Night One of 95.5 WBRU’s 44th Birthday Bash offered several memorable live performances. Beginning with local openers Torn Shorts, the four-band bill proved to be a worthy decision by those in charge at WBRU.
Torn Shorts started the party with a brand of alt rock quite reminiscent to any or all of Jack White’s projects. A few of their songs included extended jams, which added to the performance quality in a positive manner.
Contrary to the potential bewilderment from the name Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., the next band was an extremely fun live performer. Their band name suggests that it might be one guy, perhaps playing on the acoustic guitar or using a one-man band body kit. This was indeed not the case and the group proved to be quite energetic. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. easily worked up the crowd and resurged an enjoyable atmosphere. It helped that the group was clearly having fun performing for this audience full of WBRU listeners. Besides the energy of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., highlights of their set included the songs “Don’t Tell Me” and “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dance Floor).”
The second-to-last act of the night was California’s The Colourist. This was the indie rock group’s first performance in Providence. The female drummer cracked a joke regarding at least one of her band mates thinking Rhode Island was actually a tropical paradise. In terms of The Colourist’s set, they were able to impress the crowd with their catchy tunes. They were the right band to fill the direct support slot in this concert’s lineup.
Young the Giant rounded out the bill, hitting the stage at 11 PM. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia showed his full vocal potential on Wednesday night, hitting notes many men should not even attempt to try. Despite the disappointment of new material overload in their set list, Young the Giant demonstrated their perfected performance skills. Their energy and positive vibes permeated the audience’s senses and heightened the power of the atmosphere orchestrated by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and The Colourist. Gadhia also managed to offer a humorous anecdote as he jestingly singled out an audience member “nursing his beer.” He ended his little lecture with “Man up; drink it down!”
It would have been nice to hear more tracks off 2010’s Young The Giant and perhaps a cover or two rather than the excess of songs from the forthcoming album, Mind Over Matter. However, judging from how those five or six new songs sounded live, this new record should steer the band clear of the sophomore slump and should be one worth promoting over a lengthy touring cycle.
Overall, WBRU threw an awesome show in honor of the radio station’s 44th year in existence.