blues in San Diego to a sold out crowd of about a thousand fans. That show was on a Monday. For this show, however, they were able to secure a much larger venue at the heart of SDSU’s campus, the famous Open Air Theatre. The only visible problem was the lack of people in the venue. At most, the band was able to fill the venue to half of its capacity. Several factors could have adversely affected the attendance of this show. For one, the show was on a Tuesday. It’s possible that students at SDSU were too busy studying for their summer classes to go to the show that night. However, for the approximately 2,000 fans that did make it, they were in for a treat.
The lights dimmed at about 10:30PM, and immediately the crowd erupted in excitement, knowing that the time had finally come to see their favorite band. The Neighbourhood, or as the on stage screens displayed, The NBHD, opened up with a powerful performance of the song, “Female Robbery,” off of the album, I Love You. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford used this opportunity to get the crowd pumped for what was to come by yelling, “It looks like a stadium, let’s f*cking act like it!” Needless to say, it worked! The crowd’s response was instant and their cheers could probably be heard all the way to the University of San Diego. Now that the band had the crowd’s attention, the next song seemed pretty appropriate. “Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh)” was the song of choice for The NBHD.
The treat for the diehard fans came during the heart of the show, where the band decided to pepper the set with a few new, unreleased songs to get the fans ready for the upcoming album, which is likely to be called, Black and White. The first new song was “Jealou$y,” which will be released on the band’s sophomore full-length effort. The song, stylistically, demonstrates the band’s efforts to try and expand and experiment with other genres. Featuring a catchy saxophone and hip-hop loops, the band blends the sounds with the traditional soothing elements the band is known for. The Neighbourhood also played a few songs from their EP repertoire, including “A Little Death,” and “West Coast.” During the latter of the two, the crowd felt the song resonate with them since every one in attendance was guilty of being very west coast. They made sure to sing along to this one, exclaiming it was quite a shame they were this way. After these two songs, the band debuted a new song for the crowd, “Lurk.” This song was more traditional in the sense that fans can expect to hear the style that made the band famous in this track. The new songs were greeted with fervor by the fans. The band used this energy to transition to the end of their set. They started playing the infamous tune, “Sweater Weather.” Being exposed to the elements at that time, and with such a chilly night by San Diego standards, fans used this song to embrace the lyrics of the song in their entirety. This was without a doubt the highlight of the show. Based on the crowd passionately singing along, it was clear what song fans have a special place in their hearts for. The NBHD finished off with “Afraid,” and fans made sure to scream at the top of their lungs.
While it’s important to recognize the success of the band and their ambitious efforts to try and play bigger venues, it would be really cool if they consider playing smaller ones that they are sure they can fill up first. While the performance was top notch, nothing beats the feeling of a sold-out environment and everything that comes with it, including the exclusivity, and most importantly, the deafening crowd. Watch out though, the new album just might have what it takes for the band to sell out this venue the next time they come visit America’s Finest City.