Walk the Moon have become known for their catchy and upbeat songs almost as much as for their colorful and vivid shows reminiscent of a Lisa Frank drawing. On Tuesday night (Oct. 13), the Ohio-based band landed in Miami Beach for their first show ever at The Fillmore Miami Beach.
Kicking off the evening was California-based group HOLYCHILD. The duo, who met in a dance class, is made up of singer Liz Nistico and multi-instrumentalist Louie Diller. Their stage presence, especially Nistico, was not to be missed. Dressed in a Boho version of Princess Jasmine’s attire in Aladdin, Nistico showed the crowd just how into her own music she was, dancing around the stage while Diller, who was dressed in a sweater with a massive hamburger on his chest, played his own instruments.
While their stagemanship was energetic and vivid, the same cannot be said about their stage lighting. For a venue with a dark paint job, it was not ideal to have the duo perform in predominately dark lights. For audience members nowhere near the front of the stage, and the photographers alike, it became a particularly difficult task to see the band members on stage. But while some were bothered by the unfortunate lighting situation, it didn’t seem to bother those at the front of the barricades singing and dancing throughout the whole set.
Once their set ended, that stage went dark allowing Walk the Moon’s technicians to get to work setting up the stage for the band. Knowing that waiting for a set change is a particularly daunting and boring task, especially for the fans who had been waiting since three in the afternoon, the venue put on a playlist consisting of electro-pop groups with music styles similar to Walk the Moon.
When Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” blasted through the speakers, a massive sing-along ensued with the crowd’s joint voices almost drowning out the actual song. Once “Safe and Sound” ended, Elton John’s “Circle of Life” soon filled the room. The song was an indication that the band was about to hit the stage.
Hidden by the dark blue lights illuminating the stage, the members of Walk the Moon made their way to their rightful places on the stage during the Lion King song. The subdued moment didn’t last long as the band quickly launched into the first song of the evening, “Jenny.” Quickly, everyone in the room began to realize that this was not a show that was going to lose its high energy, liveness.
During “Jenny,” frontman Nicholas Petricca was so in the zone that at one point it appeared that he was grinding against his keyboards. Not to be outdone by their frontman, guitarist Eli Maiman and bassist Kevin Ray ran up and down the stage like a bunch of children who drank one too many Red Bulls earlier in the day. Not to be left out was drummer Sean Waugaman with his purple hair and turquoise lit drum set, banging his drums and cymbals to the beat of the first song of the night.
After playing through “Sidekick” and “Avalanche” from 2014’s Talking is Hard, the album the tour is named after, Petricca admitted that this was their first show in the “Magic City.” It was true. When they opened for Panic! at the Disco during 2014’s “The Gospel Tour,” the show took place in Boca Raton while their sold out show earlier this year was at Ft. Lauderdale’s Revolution Live. Petricca also admitted how much he liked Miami because it was a “melting pot” full of “different colors”; a direct lead-in for their current single, “Different Colors.”
The setlist mainly consisted of songs from Talking is Hard including “UP2U,” “Work That Body,” Portugal,” and “Aquaman,” but managed to add some songs from their self-titled debut like “Tightrope,” “Lisa Baby,” and “I Can Lift a Car.” The last song on their official setlist was the one that earned them massive popularity and resulted in the song spending a history-making 27 consecutive weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot Rock Song chart; “Shut Up and Dance.” The song stayed true to its title, making everyone in the crowd get up and dance, including a couple of security guards and fire rescue personnel.
Once the song ended, the four-piece walked off stage, but the crowd was not happy about that. Instead, they began to chant “Anna Sun”; arguably the band’s breakout song and the one track they had yet to play. For what was probably the shortest pre-encore break, the band came back onto the stage for their encore set. Petricca spoke to the audience, thanking them for coming out on a rainy Tuesday evening and even showing off some of his Spanish; “To all our friends from south of the border, gracias por venir.” After the thanks, they launched into “We are the Kids” also off of Talking is Hard.
Once “We are the Kids” had concluded, Walk the Moon didn’t waste any time and launched directly into the song that everyone, or at least the vast majority of the audience, was waiting for, “Anna Sun.” Proving that these were not just a group of people here for the “one hit,” the medley of voice sang the lyrics alongside Petricca until the very last word. After throwing some guitar picks, a Styrofoam plate with the setlist written on it, and what was appeared to be a drum head into the crowd, the band bid their final farewell to the dissipating crowd before them. As they made their way off the stage to the backstage area, the crowd of fans that still lingered made their own ways to the exit, signaling the end to another concert at The Fillmore.