Walk the Moon rocks CU Ballroom in high-energy fall concert

The fall concert tradition returned to Geneseo after a long hiatus with pop-rock band Walk the Moon on Sunday Nov. 16. The concert was sponsored by Activities Commission and took place in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom. It also featured special guest Annasun, an acoustic rock duo from Fredonia, New York, who opened the show. The indie duo’s acoustic folk harmonies set a surprisingly low-key tone for the start of the night, considering the high-energy act that was to follow. Although the band started its set with stomping and clapping, it rarely moved out of the realm of folk rock—though it did occasionally venture into blues territory.

Annasun’s lead vocalist was clearly talented with a melodic, sometimes soulful voice. The stripped-down alt-rock band sounded great overall, especially for a small-time local act, but its sound was not the ideal choice for getting the audience pumped for a pop show.

“It was cool having Annasun open for us,” Walk the Moon lead vocalist Nicholas Petricca said. “It would be kind of like us opening for The Police … except that we’re nowhere near as good as The Police.”

After a short gap between acts, Walk the Moon bounded onstage to “Tightrope,” the catchy, radio-friendly second single off the group’s first official album Walk the Moon. The audience instantly caught the pop musicians’ infectious, happy-go-lucky vibe and quickly started dancing and singing along.

Other highlights included “Shiver Shiver,” a romantic dance-pop song, and “Lisa Baby,” a solid rock song with fun, trippy synths. The band also played its aptly-titled summer anthem “Anna Sun,” arguably the band’s biggest hit. Fun was the operative word for every song Walk the Moon played––the entire show was like a party.

Walk the Moon got its name from the song “Walking on the Moon” by The Police.

The band played several songs off its forthcoming second LP Talking is Hard, which is set to drop on Dec. 2. This included the ultra-catchy single “Shut Up and Dance” as well as several unreleased tracks. The most promising of these was “Down in the Dumps,” which turned out to be anything but a downer. The song is more hardcore than much of the band’s typically light pop fare, but it was just as danceable and hooky as anything else they’ve released.

The band was clearly very excited to be on campus. Petricca repeatedly expressed his gratitude to Geneseo for inviting them back—Walk the Moon played on the MacVittie College Union patio a few years back. Petricca also told a hilarious story about his first––and only––Inn Between Tavern experience, which allegedly involved a territorial sorority girl dumping her drink on him and screaming, “Get off my bleachers!”

The frontman also doubled as a motivational speaker. The things he said about releasing negative energy into the sky––and more–– were a little corny at times, but he definitely kept a positive vibe going, exactly what students need at the end of the semester.

The concert was sold out, but since only around 700 tickets were made available and because it was held in the Ballroom—where the capacity is much smaller than that of Kuhl Gymnasium—it didn’t feel particularly large. Holding the concert in the Ballroom also gave it a certain cheesy atmosphere.

Overall, the concert was a great way to let off some end-of-semester steam and enjoy some solid indie pop songs. No doubt, few who were leaving the Ballroom after the show would object to inviting Walk the Moon back to Geneseo for a third time—and that says a lot.