Last updated on November 27th, 2017 at 09:55 pm
Opinions on pop music vary tremendously from person. For some, it’s a grand unifying force, others a superficial racket. While neither extreme is true across the board, most would agree that at any given time pop music has the power to be transcendent while also having the potential to be overindulgent and crass, with the best leaning towards the former and the worst the latter. These dynamics were running through my head constantly as I watched my first “true” pop concert in what felt like ages at the 7th Street Entry on Sunday.
It didn’t take long for me to find differences between this show and those I usually attend. Getting in line at six o’ clock sharp (early for a show), I noticed how young the audience for this all ages concert truly was. College kids, teenagers, and their parents made up the majority of the audience. While some would turn up their nose at this I decided to embrace it and pursue the opportunity to get a glimpse at what the younger generations are listening to and connecting with.
The First act of the night was AM!R. He knew what the audience wanted, hyping them up with his smooth moves and danceable songs. Playing a mix of Covers and Originals, the singer-songwriter kept the young audience dancing and singing along. An early highlight was the dirty and funky bassline of “Dirty whispers.”
The track went over well, but it was clear it was meant to be heard in front of a larger audience. Following this AM!R went in an unexpected direction, picking up an electric guitar for a series of well-received covers, including Whitney houston’s I wanna dance with somebody, and Prince’s I wanna be your lover.
At times the set lost energy but I enjoyed myself for the most part and It seemed like the crowd did as well. The set ended on a high note with the reggae-tinged “Blood Rush”. Fun as it was, it turned out to be only an appetizer to the main event that the next act, Pennsylvania’s Rozes, would provide.
Anyone who has heard her music knows she’s a force to be reckoned with and that her talent would translate to the stage. With that said, the performance was much more dynamic and varied than one would expect from a typical pop singer, (which she doesn’t seem to aspire to be).
Walking on stage to a remix of her Chainsmokers collaboration, “Roses” accompanied only by her drummer, Rozes was met by excitement from the audience. Under the Grave started the set out and showcased her vocal prowess from the beginning. In and out showcased another side of her talent, her knack for songwriting. True to great pop music of the past, each song had great hooks. Burn Wild came next and saw the biggest EDM Climax (Could you call it a drop?) of the evening.
The Title track from her debut EP was saw the audience get as into it as they would on any song of the night. After the strong tune “Hangin On”, the show got even more interesting. Canyon, with an island groove, was one of the strongest songs of the night, and saw the multi-talented roses take a turn on the drums, while her drummer took a solo on an electric guitar.
While adding live instrumentation to electronic compositions is nothing new, The Drums and other instrumentation really added energy to the Set, without ever feeling gimmicky. Three Strong hits Closed the set in the form of Girls on Boys, Roses, and Matches. The audience couldn’t get enough, and I left thoroughly impressed.