When I first saw that The Neighbourhood was coming back to Denver, I knew that I had to be there. I had missed them (to my dismay) last time they’d been in town, and knew that I couldn’t make the same mistake again. So needless to say, I’ve been anticipating this show for quite a while, and by the time I finally walk into the doors of The Ogden Theatre, I’m excited.
The first band to play is L.A. based group, White Arrows. I’ve never listened to them before, so I’m not quite sure what to expect, but as they dive into their set, I’m definitely not disappointed. While the vocals in the first song of their set are too low and hard to hear, the problem is quickly solved by the second track and thankfully, because it becomes very obvious that one of the strongest aspects about this band is their phenomenal vocalist. That’s not to say that he completely carries the band by himself, though – the cool electronic elements that White Arrows has as well as their strong rhythm section really add to their sound and make it fuller. I’m blown away by White Arrows with every song that they play, and by the end of their set I’m bobbing my head along to their music with my friends.
Travi$ Scott takes the stage after White Arrows, and I’d be lying if I said that I’m not excited to see him. I’ve listened to him a few times before and I’m really interested to see how he performs live and how the crowd (most of them there to see The Neighbourhood, of course) will react to him. Needless to say, he kills it.
While his genre of music might differ a bit from the two other acts on the bill, that doesn’t stop the crowd from getting into Travi$ Scott, and it definitely doesn’t stop him from performing like a mad man, hopping around the stage throughout his entire set. And while I thought that maybe some of the crowd might not be into him, it seems that Travi$ Scott managed to bring quite a big following to The Ogden, with fans screaming and rapping his lyrics back to him. He keeps his energy high throughout the entire set, interacting with his fans by challenging them to sing along and even leaping into the crowd a couple of times. His single “Upper Echelon” is by far the highlight of his set, with fans (including myself) really getting into the music and singing along. And though Travi$ Scott’s set seems to be cut short just a little too soon, his fans all leave the crowd with smiles on their faces, ready to meet the man at his merch table.
After Travi$ Scott leaves the stage, the crowd is already buzzing with anticipation for the well-loved headliners, The Neighbourhood. While the break between the two acts is long, that doesn’t seem to kill the mood, and by the time that the house lights dim, the crowd goes wild. Strobe lights on the stage go off and, after a few seconds, the silhouettes of the band appear. Before the first note of “Female Robbery” even sounds, I’m certain that I’m in for a real treat and boy, am I right.
The Neighbourhood starts their set off strong with three crowd favorite songs, “Female Robbery,” “Everybody’s Watching Me” and “Let It Go,” and by the time the band takes a moment to greet their fans, everyone is already amped. After that, the band goes right into one of their newer tracks “Jealou$y” and by the time the saxophone comes in at the chorus, the whole crowd is dancing. Vocalist Jesse Rutherford plays right off of the crowd’s energy, too, dancing (much to the appreciation of his female fans) along with the saxophone and crooning, “Promise you that I’ll make a baby with you.”
Throughout The Neighbourhood’s set, Rutherford proves that he really knows how to work a crowd. On top of his singing, dancing and usual antics, he reaches down at one point, taking a cell phone from a fan’s hand and snaps a few photos of himself and the crowd with it, all while still singing along, keeping everyone energized and captivated. With everything going on (Jesse taking selfies, jumping in the crowd, catching the bras that are occasionally tossed on stage) the music and Jesse’s vocals still manage to sound on point, too, a feat that some bands can’t seem to manage, but The Neighbourhood makes it look easy.
Before long, The Neighbourhood’s set slows down and nears the end, and just when I’m starting to dread the second that the music stops and I have to go home, the first few opening notes of “Sweater Weather” begin, and the crowd absolutely goes wild. It seems like everyone has been waiting for this moment and wastes no time in singing along, belting out the lyrics (that they all know by heart, of course) along with the band. And when Jesse announces that the band is taking bra donations, fans waste no time in tossing their lingerie onto the stage.
After “Sweater Weather” the band leaves the stage for a few minutes, and when the finally return, it’s to play their two song encore, consisting of fan favorites, “How” and “Afraid.” By the end of their set, I am right there with the rest of the crowd, having a good time and singing along with one of my favorite songs, laughing as Jesse jokes about all of the bras on stage, and smiling as I leave the venue, still humming the melody of "Afraid" to myself.