Niche Artists Charm Santa Clara Audience
Despite apprehension, artists shined at fall concert
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: Monday, October 3, 2011 12:10
For those who love exploring music that isn't as mainstream, this fall Activities Programming Board concert was going to be bigger and better compared to last's years concert. This was a great opportunity to get up close and personal with some talented new musicians, such as Timeflies, Kap Slap and Macklemore.
First to take the stage was Timeflies. Dressed in understated jeans and a plaid button-up, Cal pursued the teen heartthrob role touching the ladies' hands, and singing directly to the lucky ones who shoved their way to the front row. Singing songs that sampled "Under the Sea" from "The Little Mermaid" and the Katy Perry hit "Teenage Dream," the duo proved to be fun and inventive.
Whether or not you knew the lyrics to sing along, overall, the music was enjoyable: Cal's voice was smooth and his talent evident, while band mate Rob had an unadulterated ear for the perfectdupstep sounds that complimented the singer's voice.
"The fact that we can come out here to your guys' school, and you guys sold this place out tonight, means that hip-hop music is alive and well", shouted Macklemore, minutes before he successfully stage dives, thanks in part to the hands of Santa Clara University fans.
Students flocked to the front where the mood was energetic, and crowd participation was strong. "My friends and I were able to get upfront so it was awesome to see the performers just feet away from us and touch them," says Natalie Yacob. Prerecorded music filled the void while the crowd waited for Kap Slap. "This is stupid," said a student just within ear shot of me."
The APB staff was professional as they helped move stage equipment in between sets and at the same time coordinating with the performers; however, the drop in energy and enthusiasm from the crowd was apparent while they waited for the next performer.
Breathing heavily, a side effect of unrestrained fist pumping, Kap Slap told us he flew all the way from Pennsylvania just to come see us. Timeflies lead singer Cal moves frequently from one side of the stage to another, making sure every concert attendee who squeezed themselves in the front row got a high five or wink.
Each performer showed passion and a connection to the fans. Prior to the event beginning, I asked a few students what they hoped to see. Sophomore Zach Milkis said: "I am anticipating something great," while freshman Conor Duggan explained, "I'm from Seattle, Macklemore is from Seattle... I am a fan. I hope it's as good as Bummershoot."
The wait proved to be well worth it when Kap Slap hit the stage, but technical difficulties, with what seemed to be his microphone, kept him from starting his set with a flawless transition. After the five-minute dwell, the energy level in the crowd rose again, thanks to Kap Slap's consistent energy.
His wide array of mash-ups, comprised of to 40 songs meant fans were able top sing along as they danced. Kap Slap effortlessly got the crowd going by jumping up and down, hitting all sides of the stage, acknowledging fans and playing some of his more popular songs, including mashups "E.T. Feels Starry Eyed" and "Turbulent Rock Anthem."
Next onstage accompanied by producer Ryan Lewis and a talented trumpet player was Macklemore. Those who came specifically to see Macklemore appeared to be moved by his performance.
"Wings," an ode to consumerism written in an anecdotal way, was a favorite. In one song, the rapper came out wearing a blonde wig and sparkly cape, reminiscent of Ke$ha as he sang the upbeat "And We Danced." In between songs, he told short stories about taking time to research our school while he was on the plane and finding out that "Santa Clara knows how to party."
The mob of people surrounding the stage became too overwhelming for some students, but for those familiar with Macklemore, the passion and connection to his fans was evident, and that made the concert memorable.
Contact Keli Demertzis at email@example.com or (408) 551-1918.