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Concert Review: The Naked and Famous

Cassandra Zahran Cassandra Zahran Concert Review: The Naked and FamousPhoto by Mike Rist.
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Last night, the crop tops and cut-off shorts united at the Newport Music Hall for CD102.5 and Promowest presents The Naked and Famous.

I was pleasantly surprised with the New Zealand band the first time I saw them, at the 2012 CD102.5 Day. The five-piece brought exaggerated energy to the stage, infectious to the attendees. The band was genuinely thrilled to be playing for an audience. Band leaders, Alisa and Thom, skillfully commanded the audience to jump, thrash and dance around, the pit resembled a rave party in Panama City.

The electro-pop band gained notoriety with 2010 album Passive Me, Aggressive You. Singles “Young Blood,” “Punching in a Dream,” and “Girls Like You” stumbled their way into the lives of the youth, serving as a summer anthem for many — whether the songs soundtracked a pool party or a night chock-full of ecstasy — it created a nostalgic image for the band.

The Naked and Famous reappear from the rubble when the sun comes out and when the tweens are ready to party. Nonetheless, this summer band always seems to draw a crowd. With heavy beats, distorted melodies and aggressive percussion, each track is cohesive to the next, though the punk-pop foundation and lackluster composition creates a monotonous lull that is hardly saved by any live variation or improvisation. When the “jam” sessions began,  I realized how much The Naked and Famous aren’t really capable of a “jamming.” The beats felt bare and the guitar solos felt one-dimensional. Contrarily, Alisa dominated the stage with her tastefully washy vocals, in unison with the keyboard and percussion, her pixie-like energy resulted in a strong chemistry throughout the band.

During the encore, the show closed out with “Young Blood.” I found myself tossing my hair back and forth amongst hundreds of attendees in the crowd. I realized care-free, effortless listening can be an experience everyone can enjoy. The Naked and Famous easily relate to their audience, a beat that anyone could get their heart racing to. Despite my enthusiasm (or lack there of) for the band’s musical capabilities, I generally felt a comfort from the summery pop-electronic tracks. The show met my expectations by being high energy, accompanied by enormous stage presence and mindless dancing.

For more info on the band, visit www.thenakedandfamous.com.

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