Evening of eccentricity with St. Lucia and ASTR

Review: The first Bandersnatch Concert show of the semester rocked an energetic Syracuse University crowd ready for Spring Break.

If you closed your eyes Wednesday in the Schine Underground, you definitely felt like Spring Break had come early — somewhere between Coachella and a desert oasis.

Unfortunately, the carefree, billow-in-the-breeze feelings didn’t start until an hour of tirelessly waiting for sound check for the Bandersnatch concert series show to be completed.

The sold-out concert began with electronic duo ASTR, pronounced like the beginning of asteroid. The couple is comprised of New York natives Zoe Silverman on vocals and Adam Pallin on electronic percussion.

Adam of ASTR took to the stage alone at first, in the dark, creating a melodic rhythm from an electronic drum set that immediately attracted the already anxious audience to the stage. Zoe then burst onto the stage with the amount of energy the crowd couldn’t help but match. A minute into the first song “We Fall Down” and the crowd was completely engaged.  Maybe it was Zoe’s deep nearly-to-the-floor head bobs followed by fist pumps to the ceiling or the energy in which Adam struck the percussions set, SU was captivated.

Zoe of ASTR captivates her audience with a high energy performance. (Photo: Katy Beals)

Zoe’s 90’s R&B influenced vocals, paired with Adam’s sweet melodies riding heavy bass and syncopated drum beats, got the entire crowd interacting as well - head bobbing, shoulder swaying,  and even shouting. Zoe yelled “put your hands up” and sure enough, SU did. Zoe said Syracuse had the best energy she’s seen from a college. At the close of their set they were met with cheers and yells from the totally amped audience.

Syracuse University should be on the lookout for this dynamic duo. They’re sure to be huge. They are already heading to the massive music festival SXSW and dropped an exclusive you’re reading here first. The band will drop a track later this week with country rapper Big K.RI.T. who performed  at SU earlier this year, opening for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in the Carrier Dome!

St. Lucia was then greeted to wild screams and applause before even hitting the stage. Once the South African lead singer Jean Phillip Grobler and band members took the stage, there was no coming back down for the crowd. The beautiful beach rhythms of “The Night Comes Again” and an array of lights in purple, green and every color in between cast a spell that enchanted the already energetic crowd into a frolicking frenzy. St. Lucia elicited screams and shouts when performing crowd favorites like “All Eyes On You” and “September” as well as popular tracks like “Elevate” from their latest album When The Night. They evoked more screams when they announced how jealous they were that we had Dinosaur BBQ around the corner.

Patricia Beranek and Ross Clark perform in St. Lucia. (Photo: Katy Beals)

Between the lead singer’s falsettos and rock ‘n roll-like throw backs of his head and the band even frolicking to-and-fro on the stage, everyone seemed to have taken Spring Break early.

But St. Lucia took a risk in the young college atmosphere when they performed a rock infused cover of Chaka Khan’s 1983 funk hit “Aint Nobody.” The track may have been unfamiliar to most, but the energy emanating from St. Lucia’s guitars, tambourines, keyboards, sound machine, and band members kept everyone dancing

“Real musicianship… and tropical pop, feel-good music” is what Bandersnatch Director Tyler Cunningham wanted to introduce to Syracuse University, who usually hosts hip-hop and EDM concerts.  The feel-good music was more than an introduction, it was a pre-vacation for many students who hopped about Schine Underground to the melodious music Wednesday night.

“The opener was pretty good,” said senior Environmental Engineer student Daniel Jerolimov who had never heard of ASTR, “and St. Lucia was great!”

University Union was pleased to see everyone enjoying themselves, musicians included. The night ended on a musical high as everyone screamed and applauded when St. Lucia closed the show with “When The Night.”

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