Going into last Friday’s show I can admit that I only knew a little bit about The Naked and Famous. I had heard multiple tracks on local radio stations and even come across a few in some video games (if my memory serves me correctly I think they had a track in Need For Speed Rivals). I had liked what I had heard and was really excited to see what their live show would be like on this tour run opening for Imagine Dragons. The tour aptly named “Into the Night” by the headlining Imagine Dragons is a great chance for The Naked and Famous to expand their audience and was also a perfect fit for them musically.
Prior to their performance Nico Vega got the crowd warmed up but not enough people were in the venue to catch that and by the time The Naked and Famous were set to take the stage it was packed from side to side of the Susquehanna Bank Center. The lights went dark and the first thing you could hear before the performance started was the screaming cheers of fans in the audience. This band had a large amount of fans in their audience, whether they knew every song or just the singles didn’t matter because they were screaming all the same.
The first song began with a blinding flash, and when I say blinding I really mean. “A Stillness” was beautifully sung Alisa Xayalith as these amazing rays of white light were cast down from above into the fog to create a magical effect on stage. Really though, I can’t say enough good things about their lighting production for this set. Each song was seemingly well fit with a cascade of colors ranging from viridian greens to harsh yet magnificent purples, not to mention the blaring white strobes behind them that often left fans dazed and confused when they went off. At times I felt bad because at times you couldn’t see their drummer, Jesse Wood, behind all the fog and strobes going off but that is such a minor thing really.
By “Girls Like You,”which was their third song that evening, the crowd had begun to move and dance which was a pleasant sight to see. Despite this venue being an oddly shaped half oval everyone had a great view of the stage and could get even closer due to a walkway that was being used for the “Into the Night” tour. Sadly though a few fans used this time to go buy merchandise, grab a snack or do whatever it is they had to do. They really missed out on a phenomenal performance and it is their loss because all of that stuff could have waited until in between sets. The Naked and Famous played just 9 songs and ended on their superb radio hit “Young Blood,” which every single person in the arena seemingly knew the lyrics to by heart.
In all honesty I could have seen them go on to play another 6 or 7 songs and I don’t think anyone would have complained. The audio mix was loud but so crisp to listen to, you could feel each note of David Beadle’s bass being plucked and both Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith shined through terrifically. I don’t see this band going back to a venue smaller than a mid-sized arena after this tour, their fanbase has grown a lot on this tour and with all their recent radio play. They deserve it all because they have the talent to back it up. Some bands are good studio bands, some bands are good live bands but The Naked and Famous are both and this is what sets them apart in the music industry today. I highly recommend you check them out on the “Into the Night” tour and more importantly I recommend you pick up a copy of their most recent album, “In Rolling Waves.” The Naked and Famous are here to stay and could even prove to be as big or bigger than Imagine Dragons by the end of this year.