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Concert Reviews

Mayday Parade
October 18, 2014
★★★★★
Mayday Parade took Buffalo by storm at The Waiting Room. I’d be surprised if the entire city didn’t hear the earth-shattering music played by the headlining alternative band. They brought down the house and the concert deserves a perfect score. Mayday Parade began their Honeymoon Tour last week, with bands Pvris, Major League, and Tonight Alive as openers. Together, all four bands put on an unforgettable show. Alternative band Pvris opened up the night like no other. I had never heard their music before, but I instantly became a fan after experiencing their live performance. Lead singer Lynn Gunn commanded attention through her incredible vocal range. In songs like “St. Patrick” and “My House,” her strong, raspy voice bolted into everyone’s bodies and made the ground shake. The band interacted with fans and took advantage of strobe lighting, raising the intensity of the atmosphere. With a packed-house on their feet, Pvris was followed by punk rock band Major League. They powerfully performed their hardcore set full of energy, making the crowd extra rowdy. Over-excited fans broke the rules by crowd surfing and “moshing.” Tonight Alive brought the opening acts home and all hands were up, rocking on. By now, fans were ready to hear the band of the night: Mayday Parade. The opening acts did Mayday Parade justice by pumping everyone up, and the wait for the band to play was exhilarating. Finally, the five members of Mayday Parade took the stage and opened their hour long set with throwback “Jersey” and the crowd went wild. Screaming fans danced and sang their hearts out with lead singer Derek Sanders. Mayday Parade rocked the house with songs from their newest album “Monsters in the Closet” such as “Ghosts,” “Girls,” and “Hear the Sound.” Sanders’ distinctive vocals shined during slow ballad “Hold Onto Me” as tears fell from love-struck fan’s eyes. The best part about the concert was the mix of old and new in the set list. My favorite Mayday Parade songs are from older albums, so I was hoping they’d play at least a few. They definitely pleased me and others by performing the ideal variety of throwbacks like “Kids in Love,” “Ocean and Atlantic” and “Black Cat.” When the band jammed out with the crowd, their nonstop passion traveled through the speakers and into diehard fan’s hearts. There wasn’t a quiet voice in the venue as fans belted out the lyrics that have been engraved into heads for years. My favorite part of the show was when Sanders changed tempo and played ballads “Miserable at Best” and “Three Cheers for Five Years” at the keyboard. He let fans sing the choruses for him as lighters lit up the venue. I’ve never been to a more entertaining, interactive, or authentic concert before. Mayday Parade loves what they’re doing, and it shines through. If you dig alternative music, I highly recommend the experience. As a diehard fan of five years, I know I’ll be there having the time of my life.
Review written by: Madison Hornung
DJ Elephante, Sage the Geminii, Matt & Kim
October 18, 2014
★★★★☆
While each opening act had most of the crowd ecstatic, it was Matt & Kim that brought the house down. The whole ride was wild, but each act was for a different audience. Because of this, there was an awkward divide in the community that was the audience. People were either dancing, or standing with their arms crossed and a bored expression on their faces. The first act, DJ Elephante, was the type of DJ who just presses buttons, lip syncs, and jumps, raising one arm with his little pointer finger erect. His “set" went on for a redundant, agonizing eternity. The second act, a rapper known as Sage the Geminii, seemed a little more authentic, revealing some rapping talent but destroyed it with cliché beats to back it up. Not to mention his random dancer, who seemed too young to be employed in the first place. Geminii further ruined gaining any potential respect when he pushed his dancer, playfully, but firmly enough that it seemed misogynistic, a trait famously demonstrated by rap artists. Way to stump the stereotype, Geminii. Once the two odd opening acts were over, there was a sense of relief that was overcome by the people who came just for Matt & Kim. In fact, a large sum of people just left after Geminii’s performance. It was, and still is, their loss, because the fun really began when the energy of Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino entered the room like an electric storm. Immediately, the real show starts. Before you could even try to prepare yourself for the powerful and colorful experience that was about ensue, there’s confetti, a charming amount of sweat coming from your body due to dancing, and plenty of booty-shaking Kim, standing on her drum set like the indie-dance-rocker-barbarian-queen that she is. In other words, it’s simply a blast. It “Don’t Slow Down” from there, either (see what I did there?). Thrown into their set were some funky covers like “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay. Almost every song, including those covers, were partially driven by audience participation, which was a common theme in the opening acts as well, but for Matt & Kim it wasn’t awkward, and nothing short of fun. There was a lack of discomfort in these audience-participation moments, and rather an actual immersive experience, like when the beat drops and everyone goes wild. Among some classic make-this-concert-more-fun activities like balloons bouncing around in the audience, water sprinkling, and t-shirt launching, there was Kim’s crowd-walk (as oppose to crowd-surf), where audience members raise their hands to form a platform for Kim, where she twerks (a twerk that wasn’t distasteful!) Plus, this communal-effort gave the audience the sense of community that they definitely needed. If you’re looking for a non-stop-pump-of-energy dance party, driven by positive vibes, uplifting sounds, and a little old-fashioned rock & roll type fun, a Matt & Kim show is what you’re looking for.
Review written by: Chloe Arzuaga
Twenty-One Pilots with Vinyl Theater and Misterwives
September 10th, 2014
★★★★☆
21 Pilots
While the intense energy of a concert can be overwhelming no matter the band, Twenty One Pilots with openers Vinyl Theater and Misterwives, was unbelievable. While normally opening bands just put off the excitement of the main show, Vinyl Theater and Misterwives mesmerized everyone with their mix of both slow jams and hot, electric numbers. However, the time taken in between bands was much too long, and left the crowd irritated and rowdy. When Twenty One Pilots finally came on, the wait was forgotten, and the entire audience lifted. The use of lights, narratives, smoke, and wardrobe was unforgettable, without feeling overdone. Their set featured mostly songs off their new album Vessel, but also included a few of their first hit singles. Not only that, but they did covers of a few other songs by artists such as DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, and Sam Smith. To ensure the energy level could go nowhere but up, they trusted the crowd with an unbelievable task. They sent a drum set, attached to a plank, out on the crowd, allowing them to hold it up. Then, the drummer, Josh Dun, crawled on top and drummed as the crowd supported him. It was an incredible moment, and almost bonded everyone in the room with the band. By the end, every person in the room was dreading the end of the night when the set would finish, so with a dramatic finale, lead singer Tyler Joseph fled to the back of the venue, climbed a pillar, and scared the life out of security. With all eyes on him, he finished his set with every fan in the room singing along and praising him. It was an incredible show.
Review written by: Delia Andalora
Radical Something, Logic and Krewella
May 8, 2014
★★★★★
A concert’s atmosphere is usually high energy at all times, but this concert took the energy to a whole new level. Radical Something, Logic and Krewella delivered an unbelievable show at the Bill Gray’s Arena in Rochester. California bred Radical Something started off the show with their set of laid-back rap vocals over house music. Radical Something got the crowd pumped as they played their forty five minute set with energy that seemed to never die. They were interacting with the crowd so much – it felt like they genuinely cared about each and every person in the audience and wanted them to have an unforgettable time. They ended their set with their song “Long Hair Don’t Care,” which really got the crowd going with its message about now caring what others think of you and just doing what you wanted. After Radical Something ended their set on a high note, Logic came on and spit some of the fastest rhymes I’ve ever heard. His rapping skills were so impressive; it’s no surprise there is so much hype surrounding the up-and-coming rapper. Between breaks he talked about his motto in life, which was “peace, love and positivity.” You can tell how passionate he is about his music and his life just by listening to his music. One of the best songs he performed was a sick rap over the beat to Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson.” Everyone immediately loved the song and started jumping and singing along to the song. Logic left the stage on a high note as other members of the College Verge 2-14 Tour came out and gave free things like shoes and t-shirts out to the audience. When Krewella came out, the crowd was more than ready to rage harder than they ever have before. Krewella had such high energy throughout the night and encouraged the audience to keep having an awesome time and just be themselves. They played an intense set filled with hot dubstep remixes and their high energy songs such as “Live For The Night,” “Ring of Fire,” “Dancing with the Devil” and “Enjoy the Ride.” Krewella took a quick break from their normal sound to perform an acoustic version of their song “Human” towards the end of their set. The acoustic version really put an emphasis on the vocal talent that Krewella has. It was a nice break from their normal sound, and it was just in time too – the crowd was really starting to get rowdy and the break calmed them down quite a bit. However, after the song, Krewella asked the crowd to turn up one more time with them as they ended their set with “Enjoy the Ride.” Overall, the concert was high energy and crazy, as well as one of the best concerts I have been to. These acts are extremely talented – if you get the chance to see them live, I high suggest you take it.
Review written by: Kelly Kuehn
Thick as Thieves, Caked Up, twenty one pilots & Wale
April 25th, 2014
★★★★☆
The concert opened with Thick as Thieves putting on a commendable set. They played a mix of original and cover songs. The original sound has a unique quality to that intrigued me. The male lead singer was a rapping most of the concert while the female lead singer sang in a traditional pop quality. Thick as Thieves have rap and pop vocals with a classic rock rhythm section in the background. Their songs usually had a catchy chorus with meaningful lyrics. I think it’s only a matter of time before they reach some kind of commercial success. Caked Up hit the stage with a high energy show the crowd ate up. Caked Up music was generic rave music that got everyone in the room moving. The majority of their music was electronic timbres. All of the lyrics in their songs were about partying, which seems appropriate for the occasion of Portopia. Caked Up could have tried to sound a little less like a broken record the few times they spoke. “Make some noise New York!” “Where the ladies at?” I’m probably extremely biased seeing as Twenty One Pilots is my second favorite band, but they were AMAZING!!! It was great to see them open up big and smart by preforming their more electronic songs to create a really nice transition from Caked Up into what is Twenty One Pilots. The set transitioned into a medley of cover songs that Twenty One Pilots put their own original spin on. The set then transitioned back into original material that combined crowd stunning acts. The duo drummed back to back and even played off of one another over their heads. They also had the audience hold up a drum set and then performed a drum solo. What else could you ask for to make a concert better? After the Wale concert I have come to think of Wale as a giver. Wale was great to his fans, letting them take pictures with him and signing a plethora of items for them. The concert on the other had felt generic when compared to the rest of the rap world. The songs sounded pretty generic, except for the final song which was the stand out song of the set. I only wish that Wale had done a little more on stage, but I think Wale doesn’t see a concert as a theatrical performance. I believe Wale thinks of a concert as a social gathering to enjoy good music.
Review written by: John Biringer