Last night, the band the Neighbourhood performed in downtown’s Metropolis to promote their album I Love You. Upon arrival, I was shocked by how long the line-up outside the venue was. You could already feel how excited everybody was and I knew this crowd would not disappoint. That being said, I’m afraid the crowd could not save this show, and I was left disenchanted by the entire experience.
The first opening act was quite unusual (at least in my concert experience). The DJ Born Casual took the stage spinning a wide range of popular and old school hip-hop tracks, sure to please everyone. With everything from TLC to Drake, the song selection seemed to come from a ready-made playlist you could find online. If his objective was to simply keep people’s energy up before the following act then fair enough, but that wouldn’t be very ambitious. I would have much preferred to hear songs I didn’t know about, mixed and edited in original ways, than to be stuck standing around for an hour or more listening to songs I probably already have somewhere in my own music library.
Once the DJ’s set was over, the indie rock band Kitten came on and the confusion began. First off, the sound quality was terrible and the performance wasn’t all that better. If we get passed the screeching synths and the overly loud guitar amps, the lead singer’s exorcistical dancing and borderline scary performance made their set somewhat unbearable. Whether it be by putting her bare feet on the security guard’s head, stealing his glasses, jumping onto the perched speakers or wrapping the microphone chord unnervingly tight around her neck, it’s safe to say many of us were quite uncomfortable. By the end of their set you could almost hear a sigh a relief from the crowd, but I’m afraid none of us are close to forgetting what we had seen.
When the Neighbourhood finally took the stage, the crowd went wild and they bore the weight of all the hope we had left on their shoulders. Having the last opportunity to save this show, the band started their set and we finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Although the sound still wasn’t all that better, the band still offered a good performance. It may not have been enough to save the day, but the effort was there. Alas, the lack of production, poor lighting and overly minimalistic set up made the set unmemorable and lackluster. On the bright side, and apart from all the technical failures, I did find the singer to be very charismatic and rooted in what he was singing. Altogether, the show was unfortunately disappointing but the main act did manage to not completely blow it. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of all the technical aspects and opening acts and I might give them another try if they return to Montreal in the future.