The early-morning haze was just beginning to burn off in Chicago by the time the Neighbourhood took Lollapalooza’s Petrillo Stage at noon on Friday.
And once they were two songs in, the sun was peeking through the bulbous white clouds hanging overhead. No matter what weather was to come to kick off the massive annual music festival, the Los Angeles band was excited to be a part of it, heat be damned.
Fans flocked to the baking asphalt area in front of the stage, preferring to feel their soles smolder instead of wading through the muddy grass behind them — the mud a remnant from a morning rainstorm. Neighbourhood frontman Jesse Rutherford sympathized.
“Who wishes they has air conditioning in their [backsides] right now?” he asked. “Then we’re in the same boat!”
With each member dressed in a black-and-white color scheme, the Neighbourhood led the audience through a string of catchy, hip-hop influenced jams from their debut full-length album I Love You.
Rutherford encouraged everyone to raise their hands in solidarity and bob along to “Let It Go,” which boasts a passionate refrain of “Remember what the people said, when it’s said and done, let it go.”
Later, the vocalist noted that “W.D.Y.W.F.M.?” is more fun when there is participation, so he got everyone to shout “What!” as he belted out the “What Do You Want From Me?” chorus.
One particular highlight for the masses was “Sweater Weather,” the smash hit that rocketed the Neighbourhood to the top of the Billboard alternative chart.
“We’re gonna play the one about the sweater. Is that OK?” Rutherford asked knowingly.
The affirmative responses were enthusiastically loud, and the Neighbourhood turned in a jammed-out version of the single in kind.
As the Neighbourhood’s set came to a close, Rutherford noted how much fun he was having. The band, which formed in 2011, already played Coachella this year, and they were on the road with Imagine Dragons in July.
But Lollapalooza surely represents another step in the Neighbourhood’s rise up the ladder. It might have been the opening gig of the day, but it was clear their supporters were loyal – and growing in numbers.