People must have waited hours to get in the venue first, hoping to get those center barricade spots to see The Neighbourhood. Though I was an hour early to the venue, I was one of the last people to enter when doors opened at 7:00pm. I wonder if those people who had waited all day for their perfect places were disappointed that they had to wait there through not one but two opening acts before The Neighbourhood came on.

The first group, Rebounder, was actually quite good. They had a habit of cutting their songs off without any sort of outro which irked me, but overall, I think they have a lot of potential for growth. They got the audience to participate with the intro to a song which involved a lot of saying, “Yeah,” and sing a chorus which involved waiting at a bar at the end of the world. I feel like I’m sitting at that bar now because I’m waiting for them to put that song on Spotify, so I can sing it again. I’m waiting, but it’s just not there.

Just like the second opener, Porches, wasn’t there. He definitely was not mentally present on stage. I don’t know what he was on, but I think the audience was in agreement that he was half with us and half in the cosmos. At one point he was talking about how he loved certain members of the audience, could love others, could probably love some others, and could probably potentially love every single one of us in the room. He kept going over to his computer and mumbling bizarre things while he selected tracks to sing. I was rather unsettled by just this approach to live performance which I’ve really only seen at DIY types of shows. I wasn’t quite sure of what to make of his set as a whole since I was thrown for a loop at nearly every decision of his. In the end, I was quite floored though when Porches started to perform on the floor, laying on his back with his knees bent, in a sort of reverse child’s pose. His performance was something quite new to me, yet I’m not completely sure if he is someone who is meant to be on stage.

There are people who perform—like Porches, and then there are performers. While that might not seem like a huge difference, it’s the different between hearing live music and seeing a show. Jesse Rutherford, lead singer of The Neighbourhood, is truly a natural performer.

In all fairness, I can’t honestly and truthfully discuss their accuracy to their studio recordings or the quality of their live sound since I was situated right under a stream of speakers. My eardrums were being bombarded with bass during The Neighbourhood’s set, which made it hard to really appreciate much of anything when it came to their music. I really couldn’t understand much of the lyrics Jesse was singing, but I was really enraptured with his physical performance. There’s something about the way that he moved on stage that was a sensual contrast to the aggression in the instrumentation I could feel reverberating in my chest. He owned the stage and worked the crowd in a way that alleviated the need to actually hear anything. While, yes, we are talking about live music, I still think that’s a sign of a moving performance.

In a similar, counterintuitive vain, how could Jesse ooze so much sex appeal while wearing a neon green, leopard-print bucket hat is a wonder in itself. When a voice toward the center of the crowd yelled, “Fuck me, daddy,” during a lull in the music, the audience lost a little bit of their self-control. That audience member said what the rest of us were all thinking; it’s not our fault Jesse was tempting us all with his smooth vocals, tattooed chest, and overwhelming sense of confidence.

Jesse set the tone for his performance when he grabbed the hanging microphone and swung over the crowd like a sexy, rockstar Tarzan. The audience seemed to tense with excitement every time he reached for the chain, hoping that he would use the mic to propel himself into the audience and around the stage—though it wasn’t always the case. It was slightly disappointing when he didn’t hit the rope, but it didn’t affect the overall perception of the show.

The Neighbourhood truly showed why they have such a loyal fan base. They were entertaining while still being true to their musical sound, they were “in-your-face” with the microphone-chain-swing without being gimmicky, and they seemed like they were having a good time on stage which in turn transmitted into the audience and throughout the venue. Though it was concerning that I didn’t fully regain my hearing until the next afternoon, the whole show was totally worth it.

Words by Ava Scott

Pamela Wang

Pamela Wang

Pamela Wang is a Photographer and Graphic Designer from Los Angeles, CA currently based in NYC. Check out more of her work at