By Mitch MacQueen
Saturday was a very uneventful day. Waking up exhausted and coughing my lungs out I decided to take the bus to Wal-Mart because like any college student I needed medicine and clean t-shirts. Trying to keep my trip into Wal-Mart less than 20 minutes so I could make it back to the bus stop, I accidently bought white v-necks instead of my normal crew necks.
So, as any normal teenage boy who is not quite Italian enough to pull off the gold chain, chest hair popping out of the V-neck look, I impulsively decided to shave a ‘V’ into my chest in order to hide my chest hair. Feeling a little better with the fresh new ‘V’ on my chest and the exuberant amounts of Day-Quil in my system, some friends and I watched the disappointing Penn State game. Although we lost, I was just relieved that Joe Paterno didn’t croak. The upsetting game, my deterring health, and my new V-shaped chest hair (which I was gradually growing fonder of) was making Saturday a pretty depressing day.
Not feeling up for celebrating Yom Kippur at the Jewish frat tonight, I decided to go online and look for some shows to go to. After browsing over the band Walk the Moon which was the headliner at the Blue Moose, I sent Vanessa the Marketing Director a text asking if I could get a ticket. Obviously with my new-found celebrity status in the Iowa City area
she said it wouldn’t be a problem and I could have a ticket.
Gathering a group of friends who were also pretty bummed out, we all decided to go to the show. Thankfully, this was an all-ages show so at least this time I could actually stay the whole time. It started at 7 PM which was ridiculously early. Because of this, we obviously showed up fashionably late and missed the first two acts. In my defense though, it’s a known fact you have to show up to indie shows looking your best in order to impress the hipster girls. If they see you without your best cardigan on or see any visible bodily hair that is not ironic, they won’t give you the time of day. So I obviously had to look my best and make sure that the V on my chest was perfectly pre-pubescent. I only vaguely researched Walk the Moon before going to the show. All I knew was that they were from Cincinnati, have a dance indie-rock sound, and have one relatively famous song- “Anna Sun.” From my read of the crowd there though, which was fairly large and consisted of a bunch of 16 year-old looking girls wearing headbands, the showing was not looking so promising.
As Walk the Moon geared up and did a quick sound check I was expecting the worst. The heart-throb lead singer who was definitely due for a hair-cut, certainly had the attention of all the hipster girls (and some of the guys) that crowded around him, but I wasn’t falling for it. The amount of flannel and tank-tops on stage was almost too overwhelming. And finally the synth and keyboard was promising to sound like every other bullshit indietronica band trying to attain an MGMT-esque sound. Sorry to be mean, but my expectations were very low going into this.
I was quickly proved wrong, though. Without even an introduction they went right into playing, and I’m not going to lie, I was pretty blown away. The song they first played was “The Liftaway” which is a brilliantly crafted song that has so many drops, pauses, and break-down-like hooks, it ends up leaving you feeling uncomfortable yet completely stoked. The lead synth part is one of the coolest lines I have ever heard and I hope anyone reading this goes and checks out this song. Adding to this, the lead singer plays a floor tom while he sings which is so awesome and creates this constant natural bass beat that keeps the music interesting (combining natural beats with electronic beats). The band was definitely a crowd-pleaser too. Most of the crowd went right up to the stage and danced.
Now I’m not going to lie, I hate dancing. I hate everything about it. I look dumb dancing, you look dumb dancing, and everyone looks dumb dancing. Long story short, I was a terrible prom date in high school and will probably never marry just due to the fact that it requires me to participate in a first dance. But, to give the 99% of people in the world who like dancing the benefit of the doubt, everyone at this show seemed to have a blast dancing. Yes, they looked like idiots, (sorry Melanie, Mandy, and Nicole), but they looked like idiots who were having a good time. And I’m sure in some sick and twisted alternate reality where there is an un-grumpy Mitch who would have enjoyed himself and had fun dancing to the
dance-infused music of Walk the Moon. But that’s not the case, so you’re better off not listening to my opinions on dancing.
Anyway! As the show went on, the band continuously topped themselves with each sequential song. It is hard to find small, relatively unknown bands that have the energy and passion that Walk the Moon does. Every member of the band seemed completely pumped and genuinely stoked to be there. Everyone was pulling their own weight and no one was just standing around looking at the floor. Also, the fact that every person has a mic and actually sings in every song is awesome and gives this choir-like sound to their music. The crowd was also stoked throughout the entire show which reflected in their
dumb dancing. As the show came to a close and all the hipster girls’ hearts skipped a beat when the
band asked if anyone had a place for them to stay the night, everyone in the bar flooded to the front for their last song “Anna Sun.” Although I didn’t read too much into it, this song is relatively famous and has been critically acclaimed by many music sources and lists. The second they started playing this song though, the whole place went pretty crazy. Although there was not the slightest urge in my body to go dance, everyone else had the urge to go dance.
With this in mind, I would go urge anyone to go check out Walk the Moon because they are just a fun band. Their songs are catchy and rhythm is fun. They don’t overdo it with the synth and have an original of enough sound to hold their own in the indie-pop music scene. Finally, they just put on a good show.
My day actually didn’t turn out all that bad. Yes, I was sick, bought the wrong type of t-shirts, and had to watch Iowa embarrassingly lose to Penn State. But things then ended up turning out alright. I discovered that I look fantastic with a V in my chest hair. Joe Paterno didn’t die. I was able to silently judge and make fun of people who were dancing. But most of all, I got to see a sweet band put on a great show.