3OH!3 Commands Irving Plaza

If you’re looking for a time machine to take you to that part of 2008, you’re in luck.


3OH!3 members Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte played their chart-topping 2008 album “Want” on Tuesday at Irving Plaza. (Photo by Nicole Rosenthal)

By Nicole Rosenthal, Music Editor

Ten years ago was a much simpler time. Teens faced an epidemic of texter’s thumb, watched iTunes-bought Jersey Shore episodes from their iTouch devices and uploaded their latest revelations to MySpace.

It might feel like millennia ago, but electronic rock duo 3OH!3 brought the nostalgia to the forefront Tuesday night for their Want House Party tour in conjunction with Los Angeles-based DJs Emo Nite. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of their Billboard-charting release “Want,” the pair took to the stage to perform the LP in all its nostalgic glory.

Preceded by an equally nostalgic DJ set by Emo Nite featuring throwback hits such as Paramore’s “Misery Business” and Fall Out Boy’s “Dance, Dance,” the main set began with the sound of a doorbell ringing that echoed around the venue. “Someone’s at the door!” announced the DJs of Emo Nite, further employing the house party gimmick as 3OH!3 members Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte took to the stage and were met with massive applause from the audience.

On a stage decorated with two laser-beam-eyed wolves and assorted living room furniture, the duo began with “PUNKB-TCH,” which provoked a large mosh pit in the center of the room where audience members thrashed, jumped and collided with each other to the beat of the duo’s jarring synths.

Chronologically hitting every song on the album (save for “DONTTRUSTME,” the band’s claim to fame and its highest chart-topping single to date), the Denver-based band grooved with the audience to “CHOKECHAIN” and “I’M NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND BABY” until the energy in the room shifted completely with “STARSTRUKK.” When the top-10 single and Katy Perry collaboration came on, the audience was undeniably excited — singing along with the electronic group.

As the pair finished the final song on the album and bowed offstage, the DJs from Emo Nite returned, dishing out several more nostalgia-tinged tracks until their closer, My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade,” sparked explosive energy back into the audience, prompting crowd-surfing and a whole lot of moshing. As the house lights rose, the entire room erupted into the dramatic musical number.

“That won’t be hard to top,” said Motte sarcastically as 3OH!3 returned to the stage for an encore. The duo immediately broke into their 2010 single “My First Kiss,” which originally featured Kesha. As the band expressed gratitude to their fans, Foreman couldn’t help but thank the audience for listening to “this next song when they were, like, eight years old.”

As soon as first lines of “DONTTRUSTME” were sung, the crowd went wild. Buzzing synths filled the room as the floor shook with the crowd jumping up and down to the hard-hitting beats. The combined nostalgia and lighthearted atmosphere made for the perfect audience energy. 

For a night, Irving Plaza served as a time machine, transporting scores of fans a decade into the past — and Denver’s 3OH!3 proved to be the perfect capsule.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Dec. 3 print edition. Email Nicole Rosenthal at [email protected].