Nestled in the Griffith Park hills, the Greek Theater seems like a perfect fit for LA-based band The Neighbourhood. California native, the group is composed of vocalist Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels, bassist Mikey Margott, and drummer Brandon Alexander Fried. Their recent self-titled album released earlier this year has been subject to bad press review but the band can count on the generous support of their fans, the hoodlums. “Scary Love”, the first single from the album reached over 3 million views on Youtube.
Unfamiliar with the band’s sound, I start to do more online digging and it looks like The Neighbourhood’s music is hard to label, from alternative rock to hip-hop to urban pop. I’ve seen many attempts at describing their genre-crossing style. Arriving at the show, I didn’t know what to expect but a few minutes in and it was clear that this wasn’t going to be a rock show. The lead singer, Jesse Rutherford, used a voice-transforming microphone to obtain that autotune-like vocals during the whole performance which kind of took me by surprise, I’ve seen playback singers before but never live autotuned ones. I guess you can easily feel like an outsider at a Neighbourhood performance, the crowd is actually more of a big mass of young fans singing, sorry I mean screaming, every word along with Rutherford, sometimes even covering his amplified voice during the hits. After the few first notes of every song, a wave of screaming follows. The scene is a mix of screams, Rutherford’s seductive moves and more screaming. Rutherford swings by a vintage microphone hanging from the scaffolding, he flies above the first rows and I wonder if he is going to jump. He doesn’t. You can tell the show comes to an end as the band is blasting their more popular tunes. Is there any song those kids don’t know all the lyrics to? It feels almost rude to not sing along but here I am, a quiet outsider surrounded by young people having the best time of their lives.
Photographed by Nicole Busch