This past weekend, the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally (ROT) invaded Austin. Tons of bikers and biker-related events were all over town, but not at The Parish. Quite the opposite crowd was in attendance Saturday night for the sold-out Walk The Moon concert. I don’t think the biker crowd in town for ROT Rally would come to any concert with brightly colored stripes painted on their face, like the fans at The Parish. These people were clearly here to see the Ohio-based synth-pop band play their first headlining concert in Austin.
The show’s only opener was Morning Parade, a polished ready-for-radio Brit-pop band from Essex, England. Morning Parade was a good fit to open. If you were wondering what the English would give us after Coldplay, then Morning Parade is your answer. Frontman Steve Sparrow has a distinct and clear voice that still showcases his English accent without being too thick for mainstream American audiences.
Morning Parades’ set consisted mostly of songs from their self-titled debut album. The young and preppy crowd cheered and clapped along, enjoying the Sparrow’s banter in between songs. The standout tracks for me were two of their biggest singles, “Us & Ourselves” and “Headlights.” If Morning Parade makes it to top 40 radio or a larger music fest, you’ll be hearing more about them I’m sure.
Loud cheers ensued as headliners Walk The Moon took the stage. Fronting the Cincinnati-based indie-pop quartet was the dynamic and clean-cut Nicholas Petricca, whose voice sounded just as good live as it does on the recordings. Right out the gate before even greeting the crowd formally, Walk The Moon got the crowd going. Attendees were even more excited as the group performed “Walk The Line,” which drew some fans to start singing along and jumping, making The Parish’s floor shake a little.
Walk The Moon gave fans at The Parish a special treat as they performed two songs not on the
upcoming self-titled debut, “Drunk In The Woods” and “Teté a Teté”. The energy only stopped once
throughout the whole night when the group decided to slow things down with a well written but boring ballad, “Iscariot”. Things picked up immediately after with “Shiver Shiver” and “Fixin’”. Walk The Moon closed their main set with their hit single “Anna Sun” as expected, and I’m surprised the floor held up as attendees went batshit crazy.
The most surprising thing for me came from their encore when the group covered the Fleet Foxes
song “White Winter Hymnal.” They somehow managed to turn the indie-folk hit into an electro-indie
dance song. While it was strange, it was entertaining and completely out of left field. I wonder if the
crowd in attendance was aware of what they were jumping around and dancing to. Probably not, but
they danced on and left after singing along to “ I Can Lift A Car.” Thank goodness too because that was all the poppy goodness I could handle for one night.