By Len La Rocca
AJR’s Lead singer Jack Met jumped onto the darkened stage in his iconic fur-lined trapper hat as he teased the opening track, “Come Hang Out,” by mixing up the instrumental on a beat machine.
“I’ll be there next time,” Met sang as the stage bursted with energy. The purple lights engulfed the stage with smoke, the lead singer danced across the set and the three brothers began to play.
When Met introduced the band, which includes him and his two brothers, his comedic energy was immediately apparent.
“That’s Adam, I’m Jack, that’s Ryan over there in the glasses … What was that? That was like the most sarcastic wave ever,” Met joked. “You don’t even give a shit with that wave.”
The College Union Board’s spring concert was thumping with energy for headliner and indie pop sensation AJR and R&B singer and rapper PnB Rock, who opened for the band. Their music tore down the Recreation Center with unforgettable performances of their hit songs on Tuesday, April 16 at 8 p.m.
While PnB Rock appealed to rap lovers, AJR has taken charge in the pop music scene with hits like “Weak,” “Sober Up” and the famous number, “Burn The House Down,” which has generated more than 88 million streams on Spotify.
After the band finally made its way onstage, the group performed its hit song, “I’m Not Famous.” The extravagant combination of AJR’s sweet-sounding, high pitched and intoxicating vocal melodies along with percussion, electric piano and trumpet made for an impactful performance.
The band took a moment in their set to interact with students and have some fun with each other.
“What I wanna do is take a minute and point out people in the crowd that I’ve seen this far in the show,” Met said. “I had my eye on someone. It’s you in the glasses over there. I was noticing those glasses and they’re so bizzare looking. I think Ryan would look so good in those glasses. Pass those glasses up here.”
The bright yellow glasses were soon passed up, and its look on the AJR brother made the crowd burst with laughter. This humor continued as the lead singer himself tried them on much to the audience’s amusement.
The brothers kept up this high energy throughout the night. They performed songs from their album “The Click” as well as covers of outside tracks such as “All Star” by Smash Mouth and even the theme song to the popular sitcom, “The Office.”
To close the show, the lead singer took the audience on a behind-the-scenes journey of how the brothers make their beats. After a combination of snare patterns, drum kicks and trumpet sounds, it became apparent that the band was about to play its most popular song, “Burn The House Down,” causing the crowd to erupt in applause.
Many students vibed with AJR’s performance and loved the party atmosphere that the band brought to the stage.
“It was amazing,” said Kayla Gosselin, a freshman health and exercise science major. “I already loved AJR before I came here and this show was just amazing. I love the song ‘Burn The House Down.’ That’s my favorite song by them.”
PnB Rock’s set appealed to the rap fans in attendance as he came out to perform his featured chorus in Kodak Black’s, “Too Many Years”.
“I done gave the jails too many years — years that I won’t get back,” Rock sang out to an eager audience.
He also performed a slew of solo hits such as “In My Feelings,” “There She Go” and “Misunderstood.” Rock even paid tribute to the late rapper XXXTENTACION, who was killed in June of 2018. PnB performed the song “Changes,” which he originally collaborated on with the late rapper last year.
“This one’s for my brother, Jahseh,” Rock said. He connected with audience members sharing his grief when he sang, “My heart can’t take this damage and the way I feel can’t stand it.”
PnB Rock continued his performance on a lighter note with his popular remix of “Unforgettable” by French Montana. He wrapped up a stellar set with YFN Lucci’s “Everyday We Lit” with Rock on the chorus.
“Everyday we lit,” Rock chanted as the diamonds in his Cuban link chain glistened. “You can’t tell me shit. Remember I was broke. Now I’m getting rich.”
The night united the campus community and acted as a well-deserved break for students who have worked hard all semester long.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Kate Matro, a sophomore English major. “It was really fun. It’s just nice to have everyone come together and have an event with music and dancing.”