Walk the Moon draws energy from audience at Schine Underground

Students sporting bold stripes of face paint and glow-in-the-dark dots around their eyes danced, clapped and sang along to headliner Walk the Moon.

“We rattle this town, we rattle this scene!” crooned Walk the Moon’s lead singer Nicholas Petricca before an enthusiastic crowd.

Walk the Moon wrapped up its largest-ever American tour in Schine Underground on Wednesday night on the heels of a European tour headlining for Fun., and earning accolades like Amazon MP3’s No. 12 record of 2012 for its eponymous album, released this June.

It was the second University Union Bandersnatch concert of the semester, after Kid Ink performed earlier this fall.

The unusual decorations kept up a tradition that started when the band members first painted their faces in the video for the group’s upbeat indie favorite “Anna Sun.”

With their wistful vocal harmonies, infectious guitar beats and easy grins, the band had a sold-out audience singing along to almost every number.

Opening for Walk the Moon was Ghost Beach, a self-described “tropical grit-pop” group from New York City. Some songs, with their eerie synthesizers and ringing guitar parts, seemed almost psychedelic, while others were pure electronic dance numbers.

“I wanna see you guys start to loosen up!” lead singer of Ghost Beach, Josh Ocean, said to the still-tepid audience before launching into the group’s second number.

Ocean set the example himself by bounding and jerking across the stage like a less rhythmic Mick Jagger, coming to the very edge of the stage to get the audience moving.

Though the crowd clapped and nodded along to Ghost Beach’s pulsing beats and wailing guitar, audience members saved their loudest cheers for Walk the Moon, who took the stage at 9:25 p.m., just a few minutes after chants for the band broke out.

The group’s seamless performance had the audience singing along with dreamy melodies and infectious dance numbers alike.

Walk the Moon played until 10:30 p.m., getting the audience to jump and wave ever more enthusiastically with hits from the band’s recent album as well as a few new songs. Immediately upon the band’s exit, the crowd loudly took up the chant of “one more song,” and the group returned for a quick encore.

Walk the Moon is working on new material and plans to hit the studio in a few days. Petricca says they don’t have a firm idea of what the new music will sound like yet, but adds that the band wants to maintain the spirit of its earlier music while possibly introducing a darker element.

Though the show was not without its glitches — a technician had to reach between Ghost Beach drummer Aaron Steele’s legs to adjust his set mid-song and the heat had band and audience alike sweating through their face paint — the audience left the concert grinning.

The reaction from the stage was equally enthusiastic.

“I thought it was great,” said Walk the Moon’s guitarist Eli Maiman.

Students still longing for one more encore are in luck. Both bands have big plans for 2013. Ghost Beach will be taking off on its first headline tour in February as well as recording new material.

Walk the Moon’s schedule is equally busy. Though tonight’s Bandersnatch show was the last leg of its headlining tour, after the show the band headed straight to the airport for San Francisco, where it’ll join a radio holiday tour.

Wednesday’s concert brought both Ghost Beach and Walk the Moon to Syracuse University for the first time, but fans of the show will be glad to know that neither band rules out the possibility of another visit.

When asked if Walk the Moon would come back to SU, Petricca answered “absolutely” with a smile.


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