There was an invasion on campus last Tuesday, of the mtvU sort. The college music station’s Campus Invasion tour hit the Recreation Center with Motion City Soundtrack and hellogoodbye performing for a crowd of about 800.
Though Straylight Run was also scheduled to play, two of the members came down with food poisoning and had to cancel.
Headliners Motion City Soundtrack had a rousing set, with ample crowd surfing and even some moshing. They opened with “Attractive Today” and played songs from their recently released sophomore album, “Commit This To Memory,” as well as a few from their first album, “I Am The Movie.”
The band seemed well-received, as a number of audience members sang along and jumped around to the more upbeat and familiar songs.
The show ended with a two-song encore, including “Hold Me Down.” The final song of the night, their most popular single “The Future Freaks Me Out,” had audience members even replacing lead singer Justin Pierre for some lyrics as he leaned his microphone over the crowd.
“I think there were definitely a lot of people who haven’t seen us before,” drummer Tony Thaxton said. But Thaxton thought the low-key audience was a good thing. “Hopefully we’ll recruit more (fans),” he said.
Pierre said he thought the show went well. “My voice has been giving me trouble lately so I tried to take it easy,” he wrote in an e-mail, having kept silent after the show to save his voice.
“But it’s always strange the first few days of a tour.”
Openers hellogoodbye performed for a tame crowd, though it did pick up once they played some of the better-known songs, particularly their single “Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn,” which has had video play on mtvU. At one point during their set, members of WTSR, the College’s radio station, jumped on stage in various costumes, including a large chicken and a Twinkie.
“It was (good) except that no one really seemed too enthusiastic, but it was fun,” Chris Profeta, drummer for hellogoodbye said.
“The first day of a tour is always rocky,” Jesse Kurvink, keyboardist, said. “Even when you’re only off for two days you get out of step.”
Members of all three bands were available after the show for autographs and pictures as well as to talk to concertgoers.
Pierre said that on the tour, he is looking forward to the college gyms. “I hope to reach my full Brad Pitt abilities by the end of the tour.”
He also divulged what he liked and disliked about the Garden State. “My favorite thing about New Jersey is Kevin Smith,” Pierre said. “My least favorite thing about New Jersey is the no left turn bullshit.”
“New Jersey crowds are some of the best crowds,” Thaxton said before the show. “The crowds are always ready to have fun, always going crazy.” The band recently played a show in Asbury Park, which he said was “one of the best shows on the tour.”
Thaxton said that his least favorite thing about New Jersey is a safety issue. “I love the shows but, to be honest, it’s not my favorite place to be. Asbury Park is a little frightening.”
Pierre said his most interesting college experience was when he was a student at Moorhead University for his “first attempt at college,” which lasted just under three months.
“While there, my group of friends and I would have 40s night where we would rent ‘Boyz N the Hood’ or ‘Menace II Society’ and drink St. Ides and reenact the movies in our dorm rooms much like people do at theaters to ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show,'” he said.
Though both John and Michelle Nolan of Straylight Run were sick with food poisoning and canceled their performance at the College, drummer Will Noon said the band was hoping to play at the next stop on the tour in East Stroudsburg, Penn. on April 5. “We’re hoping a good night’s rest will fix shit,” he said.
Noon said the Nolans each woke up around 5 a.m. ill. They tried to make it to the show but felt too sick. Noon and bassist Shaun Cooper were around to get situated with the tour so that when the Nolans felt better, Straylight Run could “hit the ground running.”
The College had been “cool about what happened,” Noon said.
Lindsay Knight, junior English major and College Union Board (CUB) coordinator of the Campus Invasion tour, said that about an hour before the doors were supposed to open, CUB was informed that Straylight Run would not be able to go on.
“We decided the best course of action would be to inform students as they arrived that Straylight would not be playing, and to offer them a full refund if they decided they did not want to see the show,” Knight said.
Because CUB did not have enough cash on hand, members took down the contact information of the students who wanted refunds and will be sending the refund checks within two weeks, Knight said.
“We also asked the other two bands to play longer sets … to somewhat make up for the loss of Straylight,” Knight said. mtvU agreed to refund CUB the portion of what was paid for Straylight Run.
In addition, Straylight Run will be contracted to play at the College sometime between September and February of next year for the amount that CUB was refunded, a price reduced from what it normally receives for shows, Knight said.