Walk the Moon at First Avenue, 6/14/12

Walk the Moon
With Morning Parade
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Thursday, June 14, 2012

The passing of the face paint has become something of a ceremonial tradition for Walk the Moon fans. Following the example of band members, fans passed blue face paint and decorated their faces with stripes, dots and other designs before the group took the stage.

The face paint, set lists written on paper plates and dance moves individual to each band member all proved Walk the Moon is clearly out to have a good time. The group's percussion-heavy, dancey songs brought a playful energy well matched by the audience of their First Avenue show Thursday evening. It was clear the members love what they do and wanted to share their passion with the crowd, and the face painted and dancing audience seemed to get the message loud and clear.  

The four Cincinnati natives; vocalist Nicholas Petricca, bassist Kevin Ray, drummer Sean Waugaman and guitarist Eli Maiman, have been touring almost non-stop the last few months. Prior to their own Summer Naked Feet Tour, they were on the road with Young the Giant and the Kaiser Chiefs and played at Sasquatch Music Festival, and they'll open for Fun. this fall. All of this experience makes for a well-crafted set.

Throughout the show, band members kept energy levels high despite the relatively small crowd by encouraging clapping and singing along to the songs and jumping around the stage, including on the speakers at one point.

Alternative, up-beat tracks like "Tightrope" and "Anna Sun," the song from their viral video, are what the group has became known for. They did a fantastic job of giving new listeners a preview of their recorded tracks while also allowing fans to hear different versions of fan favorites.

They also previewed a few songs from their upcoming self-titled album, set to be released by RCA Records on Tuesday. The album includes new recordings of tracks from their first album, i want! i want!, their recent EP and a few new songs.

The highlight of the concert was definitely the sync of the band and crowd's enthusiasm for "I Can Lift a Car" and "Anna Sun." With their quirky lyrics, Petricca's falsetto, and Ray dancing on the speaker, the audience sang and clapped along.

Some of the most enjoyable moments of the set, however, were when the band changed the tempo. They revisited "Iscariot," a slow number from their first album that showcased the vocal talents of the group. They also did a fantastic cover of Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal" by adding a dance beat and a distinctly Walk the Moon sound while retaining the original version's poignant melody.

The opening act, Morning Parade, was another pleasant surprise. The Essex, England natives made a good pair with Walk the Moon because of their slightly more classical rock, but still youthful, sound. While the audience wasn't familiar enough with the group's music to sing along with any of their songs, the crowd warmed up to them and was clapping along throughout their eight-song opening.

Critic's Notebook

Overheard: "Let the spirit of rock move with you and just sing along," Petricca before launching into the first encore

Personal Bias: I went with two friends and this was the third time and third state in less than two months that one of them had seen Walk the Moon perform. She has also met them a few times and has shirts and a pair of converse signed by them. While I love their music, I was even more inclined to see them live after hearing how friendly they are to fans. Though I grew up in Minneapolis, Walk the Moon's concert was my first show at First Avenue and I'm so glad my first concert there was a group with such obvious passion for their music and sharing it with the audience.

The Crowd: Small but energetic, ready to dance, young and covered with face paint

Creepiest Moment: The sudden game of human bumper cars started by a group of teenagers or the two forty-something women who were slowly trying to push their way to the front, you choose.


The Liftaway


Next in Line


Tete- a- tete


Lisa Baby




I Can Lift a Car

Anna Sun



White Winter Hymnal (cover of Fleet Foxes)

Me and All My Friends

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