share save 171 16 The Neighbourhood at The Summer Stage

From the beginning The Neighbourhood have kept this idea that the music always comes first. With that in mind, they released their first single Female Robberyin 2012 without offering any insight into the band or who they were. After their identities were revealed, it was uncovered that The Neighbourhood was a band that originated in California despite the English spelling of their name. The band consisted of lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford along with Mikey Margott, Zach Abels, Jeremy Freedman, and Bryan Sammis. Drummer Bryan Sammis announced in January of 2014 that he was leaving the band to pursue a solo career in music, Brandon Fried took his place shortly after. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford started out in the hip hop genre, explaining the influences of R&B and hip hop in this alternative rock band. The band as started quite a revolutionary movement with not only an interesting combination of genres making their music truly unique but they have sparked a black and white movement. From their pictures, to their music videos, to their interviews everything is black and white. The band even chooses to only wear black and white clothing adding to their aesthetic. Rutherford stated that this is all part of his vision, to show that there is “No Grey” to them, that everything is simply black or white.

The Neighbourhood32 300x300 The Neighbourhood at The Summer StageOn May 20th the Neighbourhood played one of their biggest shows yet, selling out Rumsey Playfield also known as The Summer Stage.  I had the incredible opportunity of not only attending this show but I also got to see them back in October of 2013, with the original drummer Bryan Sammis at Terminal 5. I arrived around 4:00 PM (an hour before doors opened) and joined thousands already waiting in line to see the band. The large venue comfortably accommodated the 5,000 eager souls waiting to see The Neighbourhood. There were three opening acts: DJ Born Casual who not only opened up the show but took over intermissions as well,Little Daylight, and Danny Brown.

As soon as doors opened DJ Born Casual was up on stage creating a party atmosphere and prepping you for the excitement that was to come. Born Casual made sure to play a wide variety of artists and genres to make sure everyone had fun. From Disclosure, to Drake, to Souljia Boy, to Tupac, the DJ sure knew how to keep the crowd dancing and singing along.  Shortly after the first opening act Little Daylight, came on. The alternative pop trio had a sweet and airy/magical vibe to them. While a great band, who I will certainly follow in the future they did not seem like a suitable first act for The Neighbourhood. The band lacks the “edge” and energy that The Neighbourhood has and is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Think of Little Daylight as the “cute” little girl who wears bows and ribbons and the Neighbourhood as your class troublemaker and rebel who only wears black and leather. I would like to see Little Daylight open for Matt & Kim or maybe even The Naked and Famous but definitely not The Neighbourhood.

Then came Danny Brown, a unique rapper who MTV describes as “one of rap’s most unique figures in recent memory.” He’s an alternative hip hop rapper with some electronic and trap influences. From the moment he walked on stage to the moment he walked off he had the crowd jumping and dancing to all of his raps. Even those who were just introduced to him like myself were instantly jamming along. Reminding us of The Neighbourhood’s hip hop roots Danny Brown could not have been a better opening act.

Before The Neighbourhood came onstage I had mixed feelings about the show. I had high expectations in regards to their unforgettable show at Terminal 5 The Neighbourhood SummerStage1 300x300 The Neighbourhood at The Summer Stagelast October but at the same time I was feeling a bit uneasy due to the fact that drummer Bryan Sammis wasn’t going to be there and a stranger would be in his place. That, on top of the fact that I thought all of their old songs from The Love Collection were replaced with new ones had me a bit worried that my expectations weren’t going to be met.  Let me tell you, not only were they met, they were surpassed. Before The Neighbourhood even came onstage, the crowd was roaring. I felt bad for the neighboring buildings! The crowd was on edge waiting for them to come out, and as soon as they stepped foot onstage they received a crazy New York City welcome.

The Neighbourhood started off with Silver from their new mixtape. Silver transitioned into Everybodys Watching Me (Uh Oh) which truly started off the night right for me. I was greatly pleased with the setlist as they did their best to incorporate new songs without eliminating their old stuff. Someone had previously told me that West Coast and all the other songs from The Love Collection were not going to be included in their set anymore, which basically had me going into the show slightly disappointed. Not only did the band include West Coast, Jesse Rutherford preformed an acapella version of it, which left us all in utter awe and shock. The Neighbourhood are known for their crazy, exciting, thrilling performances and to see such a raw and heartfelt performance during West Coast was beyond what we could have ever imagined. All eyes were on Jesse as his voice traveled across Central Park. Jesse was in the spotlight as the rest of the band simply stayed back and watched him blow the crowd away with just his vocals and lyrics.

After that the band went The Neighbourhood2 300x300 The Neighbourhood at The Summer Stageback to their normal set including their newer singles and mix tapes as well as songs from their signature album I Love You. and even songs from their Im Sorry. EP.  They even played A Little Death from their single Thank You, which they didn’t play at the last show I went to, so it was a pleasant surprise.The true highlight of the night was of course when they played Sweater Weather, I don’t think there was one person in that crowd that was not singing along. The off-key, yet beautiful screams of the crowd singing along overpowered Jesse at times but it was a beautiful moment. Jesse kept looking at the crowd with a huge smile plastered on his face, the whole band seemed in awe at the reaction as soon as the opening beat for Sweater Weather started playing. I think that’s my favorite part about concerts: The intimate connection between the band and the fans who’ve finally got the chance to come together and enjoy one of life’s simplest pleasures, music.

Overall, The Neighbourhood yet again delivered not only a spectacular show but an out of this world performance. They have this energy about them that makes them one of those bands that you want to see over and over again because they are somehow even better live.

The only critique I have about the show, as expected, is that the drummer was not up to par with former drummer Bryan Sammis. Fried is an amazing drummer nonetheless, but he can’t replace Sammis. This was especially evident during Sweater Weather where the drumming is one of the most important aspects of the song. It is understandable that he doesn’t preform the songs exactly like Sammis did, but for me it just lacked the energy and power that Sammis brought onstage with him. Fried’s drumming almost gets “lost” while Sammis took full control of the stage and really moved the crowd.

While nothing can compare to the first time you see a band live, The Neighbourhood made sure to come close, even with the absence of drummer Bryan Sammis. All in all, it was an amazing show and I definitely recommend you see these guys at least once in your life because you won’t regret it.

  1. Stephanie says:

    Great article!!