Colorful lights, music and a loud crowd filled the gym of the Richie Reagan Recreation and Athletic Center as the Student Activities Board hosted its annual spring concert on April 11. The concert featured an opening performance by The 1865 followed by performances from AJR and special guest MAX.
The 1865 opened up the spring concert by performing a few punk songs. According to its website, the band “describes themselves as ‘Bad Brains meets Foo Fighters in a black woman’s hair salon for a cup of tea.’”
Sacha Jenkins, who formed the band, said on its website that it “was a great way to create contemporary music that spoke to the past, but also spoke to the same things that continue to happen over and over again in our country.” The band also dedicated one of its songs to Harriet Tubman.
Max Schneider, known professionally as MAX, then took over the stage. The singer, who previously starred in the Nickelodeon series “How to Rock” and movie “Rags,” performed a few songs including “Lights Down Low” and “Love Me Less.”
“I liked the energy that he [MAX] brought to the stage,” Brielle Runfeldt, a sophomore biology major, said. “You could see the enthusiasm and love he had for his music in his performance. He is a very lively person and really made an effort to interact and connect with the audience.”
Following MAX was the main performance by American indie pop band AJR. Its members, Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, who are all brothers, have been performing together for 14 years.
“We just had a really huge passion for it,” Jack said. “Everyone has their one thing that they like and this just happened to be ours. And if we love something enough, we just have to do it—that’s how we feel about music.”
Being a band and a group of siblings at the same time is not an issue for AJR. “The brothers aspect is not as difficult as you may think,” Jack said. “A lot of people think there’s constant fighting and bickering. With us, there really isn’t.”
Jack said growing up, the three siblings all lived in a small apartment in New York City where they all shared a small bedroom. “It’s kind of forced us to remain close,” he said. “In that closeness, we learned how to work together really well. So, touring is not an issue for us and we’re just really respectful to each other.”
Throughout the performance, AJR performed several of its hits including “Sober Up,” “Netflix Trip,” “Burn the House Down,” “100 Bad Days” and “Weak.”
“We love going on tours,” Jack said. “The live tours are really important to us. We think it’s an opportunity to give fans something they’ve never really seen before to give them this crazy experience.”
Brian Sumereau, a sophomore IT and finance major, attended the concert.
"AJR has been my favorite band for a while, so when I heard that they would be the spring concert, I was so excited,” Sumereau said. “I didn’t realize how many people on campus knew them.”
Sumereau said some of his favorite parts of the performance were the band’s rendition of “All Star” by Smash Mouth, and a remix of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from “Mary Poppins.”
“The concert was awesome,” Sumereau said. “I had such an incredible time.”
Liam Oakes can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @lm_oakes.