October 2, 2018 @ House of Blues
Let’s get this out of the way– If you’re here for shirtless photos of Jesse Rutherford, then sorry, you’re in the wrong place. (I only shot photos for the first three songs, and he took off his shirt in the fourth).
Now let’s dive into it: high school me would have freaked out if she knew she’d be shooting for the Neighbourhood six years later. The band played a huge part in my teenage angst years and my college career, as I was a big fan of their debut EPs in 2012 and 2013. You can relate if you ever screamed, “it’s too cooooold for you here, so let me hoooold both your hands in the holes of my sweater” in the shower. While their popularity declined throughout the years, that didn’t stop die hard fans (or “hoodlums,” as the kids call it) from waiting in a line that went around Fenway Park in the rain to get into the concert.
Maryland rapper IDK opened the show with a short set filled with energy-inducing and sentimental songs. Near the end of the set, he searched the audience for someone to join him on stage and freestyle. Incredibly enough, a security guard form the House of Blues confidently bolted on stage and performed a two-minute freestyle flawlessly. It was a fantastic reminder that talent is literally everywhere.
Soon after, the Neighbourhood entered in their baggy, monochrome clothes, and gifted day-one fans with ‘How,’ a dramatic opening track from their first LP in 2013 that questions our own existence–a very appropriate track to travel back in time to the angsty years. With little to no breaks between songs, the band pounded through a dense setlist of rock-heavy songs like ‘Wires’ and ‘R.I.P 2 My Youth,’ as well as newer songs that dove deeper into pop-rap and R&B like ‘Void’ and ‘Paradise.’
Because the band’s music is generally melancholic and homogeneous, the real energy from the show came from frontman Jesse Rutherford. It was so amusing to watch Rutherford obviously cater his performance towards his mostly-female crowd. From overtly stripping off his shirt to swinging across the stage from a long chain that hung an old-school microphone, he happily flaunted his looks for the attention.
Toward the end of their set, the band built up the energy with a dramatic freestyle jam, and Rutherford (without much warning) front-flip dived into the audience of high school and college girls. After a moment of fear for everyone’s safety, Rutherford’s shoes appeared in the crowd of screaming girls, and he managed to crowd surf back to the stage to finish off the set with ‘Sweater Weather’ and ‘Stuck With Me.’
The night was energetic, lacked safety, and was extremely angsty–so it was basically everything I’d want from a Neighbourhood concert.