For a few hours on a balmy Monday evening that felt more like mid-July than late April, Fort Lauderdale partied as if the summer months were indeed upon us. Indie pop quartet Walk the Moon — the musical equivalent of Pop Rocks and Coke — returned to Revolution Live for the first time since visiting with Neon Trees in 2012, on the latest leg of its Talking Is Hard tour.
Opening for Walk the Moon was the soulful, tropically flavored alt-pop four-piece the Griswolds. The Australian natives made a grand entrance to the tune of Coolio's “Gangsta's Paradise.” Akin to the title of their debut album, Be Impressive, the Griswolds were absorbing, coming off like sunnier, Caribbean versions of Razorlight or the Fratellis. Even more remarkable was the crowd's familiarity with the words to the band's songs. In the age of the internet, a fledgling band can receive a warm welcome 9,000 miles from home. The audience was jacked for the headliners, but the guest Aussies were showered with plenty of love.
Speaking of warmth and moisture, Revolution was converted into a pulsating sauna, the heat created by a mass of cheering, gyrating bodies. Thankfully, the roaring, celebratory music and the eye-catching, kaleidoscopic visuals were enough to overpower the stink of sweaty teenager.
Walk the Moon has always been colorful, but its love affair with the spectrum has gone way beyond the old days of handing out face paint to fans. For this tour, they it stepped up its rainbow game. Appropriately, the foursome began its set with “Different Colors” amid a glorious stage awash in primary tones. Their mic stands and outfits radiated like little nuclear accidents.
Those needing a spark after a long Monday at work or school had a much better option than one of the ludicrously priced energy drinks from the bar. Walk the Moon provided all the boost necessary for any weary muscles and minds. Big, power-pop choruses buoyed by the energy of an unruly high school house party permeated throughout. As emotive as ever, lead vocalist Nicholas Petricca led the charge, assisted by guitarist Eli Maiman and bassist Kevin Ray, neither of which was too shy to strike towering rock ’n’ roll poses.
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Many of the faithful in attendance of the neon church revival came bearing the traditional markings of the Walk the Moon tribe – dots and dashes across cheeks and foreheads. By the close of the night, many faces were wiped clean as a result of the fiery mania. In fact, at least one person fainted due to the sweltering heat. Walk the Moon stopped the concert midway through “Lisa Baby” out of concern for the fan. “Let's take care of each other,” Petricca urged. “You are our lifeblood. Stay hydrated,” he continued before they picked up where they left off, tearing through the remainder of the track.
On a night filled with sweaty hugs, wall-rattling shrieks, a sexy awesome version of the band's single “Jenny,” and a spot-on cover of the Killers' “All These Things That I've Done,” it was Anna Sun — the shining, brilliant pinnacle of a heart-thumping concert — that stood out.
Unlike the lyrics to the chorus of its most popular single, “What do you know? This house is falling apart,” Walk the Moon has built something formidable here. It's a strong foundation that will last as long as it has the fortitude to keep it going.