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The Neighbourhood returned to Charlotte

By Lindsay Kosma

May 25, 2016

Black and white strobe-like lighting and fog, lots of fog, worked to add a bit of mystery to the space inside the FIllmore on a Monday night. But the crowd, who was full of energy and anticipation after warm-up performances by Kevin Abstract and JAHKOY, was not fooled. The moment a dusty shadow moved across the stage, chatter turned to screams.

Lead singer, who donned an open leather jacket over his tattooed, bare chest and a pair of shades, danced in a seductive, carefree way across the stage. His voice, using auto-tune for artistic effect, sang out “Oooh I know once you come to California/ You’ll never look back,” the opening line of “Greetings From Califournia,” the eighth track on their newest album Wiped Out!.

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Photo by Kurt Shackelford

The band, in addition to Rutherford, consists of guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Shane Abels, bassist Mikey Margott, and drummer Brandon Alexander Fried. The group, who has remained consistent throughout their career, has evolved their sound to a more experimental mix of equal parts indie rock/pop and breezy hip-hop/R&B stylings.

Now sans leather jacket and shades but, with the addition of a tambourine, Rutherford jumped into sleepy-sounding “Single.” The track features harmonic additions from the entire band, relaxed, metallic-sounding guitar picking, whimsical keys, and tropical rhythms. The song was very beachy, with airy sounds and relatable lyrics about the angst and longing for another person.

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“Thank you all for being here, you’re very sweet. But I know you got daddy issues, right?” says Rutherford to aptly introduce the next song, “Daddy Issues.”

The crowd on all sides sang the lyrics to every song, both new and old. This is not an exaggeration– they have really garnered quite the loyal following. And rightfully so. Their lyrical content is relatable and imaginative and their music is accessible with thoughtfully placed progressive pieces to keep it interesting.

The night pressed on as they performed songs “Female Robbery” and, of course, “Sweater Weather” to end the unseasonably cool night.

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