Walk The Moon fills the Schine Underground with color

Review: On Wednesday night, the Cincinnati-based indie-rockers played to an ecstatic audience in an environment much more intimate than the ones they've grown used to.

If the guys of Walk the Moon live life the way they play music, they are probably surrounded by dancing at all times.

The indie-rock band took to the Schine Underground for University Union’s second Bandersnatch Music Series show of the fall semester in an event Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. Even during the band’s slower songs it was impossible for audience members to stand still. There’s no wondering why the chorus of Walk the Moon’s crowd pleaser "Lisa Baby" boasts “my baby is a dancing queen.”

Faces painted and lyrics memorized, a sold-out crowd buzzed with anticipation before Walk the Moon took the stage. Sufficiently warmed up by the opening act, New York-based duo Ghost Beach, which describes itself as “tropical grit pop,” students were ready to sing and dance.

The enthusiasm remained into the end of Ghost Beach’s set. Ghost Beach performer Josh Ocean’s raw, yet defined vocals paired with partner Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn, whose hair was as large as his stage presence, left no shortage of things to listen to and look at throughout their set.

The first two songs that opening act, filled the room with electronic waves and mellow, but groovy beats. The synth playing duet was joined on stage by a drummer. Lead singer Ocean closed his eyes and dance jubilantly to the chorus, his arms as high as the clapping crowds.

Even a brand new song, which Ocean taught the audience a line from, kept the crowd attentive. Followed were tracks so upbeat that even the students working behind the light and sound booths nodded their heads to the beat.

“Too Young” was the last song in Ghost Beach’s set, and easily the most contagious. The band prefaced the song with many thanks and expressing their excitement to be opening for Walk The Moon. The cheers of the crowd confirmed that the band would be going home with more fans than they came with.

The concert was drastically different than others in the Bandersnatch held this semester. A win for indie-rock in Syracuse, the audience was full of students who were visibly excited to be at the show.

After a half-hour long intermission following Ghost Beach, the crowd grew impatient and began chanting “Walk! The! Moon!” Soon after, the lights went low and Walk the Moon came onstage with intro music taken from the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory soundtrack.

Seconds after the dreamy intro, thick harmonies filled the close quarters of the Schine Underground in a loud way.

The band opened with “The Liftaway,” an appropriate track to kick off a set that was so clearly a short mental vacation for the student-populated crowd. With dreamy vocals broken up by dramatic drumming, the song was entirely captivating. The crowd was ready for more.

Frontman Nicholas Petricca, matching fans with face paint of his own, showed off his many talents: drumming, singing and playing keyboards throughout the duration of the set. He also made sure to connect to the crowd, talking between most songs. The token ballad of the set, “Iscariot” showcased Petricca’s deep and powerful voice more than the tracks that came before it as the crowd remained silent and intent.

From the third song “Next in Line” until the end of the show, hands were held high and feet were off of the floor more than on it.

The band threw some new songs into their set, claiming that they like to gauge reactions from fans other than their parents. One of their latest, “Drunk In The Woods,” had fans cheering until the band segued into the next song's opening keyboard chords.

Walk The Moon saved their fan favorites for the end of their set and fans sang along to every single word. The show could have ended with “Jenny” and the liveliness it provided.

However, the audience knew that there was only one way to end the night, with Walk The Moon’s hit single “Anna Sun.” The band kept their promise and rattled the ghost town that Syracuse becomes as finals approach.

Walk The Moon went above and beyond the expecting, returning to the stage for an encore of "I Can Lift A Car." The band urged the crowd to let go of their stresses for one last time before going home and returning to schoolwork.

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