The Neighbourhood gives “Livin’ in a Dream” a new meaning at House of Blues

The Neighbourhood gives “Livin’ in a Dream” a new meaning at House of Blues

Written by Liliana Piña

Nothing beats standing in the rain. At least, that’s what it seemed like to the hundreds of black-and-white clad bodies that waited for hours outside House of Blues on the evening of Oct. 2 amid torrential downpour, all to see the band that has been making waves with their eclectic sound: The Neighbourhood.

Photo by Kendall Avenia

Before the main event, rapper and D.C. area native Jason Mills, known professionally as IDK, delivered an energetic and crowd-pleasing opening act. He played his most popular songs, including “Pizza Shop Extended” and “No Wave,” while expertly warming up the crowd. Before each of his more emotional songs, IDK would bow his head and say he was going to share something personal, a testament to how deeply his life and experiences are tied into his work.

About halfway through the performance, IDK led a moment of silence for fellow rapper XXXTentacion, who was murdered at gunpoint in June of this year. After encouraging the formation of a women-only moshpit — the first he had ever seen, he said — IDK brought a security guard onstage to rap a few bars. The crowd was shocked as the security guard blew it out of the box, freestyling a few rapid-fire verses about turning his dreams of being an artist into reality, even making a point to denounce his security job in the process. The shock factor carried over through the rest of the performance, igniting the audience with adrenaline until IDK’s last verse.

The crowd instantly became ecstatic when Jesse Rutherford, the Neighbourhood’s lead singer, strutted onto the stage in a simple white, long-sleeve t-shirt and black, loose-fitting pants. The ever-changing hair he has become known for was cut short and dyed black, his nails painted in the same color. Launching into “How,” a fan favorite off the band’s 2013 album “I Love You,” he sensually swayed his body to the beat of the music while effortlessly commanding both the stage and audience. His energy was impossible to ignore, and the crowd seemed to instinctively respond to his every movement. The upbeat vibe increased in tenfold the second the chords to “R.I.P. 2 My Youth,” one of their most famous songs off their 2015 album “Wiped Out!” started to play, causing everyone in the audience to scream its angsty lyrics.

The unique stage design was compelling to the eye, from the presence of various religious symbols beneath a sign that read “Who do you love?” to the special autotuned microphone that hung on a chain from the ceiling. Rutherford used these props to his advantage, and at various times throughout the show, he would run toward the chain and hang from it, using his momentum to spin himself in circles above the stage and audience, much like a charming child on a tire swing. With his youthful energy on full display, there was never a dull moment.

The band showcased a variety of tracks from their discography, segmenting their albums throughout the performance. They played new singles off their 2018 album “The Neighborhood,” including “Void” and “Scary Love,” as well as some other songs from the project, such as “You Get Me So High,” “Sadderdaze,” and “Softcore.” Each new song was met with a brand-new color, causing the aesthetic of the stage to shift instantly between each last and first note. From their sophomoric album “Wiped Out!” came three songs, which played in a row — “Prey,” “Cry Baby,” and the supremely popular “Daddy Issues.” Rutherford freestyled a verse during a special rendition of “Livin’ in a Dream,” a single released last month off their new EP, “Ever Changing,” the crowd jumping to the beat in encouragement. The band closed out the performance with an energetic performance of “Sweater Weather,” the double-platinum hit single off their first album, “I Love You,” followed by “Stuck With Me,” an upbeat ballad that is quickly gaining popularity from their fans. They left the stage with a simple “thank you,” telling their fans that they hope to see them all again soon, the hanging microphone still swinging in its place.

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