At around 9 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 26, bursts of white light began showering the faces of screaming fans as The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” began to play. The University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts theater was wracked with the motion of the crowd collectively standing from their seats when they noticed the band, Walk the Moon, mount the stage.
The Walk the Moon concert, which opened with several songs performed by indie rock band Bear Hands, thrilled a largely college-aged crowd in the way that only live music can. Every song that was played held a passion and universality that begged audience members to have the time of their lives.
The Geneseo Campus Activities Board sold $2 tickets to Geneseo students and provided bus transportation to and from the show. Unfortunately, one of the two provided buses broke down on the way back to Geneseo but luckily by the end of the night all students were safely back to the college.
Bear Hands started the concert with their own original songs. The band currently has three albums, most recently You’ll Pay for This released in 2016. Last in the set, the band performed the song “Blue Lips,” which was released earlier this year. This song especially worked to pump up the audience for the headlining band.
Walk the Moon made a grand entrance to the theater, during which blinding lights streaked over the crowd as the members walked on stage. Lead singer of the band Nicholas Petricca called out a cheerful “hello” to Buffalo, and the crowd went wild. To start the show, Petricca announced that the band wanted every human being in the crowd to feel entirely safe.
“Breathe in, breathe out,” Petricca said, leading the crowd in a meditation. “Whether it’s work or school … let go of all the bullshit.”
The band then played tracks off each of their albums with particular regard for their newer music from the 2017 album What if Nothing, much to the delight of an audience that was prepared to sing along.
Lighting made the show more entertaining, according to sophomore math and English double major Rachel McLauchlin.
“The lights were so well done,” McLauchlin said. “They were especially artful during ‘Headphones,’ because the flashes were timed with drum beats, and during ‘Anna Sun’ when the light was all yellow and really energizing.”
Not only did the lights enthuse the audience, but the dance moves of each standing band member had fans jumping along with them. Bassist Kevin Ray’s favorite move was leaping on to a higher platform so he could see over the crowd, spinning and kicking his legs out while he played the bass riffs for songs.
Especially during the song “Shut Up and Dance”—one of Walk the Moon’s most popular songs—Petricca and the rest of the group went wild with spins and flailing, contributing to the fun atmosphere of the event.
Walk the Moon departed the Buffalo Center for the Arts stage with several words of love and thanks to their fans. Their final song, “Anna Sun,” seemed to say a thoughtful, forlorn goodbye to the adoring crowd with its familiar lyrics about a time gone by.
“We tore up the walls / we slept on couches / we lifted this house,” Petricca sang. “What can I say, this house is falling apart / we got no money but we got heart / we’re gonna rattle this ghost town.”
Needless to say, the audience left the concert rattled and possibly even more in love with the kind, sentimental and creative band.
GCAB’s next concert offer is Blake Shelton who is playing at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Feb. 22. Tickets went on sale Wednesday Jan. 30.