By Shayna Innocenti
March-madness started off with a bang in the Rathskeller on Friday, March 1 as students filled the seats to lend their ears to the solo artist Ben Lemieux and the band For The Foxes.
Ben Lemieux, 24, traveled three-and-a-half hours down from Connecticut to open up the show at the College.
“The traffic was surprisingly light,” Lemieux joked, getting settled on the stage.
Lemieux was not alone on stage, however; he was accompanied by guitarist and vocalist, Rich Paquet, 24, and drummer, Mark Hylander, 22.
“I have been in a band since I was 16,” Lemieux said after the show. “Actually, Mark and I were in the same band together for five years, called Brookline Drive. It was just time for something new.”
The pop group performed five cover songs and one original song titled, “Remember When.” Lemieux’s melodic voice harmonized beautifully with Paquet’s as they collaborated on a cover of Maroon 5’s song, “Payphone.”
In the near future, Lemieux said that he will be headlining a show in his hometown of Hartford, Conn. on March 16 and will be performing in Boston at the Middle East Club on April 13.
Lemieux’s performance closed with two Justin Bieber songs that were mashed into one; the title of the new song was, “As Long as You Love Me Beauty and a Beat.”
The six band members of For The Foxes walked up on stage soon after, setting up their equipment, fine tuning their instruments, and immediately diving into the chords of their song, “We’re Coming Up.”
This was the second time performing at the College for the indie-pop band.
“When our band was just starting, we performed here in 2008,” vocalist Nicholas Francis said. “We are actually from Barnegat, N.J., over by Long Beach Island.”
One new song the band played included a ballad titled “The River” that Francis sang while playing the piano.
Francis’s bandmates had cleared the stage, leaving the vocalist alone and vulnerable for the audience, a complete change-up in personality.
One of the last songs that For The Foxes played was a new, untitled song that they wrote. The College got the exclusive treat to hear it first.
“It was cool that we got to try out some of our new music,” guitarist Mikey Ballou said.
Four College students enjoyed their music so much that they ran up to the stage and started dancing.
“Their music was very energetic and infectious. It made me want to dance,” said sophomore history and secondary education double major Katie Burke.
Upon the ending of the closing song “Revolution,” the title song off of their latest track, Francis announced that For The Foxes will be playing at the Starlight Ballroom in Philadelphia on March 15 and will also be playing in Vans Warped Tour this summer.
“I had a lot of fun here tonight,” Forsythe said. “It was awesome that I got the chance to be on stage with them with such a great audience.”