By Carlie Goode
The Friday, Nov. 6, CUB Alt concert featuring The Millenium and opening performers Kiernan McMullan and Carter Hulsey was a fine evening of homey alternative rock that garnered a low attendance — not at all matching the quality of the performances.
With no time wasted on introductions, opener McMullan plunged into his act, performing many of his original songs, including “Speak Your Mind.” His music was worldly and sweet, reflecting McMullan’s international background, including his birth in Hong Kong and connections to Boston, Ireland and Australia.
The solo artist was tapping his knuckles on the soundboard of his guitar between strokes for percussion and at one point sang directly into the hole of his guitar.
The audience in the Decker Social Space consisted of only about 20 people. The audience was made up of crew members and bandmates, as well as a smattering of College Union Board affiliates and filled a sparse fifth of the assembled rows of blue plastic chairs that may have accommodated 100 guests.
“Thanks for being here, I know I’m not in ‘Orange is the New Black,’ so I really appreciate it,” McMullan said with a laugh, referencing the transgender “Orange is the New Black” star and LBGTQ activist Laverne Cox, who was also visiting the College that evening and likely affected the concert turnout.
McMullan and his singing partner, Adam Hourihan, who joined him onstage after a few minutes, maintained a witty banter between their songs. “What do you call an alligator in a vest?” Hourihan asked the crowd at one point during the set. “An investigator!”
Hulsey, the second opener, had the mien of a typical rocker — dark denim, a scruffy beard and a cigarette falling out of his pocket. He had more of a country vibe than the other performers, singing of self-reflection and swimming in the summer.
Hulsey played several of his edgy songs including “NPR,” an angsty country-rock song.
The headlining band, The Millenium, began its performance an hour and a half into the concert. The band played many of its original songs, opening with the newly released track “Stay.” The performance also included a hilarious, yet brilliant, cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” which was played on acoustic guitars by tall, masculine, Midwestern men in flannels, and was quite the ironic sight to behold.
The Millenium is an alternative pop-rock band hailing from Eau Claire, Wis., and is currently on an east coast tour. The band consists of lead vocalist Matt Hasenmueller, vocalist and guitarist Kyle Featherstone and guitarist Kyle Culver.
The band formed when the members of the bands The Last Semester and The Picture Perfect had parted way to start new projects. The three friends coalesced to form The Millenium in 2014 and have since played at venues with over 2,000 people, Culver said.
“Turnout wasn’t huge, but it had an intimate feel,” Hasenmueller said after the show. Given that The Millenium had no prior known fanbase at the College, they were pleased anybody had come.
“This song changed my life,” Hasenmueller said onstage of his original song “Ghost Town.” “It allowed me to do a lot of things I’d never thought I’d do… I know there’s not a lot of people here, but the fact that anyone shows up 18 hours from my house is incredible.”
“Ghost Town” had its two-year anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and all of The Millenium’s songs are available on iTunes and Spotify.
“These songs are an extension of ourselves, much in the same way as our arms and legs,” the band states on its website. “These songs created us more than we created them, and it is with this we hope to connect to our audience through shared experiences.”