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Friday, February 03, 2023
The band just finished the U.S. leg of the tour promoting their latest album, Press Restart, with Madison as their penultimate stop. 

The band just finished the U.S. leg of the tour promoting their latest album, Press Restart, with Madison as their penultimate stop. 

Walk the Moon brings electric new tunes to Orpheum

Most people know Walk the Moon from their acclaimed, overplayed pop hit “Shut Up and Dance.” If you don’t know the tune, you must have done a pretty good job at avoiding every radio station for the past four years.

However, few are aware that “Shut Up and Dance,” though a relentlessly catchy tune, is not the band’s best song. In fact, it’s not even close to being their greatest hit.

I was reminded of this on Friday evening when I attended Walk the Moon’s Press Restart Tour at the Orpheum Theater. I apologize for the delay in writing this review of the concert — I spent the days following the show obsessively listening to every album the band has created.

That, and thinking about how incredible Walk the Moon sounded live. They were unbelievable. I am a little biased, though. I have been listening to the group since they released their first album in 2012. ~Middle school angst.~

The band just finished the U.S. leg of the tour promoting their latest album, Press Restart, with Madison as their penultimate stop. This is the first record the band has released since their 2014 breakout album Talking is Hard; their sound has certainly evolved with the time that has passed.

Press Restart has a modern crisp that their previous albums have lacked — not to say their old music isn’t good. It certainly is. It’s just more dance-boppy than this new record, which feels more mature.

How does this play out in a concert, you ask? Well, dear reader, it was marvelous. The concert was immensely dynamic. The audience was thrown from their self-titled debut album, and my personal favorite, Walk the Moon, to the electric Talking is Hard, to the gut-wrenching Press Restart.

What’s the common thread between all three of these records? An intoxicating beat and flawless vocals by lead singer Nicholas Petricca.

Company of Thieves, a relatively small indie rock band opened for Walk the Moon with some unique songs. Lead singer Genevieve Schatz had a distinctive, pure voice that I doubt I’ll get out of my head for another week.

And while I possess an appreciation for the idiosyncratic sound of Company of Thieves, the audience was clearly waiting for Walk the Moon. Who am I kidding, so was I.

It was well worth the wait. Once the lights blared on and the band members took the stage to perform “Press Restart,” a wave of energy rippled through the crowd. This is what they had come to see.

Between the stunning light show that illuminated the first row to the back wall and the massive guitar solos, there was barely a moment to breathe between songs.

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Remember that intoxicating beat I was talking about earlier? The outcome of a beat that appealing and plain old fun is hundreds of jumping, dancing, singing people.

Every song seemed to get the audience more enraptured and adrenalized. A few older tunes like “Shiver Shiver” and “Tightrope” got the dedicated, established fans excited, myself included.

A favorite moment of the evening was the performance of “Kamikaze” from their most recent album. The song, much like an actual kamikaze, is loaded with explosive rhythms and solos, striking the audience sporadically and deliberately.

Throughout a total of 19 songs, Walk the Moon were humble: They expressed how grateful they were to be on stage together again after their brief break. They also showed Madison some love.

Lead guitarist, Eli Brose Maiman, said, “I know very little about Madison but I do know when I come here I eat too much cheese and the shows are off the chain.”

They wrapped up the show with their latest hit “One Foot.” The song is so catchy that I frequently find myself humming it hours after I’ve heard it. Petricca shouted before the song, “‘One Foot’ party time!”

The entire concert felt like a party to me. Walk the Moon’s success can be attributed to their catchy songs and captivating arrangements. To me, however, their greatest accomplishment is how they make each track feel like a celebration. This is even more powerful live and it was truly something wonderful to witness.

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