Concert Review: Walk the Moon and The Griswolds @ The Danforth Music Hall – Toronto

On the cold and rainy night of April 8th at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, brave Canadians who still cannot seem to stand the frigged air of a very early spring were brought together at the sold out show for Walk the Moon and The Griswolds for a few hours of pure magic. Some people had stood out all day hoping to get good spots, while others had only arrived moments before the doors were to open, yet everybody seemed to be just as excited as the next person. This was one of the best shows I have ever been to: from the security and staff; the crowd; the performance; and of course the music. The security personnel were fast and pleasant and the staff were extremely nice and understanding.

The Griswolds were the first band to wow the crowd that night. It was my first time hearing of this band, yet their music, performance, and their personalities had not failed to please me. At many concerts, a big handful of people are only there for the main act and are usually not as excited for the opening band, but this time it was different as the excitement and enthusiasm of the audience was as strong at the beginning as it was at the end. One main thing I had noticed was that many people around me had been singing along to their songs, which surprised me a little. The band members looked like they had a lot of fun on stage with each other and with the crowd; they got involved with the audience, pulled some sick stage moves, joked with the fans, showed up wearing matching Canadian sweaters, and even sang happy birthday to one of the members as a joke. That was probably one of my favourite parts that night. The band members seemed like very nice people. After their set, they had gone out to the lobby, and since I and a few others were already there, we had gotten to see the band connect with the fans in a personal way. They had taken the time to hang out and chat with a few people who had come out of the pit to meet them, taking pictures with them and having a few laughs like old friends.

A little while past and the crowd began to get antsy, and started to chant, “Walk the Moon,” over and over again. The anticipation was almost unbearable, and then the lights went out. The audience’s roar was deafening. Everybody had an amazing rush of “childhood-past” as the beginning of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” had began to play. Then, after the band had entered stage left, the music just stopped, and then “Different Colors” had started. The lighting was very cool; it was all a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white. The band had an amazing vibe onstage. They had lots of emotion, very catchy tunes, and brightened up everybody’s thoughts. The music made everybody dance. There had been a lot of solos for Eli Maiman, the guitarist, which had gotten a huge reaction from the crowd multiple times that night. Nicholas Petricca, lead vocalist, barely moved from his spot for quite a bit of the night, yet his hand gestures and body language were arrhythmic and powerful, making up for his lack of movement. When they had rocked their newer hit song, “Shut Up and Dance,” everybody sang along and danced like they didn’t have a care in the world (even my mother). Nicholas had thanked everybody for coming out a few times, and had welcomed the “newbies” (as he put it) into the family before going into the infamous “initiation” leading into “I Can Lift a Car,” a personal favourite of mine because of the meaning behind it – being strong. The lights throughout the show had changed over and over again, bringing emotion into the songs through colour; even Sean Waugaman’s drum set was cool – it was a clear set that was lined with colour-changing lights that also added a cool effect.

The band had left the stage after they finished playing “Jenny,” and the crowd began to chant, “One more song! One more song!” and continued to do so even after they had come back on stage. Petricca followed up by saying, “We’d hate to disappoint,” before the band jumped into one of The Killers’ songs entitled, “All These Things That I’ve Done.” They had finished off with the song everybody knows and loves, “Anna Sun.” Nicholas had even brought the keyboard down into the audience when the song was ending for the fans to play. Walk the Moon was even better than I remember from when I saw them on The Gospel Tour with Panic! At The Disco last August. They are a spectacular group of people who are amazing at what they do musically, and as performers.

Walk the Moon and The Griswolds weren’t the only ones who had fun onstage that night; the tech guys also seemed to have fun. As they were setting up, they were talking with the crowd, making jokes with them as they put things away and put others into place for the next band, and even played air guitar. The venue all together was filled with wonderful people who had enjoyed themselves, no matter how busy or serious they had to be.

The night ended with the fans elated and tired, ecstatic and sore, and the lobby was filled with people trying to get out, but I can honestly say that everybody there had made many new friends that night, and had felt like that was the place where they belonged. I will most definitely be going back to another Walk the Moon concert, and look forward to a Griswolds one as well, because of the way I had felt that night and the whole experience. I would highly encourage anybody and everybody to go see the bands live, and to live the experience as I and many others had the pleasure to experience. Make sure to catch the remaining dates of the Talking is Hard tour if you are able to; it’s not something you will regret doing.

For our interview with Walk the Moon, click here.

Review by Chloe Dudley

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