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Walk the Moon charms Stage AE

Written By Matt Petras

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Before Walk the Moon began playing at their recent Stage AE concert in the North Side, the opening act Company of Thieves’ frontwoman Genevieve Schatz, a charismatic, casual and indelibly cute personality, told us the Walk the Moon band members are the sweetest guys. After, I’m pretty sure she told us the guys are going to take us on a ride in their spaceship and that we should be good to each other.

The vibe for this show then continued to be just as feel-good and goofy.

Walk the Moon, an alternative rock band, is fresh off the November release of their third album, “What If Nothing,” following their second album, “TALKING IS HARD,” which included the mega-hit “Shut Up and Dance.” The show last Tuesday was part of the Press Restart Tour, named after the first song of their latest album.

The first song the band played was indeed “Press Restart,” a cool tune that’s not nearly as catchy or easy to sing along with as others from the band due to some muted vocals. Of course, the band played many of the titles from their latest album, which I can’t say is as good as the previous two. “One Foot,” the biggest hit from the newest album and a solid bop, as well as “Headphones,” a fun, silly little song, conjured up the most energy from the audience out of all of the “What If Nothing” selections.

The show shined most during just about any of the songs from their first two albums. The audience knew the words, and the generally faster pace of these songs made for higher energy. “Shut Up and Dance,” certainly far from the band’s best, was a standout at the concert – it’s unsurprisingly a better song when you’re around folks ready to dance. Songs like “Tightrope,” “Portugal” and “Avalanche” also stood out.

The lead vocalist, Nicholas Petricca, walked on stage with a weird get-up complete with what looked like leggings and a shirt that sort of resembled a cape. He brought ample energy to his performance, hopping and grooving around the stage. Before “Aquaman,” a pretty, schmaltzy love song, Petricca encouraged couples to get closer to each other. “We can stay as long as we want, slow dancing in the darkness,” the words go. “And all I know is I wanna be here with you from now on.”

He also preached his love of the energy and passion in Pittsburgh and in America, but bemoaned the “us vs. them” mentalities he sometimes notices. Someone in the audience shrieked something about the “s***** government,” which probably moved me more than Petricca’s sentiment, which served as an agreeable and blasé way to introduce the enjoyable pro-diversity anthem “Different Colors.”

After the encore songs, “Up 2 U” and “Anna Sun” (both absolute jams), Petricca told us, as Schatz had, to be good to each other. It was all pretty lame in a charming sort of way.

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