half•alive kept the crowd “Aawake at Night” at Brighton Music Hall

half•alive kept the crowd “Aawake at Night” at Brighton Music Hall

Written by Sanya Mittal, Photos by Avital Brodski

The energy that filled Brighton Music Hall on the night of Jan. 25 was one that resonated with each and every concert-goer in the building, as half•alive was to perform in Boston for the first time. Following the release of their first EP, “3,” in April of 2017, the band began to gain more recognition. Their indie-pop style is one that touches upon topics such as anxiety and existentialism, while still remaining upbeat and catchy. The music video for their single “still feel.” was put out in August of 2018—the distinctive choreography in it showing the depth of their creativity. The band’s popularity skyrocketed following the music video, and they began their first tour shortly after.

Before half•alive’s set, Austin Prince and his band took the stage, opening the show with their single “Alone in the Dark.” Their chill, indie-alternative styled songs kicked off the night in a spectacular start. Next, joan took the stage. The band from Little Rock, Arkansas had everyone in the room dancing to their electropop music. They ended their set with “love somebody like you,” a soft vaporwave song that left the audience swaying.

As the lights turned off, the crowd began to fidget with anticipation. Two figures appeared on stage, holding a white tarp in their hands. The blank tarp was unfolded, and an animation of a snake slithering across the screen was projected on it. The snake slowly morphed into the cover art for the band’s first EP. At last, the tarp was closed, and the band, who stood behind it, was revealed. The audience cheered as the lights went on and the music began, half•alive opening with their song “The Fall,” as the stage glowed and fans waved their phone flashlights in the air. Lead singer Josh Taylor encouraged the audience to sing along, directing the left side of the crowd to sing one line, and the right to sing another. They then played two of their new songs that have yet to be released, “runaway” and “somethin’ more.” Following these tracks, they performed “Aawake at Night,” the second single released from their first EP. Taylor, accompanied by two backup dancers, performed the band’s unique, well-known choreography—their dance style is marked by both sharp and smooth movements. Fans grew ecstatic when dancers came together perfectly to perform moves that seemed otherworldly.

The room came to life as the band played their next hit, “Tip Toes,” and the crowd jumped to the beat of the fast-paced song. The group then switched gears, leaving the stage so it could be set up for the next part of their performance. Taylor came back out with an acoustic guitar in hand, and the lighting in the room changed to make the space more intimate. The stage lights turned off just as string lights, that lined the entire hall, lit up. He sat down, getting comfortable before announcing that the next song was a sing-a-long. The band performed two acoustic covers, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, and both songs were sung by the entire crowd. Following the covers, the band left the stage as the lights went dark. The blank tarp from the beginning of their set returned to the stage, and an image of an arrow was cast on it as two dancers performed in front of the projection. Once the tarp was taken down and removed from the stage, the band returned and performed their latest released single, “Arrow.”

They closed the night with their popular, high-energy single “still feel.” The fans in the audience sang the song with them, all the different voices blending together to create a sense of unity. The excitement that filled the room was palpable, and the meaning of every lyric that was shouted could be felt by everyone. After the song ended, the band and their dancers stood together and took a bow. They then thanked Boston for the night, before walking off the stage—the smiles on their faces mirrored by those of the cheering fans.

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