(Guest Review by Dani Chavez)

Newbury Park natives The Neighbourhood brought out all the tricks and acts for the sold-out closing night of their headlining tour, “The Circus,” at the Majestic Ventura Theatre.

Starting out the night was Ráj, a man with a curly brown afro, a ridiculously oversized sun hat, and a voice like an angel.  His music was soothing yet powerful as he hit the notes of “Ghost” and his stage presence gained a rowdy crowd’s full attention.

The next opener was Ghost Loft who performed about 15 minutes too long. While his remixes were relaxing, they failed to get the crowd pumped. To be frank, he should have only played “Seconds” instead of a full set.

Last of the openers was the very lovely Lovelife. Lead singer Leonard Newell pranced across the stage flashing his adorable British smile and singing along to “Your New Beloved” and “Dying to Start Again.” They set the mood right and while three opening acts was a bit overkill, Lovelife restored hype among the crowd.

After a three and a half hour wait, The Neighbourhood finally took stage and made up for the lost time. They opened up with “Let it Go” and the moment the silhouette of lead singer Jesse Rutherford was visible, the crowd went wild and bras began flying across the crowd onto the stage, bringing a mischievous grin to guitarist Zach Abels face.

Halfway through the show The Neighbourhood slowed it down as they did a mashup cover of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” They then picked it up again singing their California-inspired rap-like song “West Coast” with finger-made Ws being held up by even the oldest crowd members.

The band’s comfort level grew throughout the set and the jitters that come with selling out a show in your hometown faded away. At one point Rutherford felt so comfortable with the crowd that he stage dived and let them carry him across the pit before security pulled him back. They closed out with hits “Sweater Weather” and “Afraid” almost like a reminder of how far they’ve come in the past year.

To say The Neighbourhood is talented is an understatement; many bands have talent, these boys have soul. The way they perform takes a level of passion and skill that is impossible to achieve unless you put your heart into your music. The love and gratitude they show to their fans is refreshing and only affirms that this group of friends only going up. While this was only their first headlining tour, there is no doubt that it will not be their last.

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