Review: Walk The Moon at the O2 Academy, Bristol

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Walk The Moon performing live in Bristol

Walk The Moon’s supporting band, Colony House, kicked off the night with an impressive sound, a mix between folk and rock with a hint of country flair. The Nashville, Tennessee group were particularly reminiscent of Young the Giant mixed in with a bit of Lawson in places. It was an impressive start to the night in my eyes, but sadly they did not spark the reaction that they truly deserved, a reaction which you could tell they were used to in America. The younger Walk the Moon fans visibly enjoyed the performance but did not get involved with the music as much as older, more confident viewers at a London gig would perhaps have done. The fantastically energetic guitar riffs begged for a mosh pit which sadly never came.

However, they were arguably waiting for the main event to commit fully to the music. Walk The Moon explosively began their set with the song Jenny, a long and exciting track, discussing a particularly lustful crush. It successfully woke up the whole venue as the audience finally got active and started jumping in union. This was continued with further meaningful interaction between performers and fans throughout the gig. The band managed to make me move in ways I’ve never moved before, from the standard clapping, jumping and arms in the air, to meditation and flailing bodies around like seaweed in the ocean during the song ‘Aquaman’. The dancing was a peculiar affair but certainly added to the performance and overall enjoyment of the show.

Fortunately, these intense workouts were spread out evenly within the track list exceptionally well. The indie band guided us through peaks and lulls, allowing spectators to catch their breath in-between the big numbers and in a way that didn’t bore the crowd. The big highlights of the concert consisted of ‘Jenny’, ‘Tightrope’, ‘Up 2 U’, ‘I Can Lift a Car’, ‘Anna Sun’ and of course ‘Shut Up and Dance’. ‘Tightrope’ in particular was the most exciting with the most impressive and biggest difference live compared to on the second album. Insane clapping from fans against the screaming guitar lines sent energy sky high.

The concert also expressed its fair share of visual stimuli. The lighting team did a fantastic job blending a plethora of neon colours which complemented the optimistic and youthful nature of the music itself. However, eye-catching moments took a turn towards hilarity, provided by lead singer Nick. The combination of his bleach-blonde indie Mowhawk waving in the wind along with the occasional nip slip from his tank top provided an unforgettable experience. I truly will never listen to the band in the same way again #FreetheNipple.

Overall, the gig was very enjoyable, improved by the useful design of the O2 Bristol Academy venue. A wide and short stage made the seeing and interacting with the band very accessible on the floor. Followed up by 3 tiers of scaffolding at the back of the arena gave everyone a great view of the event, catering to all fans. The night ended with the lovely sentimental message from the band to take the honest, passionate feeling from their rock and roll, hold on to those emotions and use them to make the world a better place.

Thank you so much Walk the Moon for hosting us. Your lyrics, sound and time you have briefly spent with us have been infectiously uplifting and we hope to do you proud on efforts to fulfil our duty; to use music as an inspiration to make life nicer for everyone.

Alexander Mansfield

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