A show for the cameras, not the fans

It is hard not to dance to a live Nick D’ & the Believers show: Their songs are fun and so poppy that they can brighten any snowy evening like they did last Saturday at The Grog Shop.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, the band sounds like a fusion of Passion Pit and Walk the Moon. Led and produced by Nick D’Andrea (vocals, keyboards) the band is joined by Joseph Barker (drums) and Kerry Henderson (guitar, vocals). Henderson has an excellent stage presence and maintained a high level of energy throughout the show, especially when he sang the lyrics to their popular songs “Wanted” and “Never Gonna Give Up.”

A sea of young women with X’s on their hands filled the front of the house as they danced and screamed with more energy than I could muster. A few “bro’s” hung out in the back and shouted to the band throughout the night. This diverse crowd all slowed down for the heartwarming song “My Way Home.”

Nick D’s latest song, “Crown,” offered excellent instrumentals and seemed like a throwback to the pop rock of the 90s. It was a nice change from the rest of the pop-heavy lineup.

The band had a great sound, but many of their songs began to blend together throughout the night. I yearned for a few more differently paced songs, especially because they played a rather short set.

I was distracted throughout the night by the three different videographers filming the performance. A cameraman lurked around the stage and filmed the musicians close-up as two other filmmakers hung out in the audience. Even though it was a good show, I began to wonder if the band cared more about making a great video than wanting an excellent experience for their fans. Of all the live music shows I have attended, I have never seen a more in-your-face attempt at making a video from a performance. It was rather disrupting and distracted my focus from the good music.

Nonaphoenix, led by Jakub Andrew, opened for Nick D’ and the Believers. This indie pop band from Cleveland offered an indie style with the spunk and fun you would get from a pop band. “Find a Way” was a catchy tune that I found myself singing the next day.

The band’s newest single “Go” had a great indie sound, which left me wanting more as I immediately listened to it again after the show.

I was impressed by the giant light pillars on stage, which flashed white, pink and blue. Though it could induce epilepsy in some, the spectacle raised my energy.

Both bands offer the type of pop-like indie currently in style, but I look forward to seeing how these bands will grow and change over the years as fans’ tastes change.