Karmin and JoJo kick off Welcome Week in high spirits
A long centipede-shaped line waited outside of Bender Arena on Aug. 23 as AU students of all ages waited in anticipation for the Student Union Board’s first concert of the school year. At the end of the night, it seemed that few in the audience were dissatisfied with the performances of SUB’s three Welcome Week acts: disc jockeys Mekanikal and R&D; opener JoJo; and main attraction Karmin.
As the concert officially started up at 8 p.m., AU student DJs Mekanikal and R&D set the crowd into a dancing frenzy as they mixed and grooved pop songs of the 21st century into their electro set. After both DJ’s performed their set, the crowd began to push forward to the stage as the next performer, musician and occasional actress JoJo (“RV”), stepped onto the stage.
Wearing a nearly see-through bra under a Grunge-like flannel shirt, JoJo held a very lively stage presence, as she swayed and twirled around the stage. Her performance mainly revolved around songs from her first two R&B- and pop-leaning albums, including “Too Little, Too Late” and “Leave (Get Out).” JoJo’s set also included a cover of Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home.” In between singing songs, JoJo expressed her passion for music.
“There is no way to separate me as a singer from who I am as a person,” JoJo said during the show.
Once JoJo’s set was over, the main attraction Karmin took the stage. Wearing a red, white and blue ensemble that resembled the White Stripes, Amy Heidemann and Nicholas Noonan broke into their mix of pop, dance and hip-hop. Heidemann’s fusion of vocals and rap segments proved to be even more lively than the duo’s recordings. In addition to the vocals and rap segments performed by his musical partner, music man Noonan ran all around the stage playing keyboard, pounding on percussion, stomping around on trombone and contributing more vocals.
While the crowd cheered and screamed in excitement, most of Karmin’s set list consisted of songs like “Acapella” and “I Want It All” from the duo’s 2014 album “Pulses.” During the encore Karmin also invited an energetic freshman onstage to help perform a song. While Karmin’s recorded music is heavily filled with generic pop rhythms, the duo’s backup band included a bassist, another percussionist and a guitarist, who brought even more distinctive sounds to their performance.
When the show ended the audience poured out of Bender arena, many with their first college concert under their belt.