Walk the Moon, Morning Parade, there are even similarities in their names, but that’s just where the similarities start. When I heard that these two would be on tour together, I couldn’t quite imagine how that would fit. But man, was I completely wrong. In Boston, on the last stop of their tour together, both bands made it a completely unforgettable night, both in performance and spirit.
The line was full of fans in face paint and bright colored clothing, obviously repping Walk the Moon’s fun style. The Essex lads even walked down the street without so much as a hello from the audience. However, there were a few Morning Parade fans hiding somewhere amongst the color wave once the line proceeded into The Paradise. And even if there weren’t as many fans entering the show, there were many more after the show they put on. People even went over to the merch table to say hello.
The sold out venue was barely full when Morning Parade took the stage. About half way through their set, the venue filled up and finally realized that they are, in fact, an act to see.
Despite the initial audience deficiency, the band delivered, hitting the stage hard with notable track “Under the Stars.” Lead singer Steve Sparrow joked with the front row, stating, “You’re going to get wet, and you’re going to get wet..” and they responded by dancing and jumping around. You can always count on the front row to start the notion.
Lesser known tracks, “Marble Attic” (not featured on their newly released album) and “Close To Your Heart” followed and maintained the energy. Sparrow and guitarist Phil Titus jammed out during the breakdown of the former, and the crowd ate it up, proving that the band was steadily making their presence known.
One of the most remarkable things about this band is their complete sound. They are so together and polished, with the majority of the band singing in perfect harmony while making a whirlwind of noise with their instruments. It’s amazing to know that they are still kind of a new band in America, but they’re able to make such an impact in their live performance.
“Blue Winter” continued the set and intrigued the audience even more. The beginning “ahhs,” Steve’s falsetto on “winter,” the danceable drum beat, and the wavering dynamics from gentle coos to raging guitar hooks all contributed to the positive vibe.
Another statement of character for these guys is that, they mentioned Walk the Moon’s album release before even mentioning their own. This then segued into the next song, “Carousel” which they finally stated is on their new album.Soon, there was a myriad of clapping along, some laughter from the band as manager Iain Graham and possibly members of Walk the Moon made faces at them fromthe balcony, and the end result of Walk the Moon coming on stage as back up dancers and cocktail waiters. After a lot of “cheers” and hugs, Morning Parade thanked the guys for an amazing tour and broke out into “Headlights,” which the majority knew and sang along.
Last came perfect closer and closer on the album too, “Born Alone.” In traditional end set style, the band left everything else they had on the stage, as they surged into a no-stops instrumental outro as the crowd cheered and danced. After they left the stage, many people exclaimed, “Wow, they were great” and the mission of recognition the band set out on was definitely accomplished.
Next came the moment that all of the screaming girls in the audience were waiting for, Walk the Moon rushed on the stage and soaked up the energy of their adoring fans. I’m pretty sure that energy never left any of the members, but rather just kept growing, because none of them could seem to stop moving, jumping, or dancing for the duration of the show. That energy was infectious and audience and band shared in the buzz.
They started the set slow and steady (compared to most of their songs) with i want! i want!track “The Liftaway” (one of only a few tracks excluded from the new release). Despite it being older material, many people were singing along, and swelling forward to get closer to the band. At one point in the song, the band went completely a cappella, and the pureness and togetherness of their voices was almost haunting. Much like Morning Parade before them, their harmonies are really down pat.
The funky drum beats along with band orchestrated “heys” and claps started “Quesadilla,” to which some slight moshing broke out. Lead singer and keyboardist turned drummer, Nicholas Petricca’s rhythmic snare drum banging sparked even more dancing and carried into chorus building “Next in Line.” Guitarist Eli Maiman entertained the audience by leaning into the first few rows. Bassist Kevin Ray, in bright orange pants, jumped around stage. Drummer, Sean Waugaman (rocking a rubber ducky on the mic of his drum kit) even had his moment with driving fast paced beatsin next song “Jenny.”
Another older song from i want! i want!titled just that brought out the die-hard fans as they chanted “I’m 17 and you don’t know me/I’m drinking wine with all of the girls” over some pretty smooth and mood evoking keyboard rhythms.
Petricca then picked it back up with “Tightrope” and his never ending movement on stage. While he may be the front man, and does a great job of it (i.e. flicking red and blue drumsticks between his fingers, adding that extra flare), the other members of the band are equally as eye-catching, demonstrating their unity as a band and friends. For instance, “Lisa Baby” started with Maiman’s cutting guitar and Ray’s melody carrying bass, before erupting into “when my baby is a mess, my baby is a dancing queen.”
Much like their counterparts, Walk the Moon thanks Morning Parade for being great tourmates and tells the audience how a great friendship has formed between the two bands. They then dedicate song “Tete a Tete” to them.
After hearing the recognition, Morning Parade joined them on stage for “Shiver Shiver,” to which they and WtM’s manager Blake hilariously attempt to reenact the dance from the 7in7 video. When I said the show was unforgettable, this is one of the things I was talking about. The camaraderie between them is unlike any other two bands I’ve ever seen on tour together.
After the song and laughter ended, the glimmering intro to “Anna Sun” filled the room with screams and everyone chanted along. Petricca ran into the crowd into clawing arms and really made the connection with the fans complete. At the end, Ray came over and hugged as many people as he could fit into his arms in the front row before walking off stage.
But that’s not all they had in store for us. They emerged on stage againperforming a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” to which the audience did. Ending their set was “I Can Lift A Car” and everyone had their hands in the air. Morning Parade then joined them on stage again, returning the earlier favor of bearing drinks. Everyone ended in a hug, before Morning Parade walked off, and finally Walk the Moon followed.
After the show and after making time to meet all of their fans, the bands hung out and were goofing on each other outside of the venue. They took a giant group picture, signed tour posters, and even did the Macarena. There was even some piggy backing involved. It then became evident that these bands have become like brothers, separated by countries, but united by music.
Both of these bands have such a spirit and a passion for what they do, and that’s probably what made them so close during their time on the road together. They both know how to entertain an audience by putting on a powerful and impactful live show while making the connection with their fans and having the time of their lives. Both being so young in age have already set the ground work for a very promising future. Even though they part ways after this tour (until reuniting at Sasquatch Festival), I can see them remaining in contact, and I can see them growing at the same time as one another. After all, their albums came out on the same day and they took America by storm around the same time period. I also heard a rumor that Sparrow and Petricca want to collaborate on something, but we’ll see what the future holds.