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The Neighbourhood // Live @ The Roseland Theater // 5.7.16

Article and Photos by: Kristina Dawn


PORTLAND, OR— With a travel compact in one hand and a tube of bright red lipstick in the other, The Neighbourhood’s lead singer Jesse Rutherford touched up his colorful lips in preparation to kiss an autographed copy of his new book “&” (a signature move of his). “Ampersand,” as the symbol is pronounced, was an collaborative photo project by Rutherford and his pro photographer friend Jessie English. Containing thousands of black and white portraits, ranging from Rutherford doting four inch heels and a Chicago Bulls Jersey, to a simplistic David Bowie inspired theme, “&” is a gender role smashing and artistically inspiring must buy.


Despite Rutherford’s fully tattooed tough guy appearance, he exuded nothing but kindness and soft words of encouragement to his fans at the signing. Talking to anyone and everyone about anything and everything for as much time was allowed. At one point he even encouraged the photographers who were in attendance to “kill it” at shooting his show later that evening.

Fast forward to roughly three hours later, Jesse skipped out on stage in the same custom made, patch filled leather jacket he was rocking earlier at his signing. Changing venues from their 2015 October show at The Crystal Ballroom, The Neighbourhood opened for their oversold Roseland crowd with the bass heavy hit “Cry Baby” off of their newest LP Wiped Out. Transforming the packed pit from slightly insane to just straight bonkers in a matter of seconds. The stage, which was simply decorated with a black cloth backdrop and a few lights, perfectly fit the bands clean black and white aesthetic that they’ve religiously stuck to since their 2011 inception.


Throwing it back to their 2012 EP I’m Sorry with “Female Robbery,” and the blues/gospel infused “Baby Came Home,” Rutherford stripped his tightly fitted camouflage undershirt and jacket off, revealing his (literal) body of art. With the cue of a distorted tape recording and bloodcurdling screams from the females in the front row, The Neighbourhood took things down a notch with their problem child anthem “Daddy Issues,” which had the room swimming in a pool of angsty tears.

Rutherford then gave the rest of the band a quick ten minute break while he ripped through a few old singles from a previous solo mixtape, recorded in 2011 before the band’s formation. The crowd, surprisingly still knowing every word to the unreleased singles, rapped along with Rutherford as he cheerfully flaunted about the stage, still rocking his bright red lipstick.

Soon after, Rutherford welcomed back guitarist Zach Abels, drummer Brandon Fried, guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Freedman, and bassist Michael Margott to the stage with the middle finger laden “Let It Go,” and a hypnotic five minute strobe light session for “Wiped Out.” Keeping it classy and closing their night out with no encore, The Neighbourhood fittingly ended their roughly twenty song set with 1,400 people singing along to the single that got them on the radio for the first time in 2013 “Sweater Weather,” and the record that breaks open their complex new era of artistic expression, “R.I.P. to my Youth.”

Kristina Dawn
Kristina Dawn is a freelance music photographer and videographer from Portland, OR. She hopes to one day tour the world, capturing the extraordinary lives of some of the nations best musicians.