The Neighbourhood, occasionally rendered as THE NBHD, are a young Californian alternative rock band formed in 2011. Their second full-length album Wiped Out! was the focal point of their current UK tour, which passed through Portsmouth Pyramids Centre last Friday. The band were supported by 19-year-old American hip-hop artist Kevin Abstract and Brookyln natives MOTHXR.
Kevin Abstract offered a relatively average set in comparison to the acts that followed, though his soulful voice and fleeting rap-god demeanour proved just about enough to hold the crowd over until the next act took to the stage. MOTHXR, however, pleasantly surprised the majority of the audience with their captivating vocals and electro-dance beats, but some fans seemed to think that our beloved Dan Humphrey should have stuck to the writing instead.
The Neighbourhood propelled their audience straight into an immersive run-through of their new material as vocalist Jesse Rutherford began the set with ‘Ferrari’, accompanied by an impressive, monochromatic light display. With their all-black outfits and ‘less is more, even with letters’ aesthetic, The Neighbourhood’s stage presence was reminiscent of an edgier The 1975. But with better vocals.
As well as performing tracks from their latest album, the band included several numbers from their debut album I Love You as well as a repertoire of songs from their previous EP’s. Notable tracks included ‘Wires’, ‘Afraid’ and their first hit single ‘Sweater Weather’, which was greatly received by their audience.
With regards to the Wiped Out! set list, Rutherford’s voice sounded as flawless live as it does on the album. He seemed to maintain a relaxed presence throughout his performance until, towards the end of the album’s title track, he started throwing bottles into the audience with one appearing to hit a security guard standing below the stage. A small price to pay, some might argue, for the chilling vocals and rockstar-ish stage presence.
Without a doubt, the star track of the night was their latest single, ‘R.I.P. To My Youth’, which they cleverly saved until the end of their set ensuring that, once it finally dropped, the crowd were left feeling empowered. Overall, the alternative rockers put on a first-rate performance with powerful vocals and a show that will forever be ingrained in the crowd’s memory.