Walking on stage decorated in fluorescent face paint to none other than Lion King’s Circle of Life and incorporating the Star Wars theme tune in their guitar solos, Walk The Moon’s show strikes you as something a 14 year old kid would cook up. Combining a fun-loving atmosphere with an earthy familiarity (“High-five the person next to you!”), their gig is a joyous rave.
Petriccia has the crowd jumping from party starter Avalanche, without a dip in energy for most of the 17-song set. Though comfortably poppy in style for the most part, Walk The Moon’s brand of glossy American rock is dirtied with occasional oddities – from the strangely well-placed organ intro to Down In The Dumps to the distorted metal growls in Up 2 U.
Spend Your $ has Petriccia effortlessly soaring over the high notes of the crazed-sounding phrase ‘wishful thinker’, perfectly encapsulating the insanity of materialism, combined with a Mario Kart-esque guitar solo and Rainbow Road-type light show.
Seemingly crafted for live performance, headbanger Up 2 U begins unassumingly with Waugaman’s distinctive stick clicks, building slowly in power before Petriccia rises almost psychotically up a wailing scale before letting rip in a beautifully grunged-out chorus.
Caribbean-tinged Work This Body complete with handclaps and toms-heavy rhythm brings sunshine to the sweaty box that is the Liverpool O2 Academy. Maiman’s shining guitar solo calls to mind Graceland-era Paul Simon, and, as is often the case in rock-pop, is not nearly long enough.
Encouraged from the stage to lose all inhibitions, the audience becomes one euphoric bouncing organism during Portugal, finding solace in screaming the chorus chant of ‘What you don’t know now one day you’ll learn; growing up is a heavy leaf to turn’ alongside a thousand others.
Looking like they are genuinely having a good time, we want to be on stage with these guys, and not just because we’re jealous of their wind machine. Their unabated energy is ridiculously infectious and everyone leaves the venue grinning madly in a rather good mood.