WQAQ’s spring concert packed Alumni Hall to maximum capacity this past Friday night. Over than 700 tickets were sold to fans of Minus the Bear, Kevin Devine, Paulson, and Great Caesar and the GoGetters.
Great Caesar and the GoGetters, WQAQ’s 2008 Battle of the Bands winners, opened up the night with a catchy rock/ska sound and a natural stage presence. Their ability to successfully hide any sense of nervousness they may have felt prior to the show helped draw the majority of the room closer to the stage.
Though their set was only fifteen minutes long, they successfully hyped up the audience for the bands to come. Members of WQAQ showed their excitement by chanting the name of Quinnipiac’s own Mike Farrell, the guitarist in the band and active member of the radio station.
“I’m about as nervous as I’m not,” Farrell said before the show. “I haven’t felt like this since the first show I’ve ever played. [But] I know that the second I get on stage, and the second we hit the first note of the first song, all of that’s going to be gone, and I’m going to be nothing but totally psyched.”
Paulson’s set elicited a similar response from those who were familiar with their music, though the band members were significantly less mobile than Great Caesar during their performance. Still, those who were expecting the most of Paulson were pleased.
“I was very happily surprised by Paulson,” said senior Stacey Guiot. “I listened to their MySpace and really liked them, and they definitely lived up to that.”
Next came Kevin Devine, a distinguished acoustic singer/songwriter who has the attention of many fans of Brand New. Mike Strandberg joined Devine on electric guitar and singing backup vocals. Their set was simple and captivating to those who cared to pay attention. Many crowd members, on the other hand, felt discouraged by Kevin Devine’s slow-paced tunes and spent much of his set time chattering amongst themselves.
Of course, headliners Minus the Bear had no trouble picking things back up. The experimental indie group had their fans rushing to the front of the stage and dancing to their favorite songs. Even non-fans found themselves enthralled by their performance, like freshman Ashley Riley, who hadn’t even heard of any of the bands before the show.
“I really liked Minus the Bear,” Riley said. “I wasn’t expecting to, but they grew on me.”
The show’s turnout was the best that WQAQ has on record, according to music director D.J. Bernat.
“This is the first show I know WQAQ’s ever done that’s sold out in advance, and only the third to ever sell out,” Bernat said. Bernat co-booked the concert alongside fellow music director, Chris McLaughlin.
Some people, however, did not know that the show sold out. Those people were asked to wait until 9 p.m., when leftover reserved tickets would no longer be held. One guest claimed that she drove two hours to attend, but unfortunately still needed to wait with everyone else.
“I feel kind of bad that a lot of people didn’t find out about the show until it was too late,” Bernat said, “but I’m pumped that it sold out.”