X Ambassadors & Now, Now – House of Blues Boston – 2.18.18
X Ambassadors’ 2018 North American headlining tour was bound to be an incredible one. Prior to the start of the first leg of the tour, the band had just announced their upcoming sophomore album Joyful and released two new singles–“Joyful”, the title track to the anticipated album, and “Don’t Stay”. Following the success of their official return as a band last year–with a series of headlining shows and the release of two swoon-worthy singles, “SGL” and “Yours”—Now, Now landed a spot as support for X Ambassadors on some dates of their current North American run. The tour has seen eminent success selling out roughly every date thus far, including their stop at the House Of Blues in Boston, MA this past weekend.
Minneapolis indie-pop duo Now, Now took the stage with their accompanying members, one by one, to an ambient intro that led into their first song “Lucie, Too”. Though the song comes off their last full-length album, Threads (2012), the stage lit up bright pink in honor of their new, pastel aesthetic (as you can see from their social media and latest music videos). Frontwoman KC Dalager’s vocals were as gracious as ever, especially on songs “Prehistoric” and their updated version of “School Friends”, despite her announcing she was battling a cold. The band played a solid mixture of songs, from some of their oldest as a band–such as a striking rendition of the title track from their full-length Cars (2009)–to as new as an unreleased song that had the whole crowd swaying (and Now, Now fans anxious for the studio version to surface).
What is always so admirable about Now, Now is their level of comfort and fervor on the stage. The band had played a headliner in Brooklyn, NY the night before, and yet they gave a performance just as enticing even as a supporting act. Between drummer Brad Hale cracking jokes behind the kit during song breaks, the band’s synchronized boy-band-esque dance moves during “SGL”, and their ‘booty circle’ during “Yours”, the entire group radiated passion and a pure feeling of contentment that carried out until their last note of the set.
When X Ambassadors stepped onto the stage, the crowd had already been chanting their name before the house lights even went dark. To say their performance was exceptional would simply be an understatement itself, as they are some of the most engaging and exuberant performers in the industry. Vocalist Sam Nelson Harris stood right on the edge of the stage with his arms in the air calling on the sea of fans to sing along with him as the band broke right into their heart-wrenching single “Don’t Stay”. Seeing Sam hit such bird-like notes with the choir, while dancing along to the waving roar of the crowd, undoubtedly gives Justin Timberlake a run for his money.
Of course, the band played some of their most noteworthy songs such as “Unsteady” and “Renegades”, which any stranger to the band would find themselves singing all the lyrics to, but we got a great taste of the new album when they played an unreleased track titled “Happy Home”–let’s just say it was a certified banger with the fans. The most commendable quality of X Ambassadors is their cohesiveness as a band, especially on stage. With Sam’s fierce energy and multi-instrumental skill, drummer Adam Levin’s intensity and precision behind the kit, and keyboardist Casey Harris’ jazzy talent and zest for his craft, this band will undeniably give you one of the most exciting and emotionally-driven concert experiences of your lifetime.
X Ambassadors still have a great amount of tour dates coming up as they head into the rest of The Joyful Tour in support of the highly anticipated new album, so if you missed them on this short run with Now, Now, there are plenty of chances to catch them in the future. Now, Now will be headed out for an exciting voyage with Paramore for the third year of their musical cruise Parahoy! this spring. Since we won’t be able to go on vacation along with them, we’re looking forward to see what else they’ll have in store this year.
Now, Now Upcoming Shows:
Apr. 6-10 | Parahoy! Cruise | Nassau, 23, Bahamas
X Ambassadors Upcoming Shows:
Feb. 23 | SOMA | San Diego, CA
Feb. 26 | The Fillmore | San Francisco, CA *SOLD OUT*
Mar. 19 | Electric Brixton | London, UK
Mar. 20 | Alhambra | Paris, FR
Mar. 22 | Melkweg | Amsterdam, NL
Mar. 23 | Kantine | Cologne, GER
Mar. 24 | Grunspan | Hamburg, GER
Mar. 26 | Columbia Theater | Berlin, GER
Mar. 27 | Klub Stodola | Warsaw, POL
Mar. 29 | Glav Club | Moscow, RUS
Mar. 31 | Atlas | Kiev, UKR
Apr. 13 | Ritz | Raleigh, NC
Apr. 14 | The Signal | Chattanooga, TN
Apr. 15| Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, TN
Apr. 21 | Stage AE | Pittsburgh, PA
Apr. 22 | Bogart’s | Cincinnati, OH
Apr. 24 | Express Live | Columbus, OH
Apr. 25 | 20 Monroe Live | Grand Rapids, MI
Apr. 27 | Aragon Ballroom | Chicago, IL
Apr. 28 | The Fillmore | Detroit, MI
Apr. 29 | The Rave | Milwaukee, WI
May 1 | Myth Live | St. Paul, MN
May 3 | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO
May 4 | The Depot | Salt Lake City, UT
May 6 | Showbox SoDo | Seattle, WA
May 7 | Roseland Theater | Portland, OR
May 8 | Orpheum | Vancouver, BC
May 11 | House of Blues | Anaheim, CA
May 12 | Ventura Theater | Ventura, CA
May 13 | House of Blues | Las Vegas, NV
May 15 | The Van Buren | Phoenix, AZ
May 17 | House of Blues | Dallas, TX
May 18 | House of Blues | Houston, TX
May 19 | Stubb’s BBQ | Austin, TX