Last Monday evening, dozens of girls lined up outside the Paradise Rock Club to wait for The Neighbourhood.
What they got first was UK band Lovelife. Though very different from The Neighbourhood’s heavier sound, they blend R&B-styled lyrics with a synth-pop sound and, from the very first song, they captured everyone’s attention. They play songs that not only make you want to dance (frontman Leonard Newell even asked, “will you dance with me?” before playing band’s second song) but also give you something to relate to. Lyrics like “follow me to the place where we will never get lost” were perfectly matched with quality beats.
Their music contained enough teenage angst and emotions to have gained some fans. Personally, I was way more interested in the more mellow dance club beats. My favorites of their relatively-short setlist were “Your New Beloved” and “Invisible.” Newell introduced the first one by asking the crowd “to keep spirits high, this is about my ex-girlfriend.” If that doesn’t sound like modern teenage angst, then I don’t know what does.
The Neighbourhood was a surprise. I admit, I knew two of their songs before seeing them on Monday. Yes, one of them was “Sweater Weather.” When they took the stage, all in black, I realized why I had been waiting in line with so many angsty teenagers complaining about the PSATs. The band has tremendous stage presence. Frontman Jesse Rutherford used every inch of the small space at Paradise and the girls loved how close he’d get to the crowd.
They have a great sound and I realized that lyrics are incredibly relatable, if only a little too reminiscent of the middle school “emo” days. I fell in love with the song “Afraid,” which was perfectly angry and emotional for me. I fell in love with the band when Jesse told us to find a job like his, “where you can spend all your time with you best friends.”