It is not often that a musician with a number-one album on the Billboard Heatseekers chart comes to Knox College.
And while there is no denying that many students would agree with an Entertainment Weekly review calling Andy Grammer’s music “scarcely original,” that didn’t stop a large, mostly female crowd from attending his show this past Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre.
Was it the greatest show ever? No. But for those who enjoy modern pop music, between opening act Chris Wallace (of The White Tie Affair fame, not Fox News fame) and Grammer’s headlining show, it was a fun and enjoyable way to spend two hours.
“There’s nowhere I’d rather be on Saturday night than hanging out with a bunch of crazy-ass college students in Galesburg, Ill.,” Grammer said a few songs into his set. “This is the best.”
Grammer was a street performer for three years, which was evident in his crowd interaction and song choice, which ranged from his own material to covers of Rihanna, Fun and Snow Patrol. Grammer knew how to hold an audience’s attention and create an enjoyable and passionate performance.
Bass solos from the balcony of the theatre, Grammer climbing through a sea of audience members in the first row and a barrage of glow sticks thrown at the band at the end of “Keep Your Head Up” only added to the fun.
From a technical perspective, holding the concert in the 900 or so seat Orpheum rather than in Kresge or outdoors as originally planned added to a much better concert-going experience — something that Union Board member senior Kaitlyn Duling aimed for.
“We really wanted to start using the Orpheum,” Duling said after the show. “We hope to use it again in the future because our experiences have been positive.”
Between the high energy of the evening’s performances and Grammer’s own comments toward the end of the set that Knox was the “most fun I’ve had” on the tour thus far, Duling was all smiles after the event.
“I think it went really well,” she said. “I’m pleased.”
As for the obviously female-dominated crowd, partly due to the styling of Grammer’s songs, Duling saw no issue in the turnout.
“It’s whoever likes the music [that] comes out,” she said.
Duling noted that Union Board is always looking to bring out a wide range of artists that appeal to a broad base of music fans.
So while the performance may not have been as indie as Dan Deacon’s Lincoln Fest performance last term — or as WVKC’s A Sunny Day in Glasgow show coming up in January — it was obvious that Grammer’s performance was a well-received and fun evening for those in attendance.