As soon as The Naked and Famous stepped on stage the cameras were held high by fans to begin recording a blip in the history of The Vic Theatre as one of the most colorful and high energy shows of the year. Every LED light on stage set the tone for the entire set with color choice and movement matching the tone and tempo of the vocals and musicality produced by each member of the band.
The smooth and effortless vocals of Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith harmonize perfectly in the band’s opening song, “All of This,” to the lyrics embedded into black and white images flashing on three large LED panels highlighted by red spot lights for the crowd to easily chime in. Powers, Xayalith, David Beadle, Aaron Short and Jesse Wood make a show stocked full of entertainment look easy as hell as they impress the crowd with their jack-of-all-trade music talents.
Dancing around stage in her black shorts and polka-dotted blouse, Xayalith was electrocuted by the infectious light show complementing her smooth rhythm on stage. Without ever needing to look for a queue by Xayalith, Powers vibed off her every move.
Keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, tambourines and more had a moment to shine in each song producing the electro-pop sound. The clarity of each instrument was seen in hits such as, “The Sun.” Standing still on stage, Powers and Xayalith’s vocals slightly resembled an incantation allowing the repetitive musicality of this song and red aura emanating off stage to hypnotize the sold out show until bright yellow rays of light span the crowd with the blaring guitar riffs to wake everyone.
Crowd favorites such as “Punching in a Dream” and ”Spanked” had the best TV panel performance plastered with a nightmare of a Friday the 13th Jason lookalike and a large spastic eyeball stimulated by the sound.
As the tempo in each song picked up strobe lights seizured to the beat. The crowd roared when they recognized the famous album art of the multicolored globe finally made its appearance in “Eyes,” while the monstrous disco ball shined speckles of light with a hint of ’80s digitized drum beat nostalgia.
Another cozy moment between the two lead singers depicted the turmoil in “No Way,” a song of relationship heartbreak—they stood motionless until Powers picked up the pace strumming the guitar as Xayalith’s heavy hair hung in her face while playing the keyboard. The rose champagne-colored LED lights shined on clapping fans to make for an intimate moment of the band’s set list.
People nestled next to each other couldn’t wait too much longer before bopping around to the magenta and turquoise-colored beat when “Girls Like You” turned the tables around. As Powers sang these bullying lyrics, Xayalith’s back would face the crowd until she would turn around and defend herself singing “Everything you say is fire, all the claims you say you liar”—more perfectly timed choreography.
After asking fans if they caught on to the prank made by the band from exiting stage right and entering back on stage left, songs, “Dadada,” “Serenade” (the first song Powers and Xayalith wrote together) and the all famous “Young Blood” made for an all time energizing encore. What topped off the night was Powers saying, “Being here is fucking wild! It’s a dream for us!”
This New Zealand band has proven to Chicagoans after gaining a plethora of experience on stage with the closing of a lengthy tour, The Naked and Famous has been able to polish their set list—far beyond the second opening band the Vacationers.
The Naked and Famous at The Vic Theatre on April 15, 2012 set list
- “All of This”
- “Punching in a Dream”
- “The Sun”
- “The Source”
- “No Way”
- “Jilted Lovers”
- “The Ends”
- “A Wolf in Greek’s Clothing”
- “Girls Like You”
- “Young Blood”