Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I wannawannawannawanna

This past weekend, I made a somewhat impromptu trip to Cincinnati to see my friend, Kevin's, band perform at a place called The Mockbee. The band, Walk the Moon, were having their CD release party and music video premier. I've known Kevin for about five years, though not extremely well. A mutual friend had played some of the band's songs for me when he came to visit a few months ago and I liked what I heard. I figured the trip would be a good opportunity to hear more and get out of Bloomington for the night.

I got into Cincinnati, checked into my hotel, then headed out to find the venue. After driving around and getting lost several times (seriously, the road planning in Cincinnati is horrible), I found the place. The building itself is really cool. The facade was somewhat industrial, but the inside was a true surprise. It's an old building, the walls are stone and the space is cavernous. Even most the doorways are evocative of a cave, with people having to duck under many of them to get through. The upstairs was where all the action was happening, the main room that I entered through had several canvases on the walls, where guests and fans could paint, crowd-sourced art, in a way. There were also, as there are at most shows, a few tables set up for selling band merchandise. Beyond the CDs and T-shirts, there was a shoe designer; a girl who drew with various colors of Sharpies on white plimsolls and canvas shoes. The final effect was really cool, I wish I had gotten a picture of them.

My friend getting his art on.

There was a small room to the side that provided an entrance to the stage. The show experience was extended there with the presence of a face painter who painted anyone who wanted some face art. Of course, I got me some!

The main room, where the bands performed, had another canvas and a screen in the corner for the music video premier.

The whole place had a strong hipster feel to it. One of the main veers being served was PBR and most of the people in attendance were obviously dressed in clothing mostly from Urban Outfitters or American Apparel. So, of course, I loved it.

The show started. The first band on was The Harlequins, a rock band with a somewhat classic sound. The room was still slow at that time of the night, but I really enjoyed their sound, I'm a big fan of classic sounds.

This guy was getting really into it.

The next band was Gold Shoes, a rock/hip hop band. The room had picked up considerably by that time and the band had great energy and really got the crowd going. They were a pretty unique band, I liked their melding of diverse genres.

Finally, it was time for the main act. The set started with the big music video premier. The video was for their song, "Anna Sun," and was filmed at The Mockbee. The first part of the video is a single shot through the venue which transitions into a field with painted people and crazy dancing.

After the video, the band launched into some of their songs from the new album. Altogether, they had a great sound. They are admittedly influenced by Talking Heads, Animal Collective, the Killers, Local Natives (!!), among others. These influences were definitely evident throughout the set with strong pop sensibilities with some heavy percussive elements, they even reminded me a bit of Vampire Weekend, with a little less kwassa kwassa. They performed a couple of covers as well. The first was of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," during which members of a local (to Cincinnati) dance troupe, Pones, Inc., came out to perform. They also covered a song by the Talking Heads, "Burning Down the House," as the first encore.

All in all, it was a great performance and a great experience overall. I had never seen a band command an audience like these boys did. The people there were extremely excited about the band and even knew all the songs. I've also never seen so much attention to providing a full experience; with the face painting, crowd-sourced art and music video, it was more than just a concert.

I would definitely suggest giving the band a listen: http://www.myspace.com/walkthemoonband

If you like what you hear, their album is available on iTunes.
I Want! I Want!a - Walk the Moon

Also, be sure to check out the other bands that performed:
The Harlequins
Gold Shoes

Also, here's that amazing music video for "Anna Sun."


  1. YAY JOY! thank you so much for coming

  2. So Joy, what do you think about MySpace changing their focus? Will it make a difference? The Beatles on iTunes? Big deal?