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The Neighbourhood Rocks The Fonda For A Hometown Crowd

Lilian Min |
July 17, 2013 | 2:03 a.m. PDT

Music Editor

It started off, as things are want to, in a small, quiet way—with a little gem of a song named "Sweater Weather."

But within the past year, The Neighbourhood has traveled from coast to coast showcasing their particular brand of hazy, R&B meets surf rock California sunshine-soaked sound. They've gone from being a band with a mysterious Soundcloud account to performing at Coachella and KROQ's Weenie Roast, from doing self-released EPs to dropping major label records. 

ALSO READ: Coachella 2013: Superlatives And Slideshows

For those of us who have been following the band since the "I'm Sorry..." days, this success comes as little surprise. It might be easy to prescribe The Neighbourhood's popularity to its "carelessly" cultivated SoCal soft grunge aesthetic (see: Lana Del Rey), but that completely disregards the band's undeniable talent.

And that talent was on point Monday night at Hollywood's Fonda Theatre, as the band played a standout show in front of an adoring hometown crowd.

The night began with the musical stylings of JMSN (pronounced Jameson, like the whiskey). While Christian Berishaj is the only formal member of the band, he took the stage with two other similarly Blake Anderson-maned men (and one bald drummer) for a strangely hypnotic opening set. 

JMSN's combination of smooth R&B stylings alongside decidedly alternative/indie rock instrumentals could be categorized as "PBR&B"—which is not meant as an insult—and while the tunes themselves sometimes blended into each other, by the end of JMSN's set, most everybody in the crowd was moving, propelled along by Berishaj's infectious energy.

And when Jesse Rutherford and his bandmates finally took the stage, it was as if someone had lit the theatre floor on fire, as gal and guy fans of the band (dubbed "Hoodlums") alike lept off the ground, whooping and shrieking their adoration.

ALSO READ: The Neighbourhood Muses On Songwriting And Success

Rutherford cuts a striking figure, made even more striking by his many tattoos and his long, lean torso. But it's his voice, with its androgynous drawl, that sets The Neighbourhood apart from being Just Another Hipster Band. 

During the night's set, Rutherford and co. shined most on the harder hitting numbers from their limited catalog. Along with tunes from debut album "I Love You." such as "Flawless" and "W.D.Y.W.F.M.?," the crowd sang and shouted along to "I'm Sorry..." and "Thank You" cuts like "Wires" and "A Little Death."

The crowd was most receptive to those Neighbourhood tunes with the biggest hooks and choruses, such as "Let It Go," "Female Robbery," "Everybody's Watching Me (Uh Oh)," and the bitterly brilliant "Afraid" (whose line "F*ck you anyway" was easily the most vocalized lyric of the evening).

Of course, The Neighbourhood saved "Sweater Weather" for the encore, and the band drew out the tune's opening before launching into the now familiar drum beat.

The band wrapped with "Float" before finally taking their leave for the evening. The Neighbourhood is going to be touring with Imagine Dragons for much of the rest of the summer, but they're taking to the Fonda one more time before the summer's end—and if you haven't caught these local lads live yet, might we suggest you do so before their artist profile (and thus ticket prices) skyrockets. This band's no one hit wonder, and it's only a matter of time before they break out beyond the flower crowned-set.

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Music Editor Lilian Min here; follow her on Twitter here and on Google+ here.



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