The Neighbourhood | Photo by Noah Silvestry |

All photos by Noah Silvestry |

California-based alternative pop-rock group The Neighbourhood made a stop at Union Transfer Tuesday night as a part of their tour in support of their debut album, I Love You, released this past spring. The upbeat quasi-hip-hop band staged their performance to run in conjunction with their unusual self-description (for music, that is) as sounding “Black and White”. Hence these images being, you said it, in black and white. The notion of high contrast and impact brought to mind by this image is undoubtedly present in their music, frontman Jesse Rutherford offering a charismatic mélange of melody and rhythm in his distinctly formulated vocals.

The group kicked off the show with the first track off their new record, “How,” whose lyrical self-deprecation verged on irony, Rutherford’s stage confidence resembling that of a well seasoned performer. Also notable from I Love You was “Let It Go”, wherein the radiantly anthemic and musing refrain was echoed by throngs of teenage girls and grown men alike. Speaking of crowd participation, not one song later Rutherford had the audience playing the role of his vocal doppelgänger repeating the word, “What?” on “W.D.Y.W.F.M?”. Late in the set, the group performed a track he describes as the song that best exemplifies the band’s “mission statement”, “Afraid”, whose blatantly hostile affront of a chorus can only come from a deeply passionate place (I’ll leave it to you to look up the lyrics). I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to say that, especially onstage, The Neighbourhood succeeds in their endeavors to create a musical experience that is genuinely unique.

Joining The Neighbourhood was The 1975, whose tuneful performance was an incredibly refreshing relief to whom I’m going to call the “Mystery DJ”, whose apathetically deadpan attempt to warm up the crowd was puzzlingly out of place and poorly executed. Regardless, the Manchester natives were a win in my book, cleverly working the yiddish word, “chutzpah”, into complementary banter. Somewhat resemblant of fellow British post-punk alternative rock group, The Kooks, The 1975 will be returning to Union Transfer this October, and would definitely be worth seeing. Check out photos in the gallery below and the setlist after the jump.

Female Robbery
Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh)
Let It Go
Baby Came Home
A Little Death
Sweater Weather