Four musical acts performed in Venable Gym where the gym was temporarily transformed into a stage of colored lights.
The Allegrettos started off Saturday night’s festivities. Conducted by junior Jay Cottle, the group performed a number of songs full of soul. They received an extremely warm applause upon finishing their 20-minute set.
“This concert was awesome,” alumnus Samantha Kone said. Kone traveled from Boston to be on campus for the weekend. “I am so happy to see the MCLA students performing so well as openers. And Blitz the Ambassador was so energetic,” she added.
Immediately following the Allegrettos, the Jazz Band hit the stage for a lively performance. The band played some jazzy tunes, warming the audience up. Allan Krause, the bassist, showed off some fancy footwork as he spun around the stage.
Throughout the concert, the lighting work was conducted by alumnus Ray Ratchup. He used the lights artfully, highlighting certain aspects of the music and accentuating crescendos.
Jungle Work was the third opener for Blitz the Ambassador. As soon as the lead singer and guitarist Patrick Maguire started strumming the opening notes of his first song, two students rushed onto the previously unoccupied dance floor and began dancing extremely enthusiastically. This broke the ice and soon there were more than 20 people jamming and grooving to the classic rock and blues that Jungle Work played masterfully.
Not to be outdone, the original two dancers used the filling dance floor to show off some pretty flashy moves, like some break dancing and rolling on the ground.
“It was a great experience playing for such an energetic audience,” Maguire said. “It was sweet playing for people who were there to hear the blues we wanted to play.”
“I want to give a special thanks to the MCLA Presents! members,” Jonathan Secor said between Jungle Work’s set and Blitz the Ambassador taking the stage.
After a ten minute break in which free pizza was delivered, (much to the approval of the 100-plus students who where in attendance), Blitz the Ambassador took the stage to a roaring round of applause.
The band consisted of a trombonist, a trumpet player, a saxophonist, a guitarist, a drummer and a keyboardist. The horn section was especially full of life as they danced, swayed and raised their horns in synchronized movements to the music and the lights. At one point the horn section took the front of the stage blaring funky tones and making the crowd wild. Additionally, Blitz the Ambassador took out a djembe drum and began to play during one of his more African-style songs.
“This is fantastic,” Corey Sloane, a junior, said discussing Blitz the Ambassador’s set. “It combines the energy of a rock concert with the rhythm and music talent of a jazz concert, all the while incorporating the lyrical skill of a rap concert.”
Approximately 80 people crowded in front of the stage at Blitz the Ambassador’s request, dancing to the funky tunes his band played. The crowd was extremely responsive when Blitz the Ambassador asked the audience to scream louder, clap their hands and to sing the refrains.