The Neighbourhood, typically pictured in black and white, also performed that way at their headlining show at The Old National Center’s Egyptian Room. While the sharp visual contrasts of their act looked like Pleasantville, the emotional tone of the show was pure Technicolor.
White Arrows, another California band, opened the night followed by Travis Scott. The genre mixing of an indie rock band then a rapper before The Neighbourhood’s performance baffled fans. However, Travis Scott pumped up the evening with his up-close-and-personal antics with the front row. A little dance music between the two bands lightened the atmosphere while keeping the screaming girls on their feet.
Vocalist Jesse Rutherford had his female fans under his spell the entire set which began appropriately with “Female Robbery”. The palpable sexual energy of Rutherford’s along with the intensity of the girls in the crowd probably precluded any crowd surfing. A foot-to-hand high five by Jesse was as close anyone got to him until the meet and greet post-show.
Guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels flanked Jesse on the stage with their mostly low-key but solid playing. The Neighbourhood played songs from their EP I’m Sorry and their LP I Love You. During “W.D.Y.W.F.M” the hyped fans chanted “what, what, what” with Rutherford. At one point in “Baby Came Home”, Jesse ran his hands through his jet black hair then pointed at some girls who probably fainted at his sexually-charged gesture.
Continuing The Neighbourhood’s style-blending of music, they played “A Little Death”, “Wires”, “West Coast”, and “Honest”. The graphic screens behind drummer Brandon Fried and on both sides of the stage flashed and swirled with black and white images throughout most of the set. Following “Honest” Jesse thanked the crowd then launched into “Lurk”. That song’s droning sound and Mikey Margott’s bassline had girls practically humping the barrier trying to will themselves closer to Jesse.
The manufactured mystery of The Neighbourhood with its ethereal moodiness, yet driving rap-like delivery of a track like “Dangerous”, a new song that mixed sensual instrumentals with Jesse’s fast-paced lyrics. Ending the show, The Neighbourhood performed their hit, “Sweater Weather” with lead singer Jesse asking the fans “to put the phones away Indianapolis, just this one time”.
After a few minutes of the boisterous crowd clamoring for an encore, the guys returned to give them what they wanted. The stage went dark with every beat of the bass drum on “How” while Jesse’s hips thrust repeatedly toward the audience. As Jesse fluidly danced on the speakers during “Afraid”, an unidentified object from the audience grazed the vocalist as The Neighbourhood sang their last song.
Following the show, members of The Neighbourhood graciously chatted with fans and signed posters and shirts by their tour buses. Many excitable fangirls were on the edge of swoon at Jesse’s appearance in front of Old National Center. His sensual performance while onstage was only heightened by his amiable demeanor in the face of ardent fans. He joined their neighborhood for about an hour, posing for pictures while accepting gifts from hardcore supporters.
The Neighbourhood’s concert while being layered with sexual undertones, displayed a vibrant emotional breadth. While the styling is monochromatic, The Neighbourhood exudes more shades of grey than expected with their indie rock/hip-hop aesthetic.