Live Review: Walk The Moon, The Griswolds

1 February 2016 | 12:54 pm | Matt MacMaster

"It was boring for anyone not a fan, and about as spontaneous as a huge shit right after a double espresso."

The air conditioning just couldn’t cope. Everyone floated about in a miasma of perfume and Lynx. Usually there’s a steady stream of people filing in well into the support slot, but after arriving at five past eight the whole place was already full. It was a greenhouse without the sunlight. The Griswolds were jumping about on stage, lathering on the sunny synthetic power chords and the mindless yelping harmonies like too much margarine on brilliant white bread. A cover of Vance Joy’s Riptide (urgh...) sent the throngs of young folk (dressed in what Mark Kozelek would call “budgie-coloured” hues) into hysterics.

They left, but not without making a small ceremony of tossing un/used water bottles at screaming fans (they’ll probably never open them, instead letting mould bloom insidiously within these small plastic tombs as they sit on their shelves).

Enter Walk The Moon. The first thing that’s obvious is lead singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca’s unforgiveable mullet. It curved off the back of this head in bleach blonde wisps, insulting every pair of eyes in the room. Their set was a relentless barrage of pop music, loud and brash, predictable and asinine. From a technical perspective, the show was perfect. The mix was great, the light show was suitably bombastic given the capabilities of the Metro, and the crowd felt safe and happy under the watchful eyes of bull-necked security staff that stood back like sphinxes with ear pieces (they also deserve big praise for their treatment of the really young punters: always there with them, never in the way).

The show ground on and they covered their material with due diligence. The inevitable rendition of Shut Up And Dance saw everyone lose their fucking minds. That kind of fan response is reserved for a specific section of pop music, and for an outsider it was a bit overwhelming.

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The event felt like getting an enema using the stuff inside glow sticks. It was hyper-coloured and sugary and each song was like mainlining high fructose corn syrup. Ultimately, everything felt calculated and executed to squeeze maximum joy out of a fan base of impressionable people. It was WTM sticking a tap into a maple tree and holding the bucket. It was boring for anyone not a fan, and about as spontaneous as a huge shit right after a double espresso. The thing is, hundreds of people clearly found it just as enjoyable.