Last Week, A Band Lived With Me
by Becca Gleason on June 15, 2011
Walk The Moon, an up-and-coming indie-pop quartet is rising the ranks in the music biz. Last week, their tour opening for GROUPLOVE debuted in Los Angeles, selling out The Satellite in Silverlake. I have never seen four more stunned faces when the words “sold out” erupted from a phone call with their manager. After playing South By Southwest this spring, they have skyrocketed to one of the most talked about bands this summer. Having made Spin Magazine’s “25 Bands To See At Bonnaroo” list, and their single “Anna Sun” being named Esquire’s “Song Of The Summer,” the boys could not be more “weirdly excited,” as guitarist Eli Maiman put it while napping on my couch. Frontman Nicholas Petricca nods his head in agreement at this statement and put “I feel like the phrase ‘weirdly excited’ covers what I’ve been feeling the last couple months.” I suppose becoming an indie sensation could have that effect.
The show itself was a huge success. The band’s trademark is painting their faces and encouraging the audience to participate. As a group, they think it’s important to keep “playing,” even as an adult. Needless to say, the face paint was a hit on the west coast, both Los Angeles and San Francisco shows I attended were swarming with sweaty painted people. It was like a disease: once the band decorated themselves, everyone who passed by asked “Hey, where can I get some of that paint?” The boys’ ability to get down and dirty with their fans is one of their most endearing qualities. Each show they paint countless faces, young and old. And when it’s their turn to take the stage even those new to Walk The Moon, run to support their new paint-brethren.
On their last afternoon in Los Angeles, they returned from a meeting. Kevin Ray, their bassist, and Sean Waugaman, drums, looked like they had just seen a ghost as they ran in the door. I thought they were still sick from our trip to Six Flags the day before. Nick and Eli, equally perplexed, explained to me, “We were walking down the street and some guy pulled over in his car- when he stopped and rolled down his window, he asked if we were Walk The Moon… It was the strangest thing.” Their humble attitude is infectious. When they hit the big time, I hope they can remember the moment when they were recognized on the streets of LA. To be quite fair, when the boys walk around, it looks like they’re a band. It’s either that, or a few lost boys managed to teleport from the movie Hook.
Though my apartment still hasn’t recovered from their stay, after seeing them perform in Cincinnati over a year ago, then again in New York last summer, up to last Thursday’s performance in San Francisco, watching them grow as a band and enjoy every second of their success was a privilege. I cannot be more proud and anxious to see what they’ll do next.
When I said goodbye to them in San Fran, they were rushing to the airport to get on a plane to Bonnaroo, where they apparently kicked serious booty. They’ll be traveling through New England over the next week, then they’ll play Lollapalooza in August. Go see them! It’s one of the most fun shows touring right now. But be ready to paint your face.
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