On an unassuming Tuesday evening, ARIZONA performed a sold-out, high energy set at Irving Plaza. The venue became its own beacon, a temporary space of celebration and revelry in the middle of a frigid and otherwise dreary autumn weekday.

Frontman Zach Hannah brought a suave energy and undeniable charm to the stage. Accompanied by band mates David Labuguen on keys and Nate Esquite on guitar, the trio performed hits like “Pressure” and “Nostalgic.”

The show exuded an air of playfulness and possibility. Toward the beginning of their set, ARIZONA, with the help of some backstage crew members, began tossing burgers from New York’s Flip Sigi into the crowd.

At first the crowd was eager, as the band took the stage and tumbled into the first few songs off their self-titled album. Then as the setlist reached its middle point, the crowd instinctively shifted into a mellow groove. Everyone moved in little waves in the amber glow of the room. There was a palpable charge, as couples kissed and danced, following the intuition of “Electric Touch.” It felt as though the band acted as a facilitator to living in the moment and getting exactly what you crave.

The night included a special performance of “Hold the Line,” their emotional collaboration with Avicii. Hannah explained that throughout the tour, audience members continually requested the hit song. How fitting that the concluding night gave space for the beloved tune:

“We don’t get to give up this life / All the breath in your lungs / Is stronger than the tears in your eyes / It’s do or die, but we're alive / And while we're here, hold the line.”

And that’s truly what the night exuded. Every second of the evening was an homage to being alive. 

The band’s New York show concluded their 24-city North American tour and the evening felt like an homage to presence and living in the moment. After a four-year pause on live performances, Hannah said he was grateful for the chance to tour again, thanking the crowd for their presence. 

“I cannot believe all you guys are still here,” he said. 

The New York show was a kind of homecoming for the band, who hail from New Jersey with their electropop feel in tow. 

The crowd departed with a sense of euphoria on their faces, as if they discovered the secret to making meaning in the mundane. As each person turned onto their separate ways into the cold city, they carried with them a new glow. —
Olivia Bardo
Photo by Nicholas McMillen (nickoboy.com)

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