A few songs into Bayside vocalist Anthony Raneri’s acoustic set, the Rathskeller floor sang the refrain.
“Who let this feeling die?” was the question posed during the chorus of “Duality,” one of the band’s more popular tracks, and as the several dozen fans huddled near the stage, backing Raneri’s voice, it was clear that the casual sing-along feeling was alive and well.
Equipped with his guitar and a crooked smile, Raneri played a dozen songs — some old, some new and some covers on Tuesday, March 22, wooing the crowd with familiar lyrics and an I’m-not-too-big-for-a-small-stage attitude.
Following his performance, Raneri expressed his love for shows like this.
“It’s kind of a nervous energy,” he said. “The stuff with the band is well-planned and well-rehearsed, and this is a totally different animal. It reminds me of when I was first starting out. It was a blast.”
Any nervousness Raneri might have had seemed to be washed away by the voices of the crowded Rat, which met his voice in unison on popular Bayside tracks “The Ghost of St. Valentine” and “Blame it on Bad Luck.” His closing love song, “Megan,” was also greeted with swoons.
In support of Bayside’s most recent album, “Killing Time,” Raneri played two tracks, “Already Gone” and “On Love, On Life,” from the new record released in late February.
Covers included Bad Religion’s “Sorrow,” Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You into the Dark” and Counting Crows’ “A Long December,” which he played, he claimed, mainly because it was stuck in his head.
The singer kept the mood light in between songs, noting his approval of being able to purchase beer on campus and playfully berating the crowd for being too quiet at times.
“Sing along if you know it,” he encouraged.
Raneri commented several times on the clanking of the Rat’s busy kitchen, and his unfamiliarity with it.
“You have no idea how weird this is, with the constant sound of the fryer,” he said with a laugh.
Sophomore communication studies major and Rat co-chair Jane Howell, the event’s organizer, was pleased with the show’s result.
“I was really excited for the show, and thought it went great,” Howell said. “This was one of the bigger Rat shows for the semester, and we were expecting a big turn out and our expectations were met … Even kids who didn’t really listen to the band before said they really enjoyed it.”
Opening for Raneri were two members of Crystal Mountain Music Collective, an indie-rock group from Neshanic, N.J., who played a mix of originals and covers for an attentive Rat crowd.
Bobby Olivier can be reached at email@example.com.