The Neighbourhood made their return to Houston this past Wednesday night to the Revention Music Center with the Nu Waves tour in support of their album Wiped Out! With them they brought Texas native Kevin Abstract and Amir Obe and made for an interestingly entertaining night to remember.
coverage by Jade Castillo & Norma Becerra
Wednesday night Kevin Abstract came home to Texas. The almost 20 year old has been supporting indie-pop rock stars, the Neighbourhood since their 4 leg UK tour that started in March, definitely a new landscape for Abstract compared to his days of playing smaller shows at Mango’s (and a D.I.Y. show I hosted) only a couple years back.
The Revention Center was full of angsty, excited, too-cool teens and young adults who were dying to catch Jesse Rutherford of the Neighbourhood take off his shirt on Snapchat. Fifteen minutes before the show, it was visible by the growing mass of people that it was going to be a full house. As the lights went down everyone started screaming and whipping out their phones, ready for the first song. Confusion struck the crowd as Kevin Abstract appeared on stage covered by a motorcycle helmet and assisted by a skinny shirtless guy waving the American flag.
Kicking off the night with his 2015 single “ECHO,” some were hearing Abstract’s distinctive hip-hop meets melancholy indie sound for the first time. “Oh, it’s not The Neighbourhood?” I heard someone behind me say. It didn’t take much longer for the rapper to get a more appropriate welcome when he performed his unreleased coming of age pop ballad “Empty.”
“This next song, when the chorus drops I want everyone to jump high as possible in the air and act dumb as hell and just have fun.”
Abstract finessed the previously hesitant crowd into a full blown circus during his collaborative BROCKHAMPTON banger, “Bet I.” The Neighbourhood’s front man even crowd surfed during the song, complimenting Abstract’s most electrifying moment of the night.
With each song bearing a unique personality between aggressive raps and melodious choruses, Abstract stayed true to his origins of being a teenager but with a mature appeal that won him new fans. The final number was a somber mystique ending with a gracious applause from the room. Keep your eyes on Kevin Abstract, you won’t be sorry.
The Neighbourhood took the stage not long after a performance from Amir Obe, and the crowd was ecstatic to see their favorite Californians.
The band began their set with “Greetings From Califournia,” a song of their newest album Wiped Out! which was released late last year then transitioned into “Prey,” and then into one of my favorites of theirs “Jealou$y,” of off their #000000 & #ffffff mixtape. The Neighbourhood are no strangers to the Houston stage, they’ve played the Revention Music Center a couple of times in the past years and have always managed to draw in great energetic crowds. Besides the fact that it was a Wednesday night, that did not stop the hundreds of “hoodlums” from lining up to see the California five-piece.
Front-man Jesse Rutherford quickly got rid of his custom leather jacket and soon after his shirt as they continued to perform tracks of both their first album I Love You and the previously mentioned Wiped Out! including “Daddy Issues” and “Cry Baby” along with songs off their mixtape and their EP’s I’m Sorry and Thank You.
The crowd bounced and swayed to the flawless beats and intense vocals from the band. The Neighbourhood is known for mixing your traditional indie rock sounds with smooth r&b making their music one of a kind and a fresh sound you won’t really hear anywhere else.
The NBHD closed out their set with they first-hit “Sweater Weather” which spent eleven weeks on the Billboard Alternative chart, a song that everyone knows, but it seems to also be one of those songs that you can never get sick of. I know after over 3 years of listening to it, I’m still in love with it like I was the first time I heard it. The band then went on to perform their first single from Wiped Out!, “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” and finished their set with a bang.