By all accounts, ARIZONA’s Lollapalooza performance was bursting at the seams, but thankfully a mere month after the festival appearance, the New Jersey-based band gave Chicago another chance to see what all the buzz is about at Lincoln Hall. This outing marks the electric indie pop act’s first-ever headlining tour following excursions alongside COIN and Andrew McMahon, though with 350 million streams of its Atlantic Records debut project “Gallery” and over 10 million monthly listeners on Spotify, every single date reached its capacity within weeks of being announced.
Stick around long enough at an ARIZONA show and it can conjure up aspects of Imagine Dragons one minute, The Killers the next and maybe even Sam Smith when it comes to the smooth and soulful vocal delivery.
For those quick enough with the click of their shopping cart to make it inside the venerable club, the guys in ARIZONA spent about 70 minutes demonstrating exactly why they’re on the verge mass of awareness. The album’s opener “Annie” was also a natural place to start the set, exploding with shiny electro surges mirrored by the several LED panels that continuously matched the mood of the contagious music.
“Electric Touch” kept the celebratory tone alive and kicking, while “I Was Wrong” pleaded for a second chance amidst warm pulsations. Front man Zach Hannah rightly observed “there’s no hate in the room,” right around the more reflective “People Crying Every Night,” before adding “it’s important to take that [spirit] out into the world.”
A couple tracks after, “Brave Enough” could’ve very well been the anthem to lead the charge in doing just that, though the night also stretched as wide as a cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit,” the dreamy tenderness of “Are You” and the stacked percussion booms of “Running.” Stick around long enough at an ARIZONA show and it can conjure up aspects of Imagine Dragons one minute, The Killers the next and maybe even Sam Smith when it comes to the smooth and soulful vocal delivery.
While all of the above are massive stars, these seemingly out of nowhere upstarts still seem genuinely surprised at all of the attention, echoed in the introduction of “Let Me Touch Your Fire” when Hannah suggested “this is your world and you can do what you want. These kids from Jersey are evidence of that!”
Nevertheless, ARIZONA appear to have everything together, seamlessly coasting through “Oceans Away,” “Ain’t Gonna Leave” and “Cross My Mind,” the latter of which is now being sold as a mixtape in cassette format. In that regard and several of its sounds, the group hearkens back to the 1980s, but its mash-up with the right here and now ensures the future’s looking so bright, these wide-eyed dreamers better start investing in some shades.
For additional information on ARIZONA, visit ThisIsArizonaMusic.com.
For a list of upcoming shows at Lincoln Hall, visit LH-ST.com.