Walk the Moon sells out 9:30 Club in DC

The pop rock group are on tour celebrating a decade of success

Walk the Moon rocked the legendary 9:30 Club Thursday night (Nov 10th) with a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of their self-titled album.

The first hour of the evening was dedicated to that album, with each song being played in order. The party got started when Nick Petricca, Eli Maiman, and Sean Waugaman took the stage with touring member Lachlan West. Petricca jumped around the stage in a red windbreaker and black tank.

Most of the 11-song self-titled set were punchy, upbeat numbers. The mindless fun on “Anna Sun” and “Quesadilla” giving way to the ballads “Lions” and “Iscariot” made their impact almost religious. Throughout the set, Petricca toggled between keys, a singular Tom drum, and hyping the crowd at the front of the stage.

A wall of dancing LED light squares and florescent trees added a nightclub feel to the band’s poppy rockers. However, midway through the night, Walk the Moon did something far to few in their genre do: they unplugged and demonstrated their raw talent.

First, Petricca sat at the keyboard for a goosebump-inducing “Rise Up.” His raw vocals and pure playing betrayed his rock success. Gradually, all members returned. Guitarist Maiman opted for an acoustic guitar, while drummer Waugaman sat at a stripped-down kit. The acoustic set culminated in fan-favorite, Twitter-requested “Anywayican.”

After a story time with frontman Nick Petricca while crew tore down the acoustic setup, the band launched into their third act of ten of their hits from their other albums.

One constructive note for a tour only five dates in: Petricca felt himself losing the crowd during his story. He remarked on this a few times. It wend significantly longer than needed for the set change, and that’s why the crowd got restless. He’d be better served to time his talking to wrap as soon as the stage is ready. Of course, the crowd was his again as soon as the music kicked in.

Wearing a purple, black, and blue jacket that could be out of the 90s, they dug way back to the Tightroper EP for “Tete a Tete.” They also offered selections from their four other albums post Walk the Moon. This of course included their signature song “Shut Up and Dance.” Plus, their early non-label release I Want! I Want! was repoed by “The Lyftaway.”

The fans sang and clapped along all night. There were even some special fans in attendance: all band members had their parents in the house. I had the good fortune to sit behind them, and watch these parents beam with pride and rock out to their offspring’s influential cannon of music.

But the band member’s family members weren’t the only people of an older generation in attendance at the sold-out show. Many generations were represented by the 1,200 strong. In a pop rock landscape that can turn away purists, Walk the Moon has managed to achieve broad appeal. One could say they shot for — and landed on — the moon.

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.

Email: matt@themusicuniverse.com