Review: MuseFest 2013
University Activities Board (UAB) hosted their MuseFest concert Friday, Sept. 20. The show was originally planned to take place outdoors at Alumni Tower, but was relocated due to rain.
The relocation caused a half-hour delay in the start time for the concert, which began at 7 p.m. Free t-shirts and a plethora of glow sticks were handed out at the door before concert-goers walked into a virtually empty room. In retrospect, it would have been a good idea not to schedule a big event for an evening when campus is closed to traffic.
Brynn Marie turned out to be a Taylor Swift-esque pop country artist with none of the conventional twang so loved by country fans. While Brynn Marie’s singing and songwriting were decent—if a little unimaginative—she lacked the wild energy of later acts, which was probably compounded by the fact that it looked like the attendance at the event topped out at about 50. But even a small crowd can be a good crowd, and by the end of her set, they were dancing and singing along to Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.”
Next up, The Romantic Era (TRE) got everyone moving with an eclectic mix of styles. Their music had a darker, more alternative edge than you might expect from a self-described pop/rock group, blending both R&B and light metal styling with their pop songwriting. The seven-piece band was full of energy, though their moves seemed limited to jumping in time to the beat. Nevertheless, a full sound and a contagious enthusiasm soon infected the crowd, who heartily participated in TRE’s head banging.
OnCue was a good choice for MuseFest. His variety of rap appealed to more Top 40 listeners than some styles, but at the same time it would have been nice to have a true change of pace after the previous group which included some songs with rap sections in its set. OnCue’s lyrics, more in the style of Macklemore than say, Jay-Z, were definitely a strong point but the still-small crowd wasn’t really feeling it.
The final act at MuseFest ’13 was DJ duo Jen Mozenter and Claire Schlissel, who call themselves The Jane Doze. Their mashups and remixes of popular mainstream music struck a great balance between familiar and original. Their pop influences connected with the crowd and then the electro dance house beats swept them away. Despite the fact that the audience had dwindled, Schlissel and Mozenter kept the momentum going with Mozenter leading the frenzy from onstage while Schlissel ran the show behind the deck.
Though attendance was remarkably poor this year, hopefully in the future UAB will consider what else is going on around campus when they schedule their next event. To their credit, UAB definitely tried to provide a little something for everyone and, attendance aside, MuseFest was a good way to get to know some little-known artists and maybe find some new favorites.