Neighbourhood brings ‘Middle of Somewhere’ to PGH


Photo by Kylie Thomas

The Neighbourhood lead singer Jesse Rutherford performing at Stage AE.

Written By Kylie Thomas, For The Globe

What’s a better way to spend your Friday night than having singer Jesse Rutherford swing over your head on a mic hanging from the ceiling? There definitely isn’t one.

The Neighbourhood brought their headlining tour, “Middle of Somewhere,” to Stage AE on Friday, Nov. 8. The tour features opening acts Claud and Slow Hollows as the band tours the country. Needless to say, it definitely is a tour one won’t want to miss.

Claud and Slow Hollows both incorporated the indie feel that The Neighbourhood has into both their sets. They kept the crowd entertained and focused on them, which is hard for an opening band to do, especially when you’re playing before The Neighbourhood. Both bands even got a good reaction from the crowd as fans cheered after their songs and called out to them during silent spots. Considering most of the crowd had just stood out in the freezing cold for at least an hour, this was a pretty big deal for the crowd to be hyped up.

While the opening acts got the crowd warmed up, the reaction when The Neighbourhood came on stage was incredible. The second that Rutherford slipped out from behind the curtain, covered in tight silver clothing and covered from hair to toe in silver makeup, the crowd went insane with screams.

There is, of course, an explanation for this look. It’s a persona Rutherford made up called Chip Chrome. The persona has become the sort of theme for the tour as the merch featured shirts that said, “Who The F*** Is Chip Chrome,” and the band were suited up in reflective silver suits.

So there’s Rutherford, standing in front of a big curtain, covered in silver except for the red and blue on his eyes, with an acoustic guitar, as he starts to sing their song, “Middle of Somewhere.” Eventually the music switches up to more upbeat as the live instruments come in and the curtain is pulled away to reveal the band as well as a hanging microphone from the ceiling in the middle of the stage.

After a while into the second song Rutherford disappears. He later comes back in silver suit pants, an open silver reflective suit jacket with no shirt underneath, and all the silver makeup is gone. With this, the band dives into the rest of their show in the usual Neighbourhood fashion.

The setlist that the band chose involves a mix between their older hits and some of their newer and lesser known songs. It was the perfect mix for both new and old fans and superfans, though the older songs are what really got the crowd going. The second that Rutherford started the beginning lyrics to “Daddy Issues” the entire crowd went wild and started screaming the words along with him.

The energy between the band and the crowd were outstanding. You could feel the vibrations of the energy of everyone in your bones and the thump of the bass deep through your veins. There were two top energy points of the show. The first was whenever Rutherford started to lift himself up by the mic hanging from the ceiling. He proceeded to climb onto the drum platform, hold onto the mic and swing. Next thing the front row knew, Rutherford was swinging over top of them, even kicking over the mic stand at the front of the stage. Everyone began to jump to the beat of the song and scream. It was truly a huge gust of energy for the show.

The second peak of energy was towards the end. If one knows anything about The Neighbourhood it’s going to be their song “Sweater Weather.” The song became a big hit somewhere around 2013. The second, actually the very millisecond, that everyone heard the opening drum beat to the song, you would’ve that you were at a One Direction arena show with a bunch of pre-teen girls. For the main generation that flooded the venue to see The Neighbourhood, hearing “Sweater Weather” live was an absolute dream come true.

The show finished off with the song “Stuck With Me” which was unusual because it isn’t a super upbeat song nor did they have an encore. The audience sang along to the song as much as they could and cheer as loud as they could for the band once the song was over. Even though it was an odd way to end the show, it felt perfect once it was all over.

The show in itself was enthralling from beginning to end. The atmosphere of the indie crowd was way more hyped than imagined and led to a great environment. The band aspect of The Neighbourhood didn’t miss a beat and Rutherford kept the audience in the palm of his hand the whole time. The stage lights and stage show enhanced the entire experience as well. All the elements came together perfectly to form a night that every Neighbourhood fan will remember. It can definitely be said we all know who Chip Chrome is now.