Rockin’ the Rec Center

Matt Busekroos

Ashanti and The Audition played for Quinnipiac students on Nov. 16 and guests at the Recreation Center. Despite lackluster ticket sales, the turn out for the concert increased as the night went on. Early in the evening, attendance was sparse and SPB members outnumbered concert-goers; however, by the time the lights went down, more than half of the floor was filled with music fans.
“I am here because the tickets were free,” sophomore broadcast journalism major Natalie Jean said as she waited to enter the building.

The Audition performed first and began at 7:05 p.m. They energized a lackadaisical crowd and sounded strong despite the muffled quality of the sound system. The Audition interacted and did their best to get everyone excited for lead act, Ashanti.
“I never heard of them before, but I went on iTunes afterwards and realized they were truly a good band,” freshman broadcast journalism major Sherdale Hendrickson said.
Lead singer of The Audition, Danny Stevens, had a charisma and fun-natured personality that made him relatable when speaking to the audience.

“I thought it was good,” Stevens said following their vitalizing performance.
Surrounded by Smart Water, soda, coffee and other foods such as deli meat, fruit and Tostitos, The Audition used Dance Studio B on the second floor of the Recreation Center as their prep area. Stevens could be heard practicing his scales before performing for the crowd.

Stevens identifies The Audition as rock and roll, pop, R&B and hip-hop. Specifically, he named New Found Glory and Jack’s Mannequin as two influences.

Stevens recalls New Found Glory as the “nicest” and “goofiest” group of guys. It was surreal for him and the rest of the band to have the chance to play with New Found Glory because they listened to them growing up as aspiring musicians.

“Andrew [McMahon] is a great businessman [and] he does not care what anyone thinks,” Stevens said of the Jack’s Mannequin lead vocalist. Stevens and the rest of The Audition have respect for their contemporaries and it is evident from their kind words of both New Found Glory and Jack’s Mannequin.

The Audition can be heard on their MySpace page. Overall, Stevens finds this new digital age of Internet music streaming and downloading a mixed bag.

“It’s great because we [can] connect with fans all around the world.”

But with the good, comes the bad.
“People expect to meet and hang with [the band],” Stevens said of the connection fans make with them through MySpace. Stevens cites Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses as two bands that would play a show and leave for their next gig. With the new digital age of interaction, things are changing between the relationship between bands and the fans that adore them. The group receives hundreds of messages a day and it becomes almost an entirely different job having to read and respond to every fan.

The Audition is in the process of recording a new album following the success of their last album, “Champion,” which was released in January. They will begin to record in December and have plans to tour overseas in the spring.

Following The Audition, Ashanti arrived on stage, sporting a sparkling silver ensemble that caught the eyes of people in the audience. Ashanti cooed her way through a number of hits, including “Rock Wit You (Awww Baby)” and entertained everyone with a separate DJ and back up dancers.

“I thought she did very well. Everyone just got into it and liked it. [Ashanti] showed excitement and in turn, the audience got excited,” freshman athletic training major Eugene Santos said.