New Politics, Ponder the Giraffe shake up annual spring concert

New Politics headlined Geneseo’s highly anticipated spring concert on Sunday April 24, creating an almost surreal and special night for the attendees. Students and fans of both acts gathered in the gym, witnessing an event that was certainly a highlight of the school year. The Kuhl Gym was transformed into a makeshift concert arena with flashing lights and rock concert acoustics for New Politics and 2016 Battle of the Bands winner Ponder the Giraffe.

The sponsor of the event—the Geneseo Campus Activities Board—was happy to announce New Politics as the headliner for the spring concert on Feb. 25. GCAB aimed to have a larger turnout at this year’s spring concert by having a more well known band perform for the students at no charge. This seemed to be successful, as Ponder the Giraffe and New Politics were greeted with a large crowd.

Ponder the Giraffe warmly welcomed the audience with, “Nothing New,” an original song off their album Remember the Bridge. They also rocked out to other original jams of theirs like “Tell Me,” “Young Hearts, Young Minds,” “Restless,” “Shoes” and “Out to Dance.”

The Geneseo band consists of juniors Gabriel Birkby on vocals and guitar, Aaron Murphy on drums, senior Justin Fischer on bass and newest member junior Matt Rapoza on guitar. As the winner of the 2016 Battle of the Bands, Ponder the Giraffe was granted the opportunity of being the opening act for New Politics. They finished their set with a powerful performance of another song off Remember the Bridge, “It All Works Out, Fine.”

Then, it was time for New Politics to take the stage. Danish members David Boyd and Søren Hansen started New Politics together in 2009 and met drummer Louis Vecchio in New York a year later. From there, the group went on to tour with famous bands like Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy, in addition to producing two more albums on top of their debut 2010 album, New Politics. Vikings—their most recent album produced in 2015—includes hits such as “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)” and “Girl Crush.”

Once the lights went down, the crowd greeted them with roars and screams, as they dramatically opened with “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens).” Their next song, “Give Me Hope,” featured lead singer Boyd performing some awesome break dancing—something he commonly does during shows—as he ended the song in a solid headstand.

After “Tonight You’re Perfect,” Boyd did some flips for “50 Feet Tall” and finished the song with even more insane dance moves. They also played a cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” because of their admiration for the 1980s rock band.

“West End Kids” followed this cover, and the song’s energetic chorus prompted the audience to dance along with the performers. Guitarist and bass guitarist Hansen played the ukulele for “Fall Into These Arms,” as Boyd climbed into the crowd and finished the song standing in the hands of a few lucky audience members.

New Politics finished the night with just a few more songs, complete with awesome stunts from lead singer Boyd—one including a back flip off the bass drum for “Just Like Me.” The rest of the set included, “Girl Crush,” “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and one of their most popular songs, “Harlem,” off their 2013 album A Bad Girl in Harlem.

During their performance, Boyd said that “[music] is what [they] live and breathe.” This declaration is surely backed up by their energetic and fun performance. Following a large ovation from attendees after their last song, they came out and appeased the audience with an encore performance of “Goodbye Copenhagen.”

This astounding performance was enjoyable for anyone to experience, even students who were unfamiliar with their songs. Thanks to GCAB, New Politics and Ponder the Giraffe, this year’s spring concert was definitely one for the books.