May certainly went out with a bang here in Denver. With back to back nights of shows sold out all over the city, it was hard to pick where to go. I landed at a sold out Gothic Theatre to watch UK band Lovelife open for radio darlings The Neighbourhood.
Compared to the audience that filled the hall the night before for ZZ Ward’s show, this crowd was ENTIRELY different, mainly all young kids...but when I say “kids”, I really mean 15-year old girls dressed in their summer best, with their makeup and hair perfected. It was pretty clear that The Neighbourhood’s got a target demographic, and their ticket sales are hitting it right on the nose.
After a 30 minute DJ set, Lovelife took to a very dark stage. The sound from this young English band - now based out of New York - was perfectly paired with The Neighbourhood. Playing songs off of their self titled EP, and opening with the song “I’m No More” off of their 2012 release “El Regreso”, the band immediately caught my attention. With such a unique voice, the lead singer immediately caught my ear. The band played fairly mellow, unique synth-pop that was definitely different than anything else I’ve ever heard. As the fans all danced to the music, the band easily drifted from one song to the next. The group, all originally from London, transplanted themselves in Brooklyn in 2012 and began to create this new sound, different from the band's past work under the name Viva Brother. The audience seemed into the music, and I’d be curious to hear more as the band continues to find their sound. Although slightly mellow, if this new synth-pop sound is to your liking, these guys are for you.
After a nearly hour-long changeover was The Neighbourhood. Taking the stage in the dark, the group started their set with “How”, the opening track to their most recent release, “I Love You”. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford came to stage rocking a black skirt(?) incredibly similar to the ones we’ve seen on both Kanye West and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy recently, kicking and dropping the mic stand as he jumped around across the stage. Playing mainly songs off of their newest album, and a few older songs from their “I’m Sorry...” EP, the crowd seemed most familiar with their new work, cheering for songs like “Flawless”, and “Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh)”. The LA-based group looked much younger than I had imagined, which was a shocking image alongside their big, dark sound. Playing a really unique, mellow cover of “Say My Name” by Destiny Child, I wasn’t quite sure if this cover was directed at the room that was filled mainly with 90’s babies, or if they were in fact young enough to be 90’s babies themselves.
Ending their set with the song “Afraid”, fans were eager to call them back to the stage to hear the radio single “Sweater Weather”, which had the entire audience front to back of the packed room singing along. As I was leaving the venue, I walked past their merch booth, which looked like a barren wasteland. With kids in a line almost to the door, it seems like the band had a great night with this new, huge fan base they’ve grown in Denver.