It didn’t take much more than a single note for Nicholas Petricca, lead singer of Walk the Moon, to get the audience to shut up and dance. The band has had that effect on people in the past and it proved true at The Fillmore in Detroit, Mich. on Jan. 24.
For a cold Wednesday in the Motor City, Petricca, Eli Maiman, Sean Wagaman and Kevin Ray provided an energetic performance of songs old and new to warm the hearts of their avid fans. The performance was a love bite that clamps down and makes you happy it doesn’t want to let you go.
Their Press Restart Tour was announced and began shortly after their third full album released in mid-November. Concerts on the warpath feature many songs off the album, including lead-song “Press Restart” along with the album’s singles.
“Don’t worry,” Petricca assured during the performance. “We’re gonna play some old shit for you too.”
Beyond singles like “One Foot,” “Shut Up and Dance” and “Anna Sun,” numerous of their other chart-topping tracks were showcased. Regardless of the song, they are one of the best live-performing music groups you could go see.
At one point, Petricca took off his shirt and moved closer to the crowd. In the next moment, a wave of fans, hands extended, rushed together as one toward Petricca, trying to get a touch of his skin.
Despite going on eight years of performing, the overall selection of songs over the years still flowed seamlessly. Other songs, like “Headphones” and “All I Want” from their newly released “What If Nothing” album, give way to a pleasant mix of new-age indie and old-fashioned college rock.
About halfway through the set, Waugaman and Ray left the stage, leaving Petricca and Maiman behind to slow things down. The duo performed an acoustic version of “Aquaman,” which stole the hearts of the teary-eyed crowd. Petricca claimed that the duet was a first.
Petricca dedicated “Tightrope” to all the fans wearing face paint, who he thought had believed in the band from the very beginning. Face paint was iconic and made its part in the music video for “Anna Sun,” their very first hit single, as well as in the fact the band paints up before every live performance.
Later, Petricca dedicated “Different Colors,” a song about forgetting your worries and becoming one, to the city as a whole, after everything they’ve been through.
“When I think about Detroit, I think about people coming together,” Petricca said. “That makes you f***ing badasses.”
It is a little disheartening as a fan to see the music group not perform in their home state, passing up great venues in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati – Petricca’s hometown. The international tour has traveled from New York to Los Angeles, totaling 46 cities in 10 countries over four months.
The group hadn’t been in Detroit since they were touring as openers for other top-music groups. They spent a long time playing in small venues and as openers, which Petricca offered during the night as the reason to their track “Next in Line.”
Walk the Moon took the stage in complete darkness, lights flashing to the beat of a remixed opening of Disney’s The Lion King. The crowd cheered on, ready for the performance to begin.
The act, lasting close to an hour and a half, was just as much of a light show as it was a concert. The visuals not only distinguished their performance, but also provided just as much energy and ambiance as the smooth voice of Petricca.
The Company of Thieves, a Chicago-based band, opened the 8 p.m. concert with a 42-minute act. The underground indie-rock group had a mixture of Halsey and Paramore sound about them under lead singer Genevieve Schatz.
No fault to The Company of Thieves, the audience was not into the opener, as the anticipation was building for the big-name band’s return to the Motor City.
Schatz, although touring with Walk the Moon, said following her set that she was just as excited for what Walk the Moon had to bring to the table, as she felt it was something completely new every night.
The Fillmore provided a great venue regardless of the performance, as the close intimate atmosphere allowed the audience to feel like they were on stage too.