The first thing that you notice when The Neighbourhood walk on stage, is just how edgy the large amounts of smoke that sit atop the band’s heads look, gathering in the high ceiling of Birmingham’s The Institute.
The second thing is the serious amount of high-pitched screams directed toward lead singer Jesse Rutherford. With an audience (from the back) that seems to be quite diverse, with everyone from young girls to middle aged post-punk men, this is more shocking than perhaps it should have been.
Once the band start performing however, the large amounts of young, screaming girls becomes extremely self-explanatory. Jesse Rutherford commands the stage in such a way that one might confuse the affair with that of a Justin Bieber concert.
The crowd was a sea of phones and other recording devices and as they powered through their 70 minute set, without pausing to really interact with the audience, it becomes clear that this is a Justin Bieber concert... or the equivalent that is, for the angsty teens that live on Tumblr.
Jesse Rutherford is by all means the perfect angsty Bieber Tumblr lord though, seeming incredibly shy and awkward in the few moments of silence between tracks and then coming to life pouring himself into each track, but not overpoweringly.
When it comes to the chorus’ of crowd favourites Sweater Weather and Female Robbery, this shyness seems to let them down massively, with his vocals consistently taking a step back to both the band and the crowd.
Put it down to sound issues, but with Rutherford communicating with the sound desk, making little changes here and there, throughout the whole of the set, it seems unlikely that this is the reason.
All in all, the very experimental sounds of The Neighbourhood, work surprisingly well live, especially when Greetings From California kicks in and we’re all transported to the sea for the intro.
The set list was something to be admired as well, with the second half of the set full of big hits that leave the crowd wondering what track exactly will they end with? The answer of course was RIP. 2 My Youth, which had the mass of screaming girls singing along for the entirety.
By Samantha Daly