‘The Naked and Famous’ bring show to Madison


Jacob Ennis

The band, “The Naked and Famous,” performs at the Majestic Theatre.

Elizabeth Osterberger, News Editor

Indie-loving Madisonians flocked to see The Naked and Famous, a five-piece band from New Zealand, at a packed Majestic Theatre on March 11.

After a genre-blending, electrifying opening show from Texas-grown trio, ON AN ON, The Naked and Famous started their set with “A Stillness.” The song came from their newest album, “In Rolling Waves,” which was released in September.

The band, which comprises Thom Powers, Alisa Xayalith, Aaron Short, David Beadle and Jesse Wood, initially formed in 2008. Powers and Xayalith are lead vocalists, Short is on the keys, Beadle on bass and Wood on drums. Powers also plays guitar and Xayalith contributes to the keyboards. A line from the song called “Tricky Kid,” by English artist Tricky, was the inspiration for the band’s unique name. They pulled the name from the lyric, “Everybody wants to be naked and famous.”

Despite the dreary weather outside, the Majestic crowd pulsated with the same stimulating energy felt from any single tune played by The Naked and Famous. After “A Stillness,” the band’s set-list packed a punch with hits from their first studio-recorded album like, “Punching in a Dream” and “No Way.” Powers got to show his vocal talents and melt the hearts of the audience’s female population with “Girls Like You” from the same album. They also included more songs from “In Rolling Waves,” like “I Kill Giants” and “Hearts Like Ours.”

While many crowd members surely knew only some of the band’s work, others were die-hard fans. On my right was a man who said “Is this them?” when the band took the stage, clearly displaying his rookie-status as a TNAF – as the die-hards call it – fan. On my left, two UW-Madison students from Australia said that this was their fifth time seeing the band.

Whether those in the audience knew two songs or 10, excitement from the whole crowd reverberated through the building when the band came out for their final encore to play their biggest hit from “Passive Me, Aggressive You,” called “Young Blood.” When the show was said and done, many left the theater with lost voices, sore feet and that gratifying feeling of a Tuesday night well spent.