By Maddi Ference
“You guys remember when you were 14? I wouldn’t do that (again) unless I was paid a billion dollars and have the brain I have now,” Brendan Brown of the popular ’90’s band Wheatus told nostalgic students at the College on Friday, Oct. 30, in the Brower Student Center before starting one of their many upbeat and outright silly songs.
The Student Center had a coffee shop atmosphere with students scattered around tables listening and relaxing to the incredibly talented opening act Meghann Wright, followed by the boisterous Wheatus. Many students came to hear Wheatus play their popular song “Teenage Dirtbag,” but they seemed to be more than surprised and satisfied with the performance they received leading up to the highly-anticipated song.
The concert began with a country-pop mix by Wright and two supporting band members — one on a blues guitar and the other playing a percussion board instead of a traditional drum set. The percussionist sat in a chair with the board between his legs and a shaker attached to his foot. Different spots on the board would produce different sounds, which was very unique for most students to see in a set.
The music resembled Fleetwood Mac and was very soulful through Wright’s tough yet talented voice. Wright said that her favorite song to perform is “Sunshine Through The Rain.”
“(It’s) about finding hope in spite of negativity,” Wright said.
The main act of the show was the spirited band Wheatus, who entertained the audience mainly with their absurd commentary in between songs. When they introduced their song “Lemonade,” a few students stood up and cheered, to which Brown said “You know this song?” Simple commentary lead to a very light and casual set.
Present for the show was Brown on lead guitar and vocals and Matthew Milligan on bass, producing a sound similar to Rush. Their songs were mostly upbeat in tempo and all had similar topics — drugs, girls cheating in a relationship and sex.
Brown’s vocal range transitioned up and down the scale — one second he would be singing low notes and the next he would be singing a woman’s part in falsetto. Regardless of what notes he was singing, he hit them all with complete accuracy and his talent made the audience cheer for more.
The last song of the evening was what everyone was waiting for. When Wheatus announced that their closer would be “Teenage Dirtbag,” a few students stood up and yelled with excitement and the audience as a whole became more energetic and animated in anticipation. Everyone sang along with Brown for the whole song and waited in suspense for the coming lines when Brown stopped to take a drink of water in the middle of the song.
When asked about their audience, both bands had nothing but positive things to say. The students at the College were a “really warm crowd” and a “surprisingly musically engaged crowd,” Brown said after the show.
Wright said that “everyone was very nice” when welcoming her to the College.
Although Wheatus had just gotten back from their 15th anniversary tour in Europe, they were still excited to play at the College so soon after their return to the United States.
Overall, the concert was a fun experience for students to get out and hear some new music. The sets were very conversational with little quirks and unique aspects which made the concert amusing for all who came out.