By AMANDA MCCULLOUGH
While Walk the Moon prepared themselves to go on stage, face paint was being passed around the ground floor of the 9:30 Club. On Sept. 26, young and old alike were gearing up for a night of dancing and fun with alternative rock band, Walk the Moon.
It had been two years since the band last performed at the Washington, D.C. venue the 9:30 Club, when they opened for Fitz and The Tantrums.
However, Thursday’s performance came a long way from the opening set. Walk the Moon was not only the headlining act, but they sold out two nights of performances.
Face painting is a familiar scene at a Walk the Moon concert. In its early days, the band painted not only their own faces but the crowd’s as well, to create a bond between them. Years later, the tradition stays strong and is a prominent feature in their music video for “Anna Sun,” arguably the song that put Walk the Moon on the radar for reaching commercial success.
Days earlier the band had played at the popular New York City spot, Terminal Five, where they previously had opened for Panic! at the Disco in a spur of the moment opportunity.
Bassist Kevin Ray described the band’s return to Terminal Five as a full circle moment. According to Ray, the performance yielded “the most tickets [they] have ever sold at this point.”
It is this sort of down-to-earth gratitude that makes attending a Walk the Moon show unique. The band consistently gets better with each performance.
The band has a strong following and their quirky, energetic tunes are undeniably addicting. The Cincinnati-based quartet is known for their blend of electronic beats and catchy lyrics. The band consists of lead singer Nicholas Petricca, bassist Kevin Ray, guitarist Eli Maiman and drummer Sean Waugaman.
Their energy is like none other, and the combination of the crowd’s dancing and singing makes for an unparalleled performance. The stage design was full of small, personal items that meshed well with the band’s personality, such as stuffed animals on the drum set and white cutouts of trees that lit up throughout the set.
People jumped up and down as the heat in the venue went up and sweat dripped. Even during slower songs, such as “Iscariot,” the crowd channeled the band’s energy. Throughout each performance, the faces of the band members reflected their awe of the crowd and their success.
“People are so into the vibe and dig the music. It’s not just us. People really feel like they are apart of it,” Ray said. “The fans are what make the concert.”
According to Ray, fans of Walk the Moon express their love of the music in many different ways.
“It’s so neat to see people using the band and the music to express themselves in their own form [and] in their own medium,” Ray said. “It’s cool to see how you inspire people.”
At their 9:30 Club performance the band also debuted a few new songs from their upcoming sophomore album, which is still in the writing phase.
“We don’t know any [more] than that. We are focused on the tour, and new songs are in the works,” Ray said.
Walk the Moon has an undeniable energy that pervades their concerts and infects their audiences. Each performance is a unique experience, leaving fans excited and eager for more.