‘Dancing in the dark’ at Dev’s performance; Cold War Kids bring expressive, eclectic act

Electro-pop sensation Dev, one of this year’s headlining performers, was nothing short of a crowd-pleaser at the College Union Board’s annual Fall Concert.

Cold War Kids join Dev at Kendall (Matthew Mance / Photo Assistant).

The singer had an animated stage presence during the concert and immediately got the crowd moving by performing familiar hits including “Like A G6” and “Naked.” Dressed  in all black with gold stud embellishments covering her shoulders and her voluminous bouncy bob hairdo, Dev looked like a superstar.

Dev lights up the stage with energy and style (Matthew Mance / Photo Assistant).

Although she was not accompanied by the Cataracs during her show, Dev performed alongside DJ SourMilk, who brought club inspired beats that boomed throughout Kendall Hall. She even had backup dancers who gave the show a futuristic feeling by dancing in a robotic style that fit perfectly with her songs.

The audience remained standing throughout her entire set while actively dancing along with the singer. When Dev ended the concert with her hit single, “Dancing in the Dark,”  she sent an energetic vibe through the cheering crowd and made a memorable impression.

Dev also remained true to her “sing-talk” performing style throughout the songs giving her performance a modern feel that distinguished her from other pop artists.

Although some would compare her musical style to that of other artists like Ke$ha, Dev finds that her influences are what separates her from everyone else.

“I think that naturally everybody is different,” she said in an interview with The Signal. “I think that a lot of my music has a lot of influences, whether it’s bay area (hip-hop) music, bands or the words that I use. I mean, every human is different so I think every pop artist is different”

On another end on the music spectrum was the concert’s co-headlining band, Cold War Kids.

With hits like “Hang Me Up to Dry” and “Hospital Beds” (covered by Florence and the Machine), Cold War Kids played a range of songs that gravitated towards the indie-rock genre.

When asked how their music became molded into this expansive genre, Cold War Kids admitted that originally they were not aiming toward the indie scene.

“I don’t necessarily know if we were an indie-rock band when we started, but then everyone called us that and we thought, ‘Oh, that’s what we are,’” the band said. “It was not something that we said until started really moving and shaking. I think we liked a lot of bands like Spoon and Tom Waits and tried to put those things together in our own way.”

Unlike Dev, the music performed by Cold War Kids did not keep the crowd on their feet for long. However, lead singers Nathan Willett and Dann Gallucci were able to capture the attention of the audience through their effective use of the stage. The singers constantly bounced from keyboard to guitar and vocals, showing their multifaceted musical talents.

Throughout their set, the emotions of the songs could be read through the expressive body language and faces of the band members. From the upbeat soulful sounds of “Mexican Dogs” to the more relaxed vibe of “Louder Than Ever” no two songs were exactly the same.

Acknowledging the “several students (who) are still dealing with loss of power, damage, displacement and financial distress as a result of hurricane Sandy,” the College Union Board and the Student Finance Board announced via email their decision to make the show free, in order to provide students with “a fun, energetic, relaxing night.”

Although the fall concert lacked the large turnout that was seen in previous years, this year’s performances had distinct musical genres that appealed to an array of audience members. While both Dev and Cold War Kids had original performances, Dev was ultimately the show-stopper.

Since her splash onto the music scene in 2010, Dev’s music continues to serve as the soundtrack to college students and their nightlife experiences everywhere.

“It’s kind of surreal when I hear a record on the radio and I think ‘I can’t even listen to this, it makes me miss parties in high school,’” Dev told The Signal in an interview. “And it’s really cool to think that my music does that for kids. I’m honored, I’m honored to have your hopefully good memories placed to my records instead.”