Mike Posner sets it off in the Underground

Review: Hip-hop artist and Duke senior stages an energy-packed party to celebrate his new album release.

Early Wednesday night, 21-year-old musician and Duke University student Mike Posner strolled leisurely into the Schine Underground. Scheduled to perform two hours later and still appearing tired from his flight, Posner sat down to relax after a routine sound check.

“Today’s a really special day because my new CD just came out,” Posner said. “It leaked a day early, so I’ll be singing several songs from that CD I’ve never sung before.”

Photo: Ben Addonizio
Chucklehead was among the opening acts for Mike Posner.

The new album, One Foot Out The Door, is now available as a free download on iTunes, and Posner is more than confident about its quality, his own musical talent and his ability to put on a great show.

“My music is my career, and I’m killing it right now," Posner said. "Not to pat myself on the back,”  “I’ve gotten so much better as a singer since my last CD came out. Now with these new songs, they’re written in such a way that I can do everything I can do, and really go crazy on stage. We’re gonna have an awesome time.”

Two hours later, Posner delivered on that promise.

Energized and focused, he gripped the microphone in his right hand and pointed at the ceiling with his left hand as he stood over the crowd at Schine Underground.

“Feels damn good to be in Syracuse,” Posner screamed into the microphone. “You guys ready to party? Say ‘Hell yeah!’”

With strobe lights flashing, Posner sang while the audience cheered and chanted his name.

He dove right into singing several tracks from A Matter of Time, his acclaimed first mixtape, released earlier this year. A natural showman, Posner made sure to keep everyone moving, participating and making noise.

With each passing song, the crowd appeared to get more and more hyped up. The females in attendance were screaming nonstop, some reaching out to touch Posner whenever he got close to the edge of the stage.

Posner also flexed his studio muscle during the gig, using a drum machine to create a custom beat for a remix of his song “Cooler than Me.”

Even when his MacBook acted up, he performed a cappella before filling in the silence by playing the keyboard.

He also showed off his cover skills, performing his own version of Beyonce’s “Halo” and a take on The Fray’s “Cable Car” called “Still Not Over You.”

Posner didn’t miss a beat throughout the evening. He kept the place, loud, live and fun, and by the end of his set, the event felt more like a party than a show. As a result, it caught many people off guard when the party ended.

“You guys have been great,” he said, “but I gotta go.”

Before wrapping up, Posner gave his fans one final treat by performing a new song called “Close the Door.” Then he waved, thanked the crowd and left the stage as quickly as he had appeared, leaving the cheering crowd both satisfied and wanting more.

Posner, who doesn’t hesitate to deem his music “ill,” does talk a big game. But he also delivers.

Simply put: Dude is talented.

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