4/26/14 – House of Blues

Seeing as they are on tour with two rising American indie pop bands, I guess it was a little unrealistic to think that the audience would know much about Swedish group NONONO. Their show was a good, albeit short, one, though it became clear early on that the packed House of Blues audience wasn’t quite so thrilled to see them on stage before the headliners, Twenty One Pilots.

After Los Angeles indie-poppers Hunter Hunted warmed things up and got the crowd visibly excited for their debut full-length record, NONONO came on stage to a heavy, creepy hip-hop beat. Jumping right in with “Human Being,” the Swedes played crisply, accurately, and without much excitement from the audience. Personally, I really enjoyed their debut record, We Are Only What We Feel, but to most Americans, their brief Pumpin Blood EP is all that is available- the record has not been released stateside yet. Things started to pick up when singer Stina Wäppling described “Jungle” as a song for people “you really don’t like anymore” and belted, “Please go back to the jungle where you came from.” 

Compared to the other acts of the night, it is likely that NONONO was simply too weird to get the crowd excited during their short 30-minute set. While Twenty One Pilots has quite a few eccentricities of its own, they are not of the same vein as NONONO and made the Scandinavians seem like the odd men out. With music that is catchy, synth-ridden, and lively, NONONO is harder to instantly grasp than the straightforward tunes of Hunter Hunted. The one thing that got really got the crowd to scream, however, was the single that brought NONONO into the musical consciousness of the attendees, “Pumpin Blood”: a whistle-filled track that is as catchy as anything you will hear this year. The whole night the tunes were great, but the performance was a little lacking. Crammed onto one side of the stage thanks to the headliner’s enormous set up, the band felt a little stiff and awkward.

Because this is their first US tour, and their first time in Boston, it is no surprise that only a small section of the crowd seemed to be familiar with their songs. Hopefully with the release of their record in the States and the growing popularity of that fantastic single, NONONO will return a little more triumphantly next time.

Yes, No, Maybe?: NONONO
Pros
  • Solid setlist
  • Catchy songs
Cons
  • Lukewarm audience
  • Not much interaction
  • Straightforward performance
6.8Overall Score

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