Walk the Moon – Asheville, NC – 02.14.2019
WALK THE MOON
Asheville, NC – 02.14.2019
Words and photos by Lynn Roy
Valentine’s Day 2019 was certainly a night to remember in Asheville, NC, as the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium hosted Walk the Moon for one of the final dates of their Press Restart Tour, supported by Bear Hands. Couples, friends, and even a few families with children arrived clearly ready to have fun and be completely themselves. Plenty of people were sporting face paint and glitter - the traditional markings of Walk the Moon fans in their natural habitat - as well as more than a few pride flags. A number of people took the opportunity of the bands’ drum sets with their respective logos already being on stage to take photos together, with fellow fans and even security jumping in to help everyone have a special picture to help them remember the night.
Promptly at 8:00, Bear Hands got the night started with their groovy rock, inviting everyone to come closer to the stage to dance along with them. They opened with recent hit “Back Seat Driver (Spirit Guide)” which quickly had the crowd engaged since this song has been hard to miss on the radio. With that, they had everyone’s attention and continued to keep the crowd bopping along with them. After several songs, security informed the crowd massed around the stage that everyone not holding a VIP ticket would have to return to their seat, making for a disappointing moment for the fans shuffling away mid-song and for the band watching them go as they continued to play. However, the mood was not dampened for long as Bear Hands continued with other crowd-pleasers such as “2 AM” and the thumping bass line of “I Won’t Pay” had everyone rocking out. Near the end of the set, the band invited Ursula Rose on stage for “Blue Lips”, their latest collaboration release. She was an instant hit with the crowd, adding a cool, collected element with her rap dismissing the emotional vampires from her life.
After a short break, the lights went down and the speakers blasted the beginning of “Circle of Life” from The Lion King. The audience was immediately singing along to the familiar tune as Walk the Moon came onto the dark stage. They went straight into “Lisa Baby” amid a cascade of red lights and continued to play a wide mix of songs from across their various albums, satisfying old fans and new, as well as their newest single “Timebomb”. The entire band gave an energetic performance, with lead singer Nick Petricca dancing all over the stage, not stopping even when he was more limited by staying in one place to play keys. Guitarist Eli Maiman quite frankly shredded as he interacted with the crowd, and even Sean Waugaman was a bundle of energy behind his wall of drums.
Since it was Valentine’s Day, they did a cover of “This Must Be The Place” by The Talking Heads, the only time they played the song on this tour of ever-evolving setlists. A few songs later, Nick got the audience to raise their hands and make waves, creating an ocean ahead of “Aquaman”, and everyone turned on their phone flashlights creating a glowing sea in the dark theatre. After that slow, romantic interlude, the band came right back with the bop “Kamikaze” and then headed straight into their best-known hit “Shut Up and Dance”. Everyone certainly was dancing at that point, though far from shutting up as the entire room sang along and cheered. Finally, they stated it was time for their last song and blazed through the dancing-required song “Headphones”, and Eli threw in a riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” just to rock out even further before they left the stage.
Of course, after that the crowd was far from done with them. Chants of “Encore!” quickly turned into “Anna Sun!” since no Walk the Moon show is complete without hearing their oldest favorite. The band returned with “Portugal” and, as always, ended the night with the perennially beloved “Anna Sun”, with Nick taking a walk through the audience near the end. They took their time departing the stage this time, waving as the crowd cheered and throwing drumsticks and setlists to those close enough to catch a souvenir.
While their headlining tour is now over, you can still catch Walk The Moon on tour with Muse this spring and at several festival dates later in 2019.
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Walk the Moon Tour Dates
Feb 26 - Talking Stick Resort Arena - Phoenix, AZ
Feb 28 - Vivint Smart Home Arena - Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 2 - Mandalay Bay Events Center - Las Vegas, NV
Mar 5 - Valley View Casino Center - San Diego, CA
Mar 7 - Golden 1 Center - Sacramento, CA
Mar 9 - Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA
Mar 11 - The Forum - Los Angeles, CA
Mar 24 - BB&T Center - Sunrise, FL
Mar 26- State Farm Arena - Atlanta, GA
Mar 28 Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, ON
Mar 30 - Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
Mar 31 - Videotron Centre - Quebec City, QC
Apr 4 - Little Caesars Arena - Detroit, MI
Apr 8 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Apr 10 - TD Garden - Boston, MA
Apr 12 - United Center - Chicago, IL
May 16-19 - Hangout Music Festival - Gulf Shores, AL
June 16 - Bonnaroo - Manchester, TN
June 20-23 - Firefly Music Festival - Dover, DE