BY TER STAFF
Moments ago, California indie rock band The Neighbourhood (“The NBHD”) stepped off stage after a memorable sold out performance at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI. Known most for their #1 alt-rock hit, ‘Sweater Weather’, the Jesse Rutherford led group performed much more than their A-side singles and brought some talented supporting acts to set the tone for the rest of the night. With some awesome opening sets from Canadian R&B artist, JAHKOY, and one of rap’s most exciting emerging artists, Kevin Abstract, The Neighbourhood had a tough act to follow, and fortunately for their Wisconsin fans, The NBHD put on as great of a headlining performance as the talented artists before them.
Kicking off the Nu Waves Tour tonight was indie rap artist, Kevin Abstract. An artist who admittedly draws inspiration from Childish Gambino, an super-talented but very polarizing rapper, Kevin Abstract is nerdy and weird in the
best most abstract way. Not only did he perform a quarter of his set in his signature motorcycle helmet, but he did it while someone was waving a flag throughout the show, moments before he busted out a Razor scooter. And although Abstract has definitely built a core fan base in the past couple years especially, the Texas-native turned a lot of heads with his music video for ‘Echo’, easily one of the best videos of 2015. Performing ‘Echo’, ‘American Boyfriend’, ‘Empty’ and more, Abstract gave fans a taste of his debut, MTV1987, and what they can expect from his forthcoming album, They Shoot Horses. He is certainly his own artist, but if you’re a fan of Childish Gambino, Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi or anyone in between, you’ll love Kevin Abstract.
Following Abstract’s energetic performance was JAHKOY, also not an indie rock performer. While you may expect The Neighborhood to recruit other indie rock artists, perhaps ones that sound like lesser versions of the headliners, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Although it definitely makes sense to stay within your “genre” to set the tone for your forthcoming performance, The NBHD flipped the script by recruiting an R&B singer and a rap artist. And if it were just any R&B artist, or any rapper, this method could have easily failed. However it would be difficult for The NBHD to have chosen any two better emerging acts in the hip-hop world than JAHKOY and Abstract. JAHKOY is seeing a huge wave of success and co-signs in the past year, especially with the debut of his single ‘Odd Future’ on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio just a few months ago. Lowe wasn’t the only huge name in music to give the Def Jam artist a big co-sign, as Drake later played the same record on his OVO Sound radio program. While still building up a discography of his own in his very young career, JAHKOY introduced himself to fans tonight with a selection of some of his newest records, and while many didn’t expect to attend an R&B concert tonight, they are glad they did.
After a brief intermission between performances, it was time for The NBHD’s return to Milwaukee. Performing in support of their 2015 album, Wiped Out!, the guys opened with the LP’s record, ‘Greetings From Califournia’. And while the crowd overwhelming enjoyed the performances from Abstract and JAHKOY, you could instantly tell this was the moment they were waiting for. Throughout the night the crowd was singing along every word, whether it was one of Wiped Out!’s B-side tracks, or whether it was a track from The NBHD’s earlier years. The energy never reached a low point, even for the band’s most laid back records, and all eyes watched Rutherford’s every move throughout the night. Closing the night with two awesome performances of their number one hit, ‘Sweater Weather’ and Wiped Out!’s equally successful closing track ‘R.I.P. 2 My Youth’, The NBHD definitely delivered for Milwaukee tonight.
Check out our photos from tonight’s performance below and check out the remaining dates on the Nu Waves Tour here.