Posted by Rebecca Stern
Skimore Entertainment Company, the concert was comprised of two bands: New York native duo "Cults" and jazz and funk-inspired singer Mayer Hawthorne.
This year, SEC democratically decided on two distinct bands, in order to appeal to the diverse musical tastes of the student body. The Big Show usually features bands that fall under the "indie" category, which has only attracted a fraction of Skidmore students in the past. Grizzly Bear's performance, for example, was barely attended three years ago, despite their undeniable popularity (the band has sold out three consecutive Radio City Music Hall shows this year).
"We thought Mayer Hawthorne would put on a good show," said SEC co- president Taylor Dafoe '13, "[a show] that students would like to dance and have fun to."
Cults satisfied the alternative taste of some students with their smooth melodic tones and xylophone enhanced vocals, which created a simple, swaying beat. The songs were catchy and sweet, allowing fans to easily sing and sway along to their portion of the show. The contrast was greatly felt as a crowd gathered for Hawthorne, who entered the stage in a red tuxedo and Buddy Holly-styled glasses with his three back-up band members.
Hawthorne's soul music instantly commenced with a heavy drum beat and the singer's suave harmonic pitches. The audience quickly responded with dancing and jumping, as they rapidly picked up on the performer's vibes. The band was interactive, and the crowd appeared invested in the performance, even posing for a picture initiated by Hawthorne, which he later posted on the band's Twitter account. The crowd yelled for an encore, and the band served with energetic improvisations.
Mayer Hawthorne wasn't only an artist performing songs. His portion of the show was an interactive event, and the audience became a cohesive unit able to respond to the band and influence how the show transpired.