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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Gym Class Heroes Concert

    Sunday evening at Stony Brook University was filled with the hip-hop beats of a band on the rise, whose hit single recently reached number one on the pop charts just last week. Students and fans gathered outside Prichard Sports Complex, mostly in high spirits as they walked through an unusually high level of security for a concert. Nevertheless, a small mass of fans made their way into the gym at around 7:00 PM, several minutes before the first act would get on stage to open for Gym Class Heroes.

    Around 7:20 PM, an unknown band by the name of LMT appeared on stage as a small audience slowly began to congregate around the music. The band’s style could be compared to that of an alternative/jam-band, which seemed an odd choice for an opening band at a hip-hop concert. Or perhaps, a cheap pick by the University. The band played five songs before urging the crowd to hang around for another 15 minutes for the Gym Class Heroes to make their way to the stage.

    The room went dark, as neon stage lights beamed onto the walls and a flag, displaying a blue face found on the cover of the band’s latest CD, waved over an eager crowd of somewhere around 200 people. The ‘Rocky’ theme song bellowed from the speakers as the lead singer Travis McCoy set foot on stage and the rest of Gym Class Heroes followed closely behind. The band opened the concert by playing ‘Papercuts,’ the first song off their 2005 release, ‘The Papercut Chronicles.’ The majority of the crowd bobbed their heads to the beat, while others stood on the first row of bleachers pulling out synchronized danced moves, and some rested on the shoulders of their friends. A feeble attempt at crowd surfing did not make it far.

    After ‘Papercuts,’ Travis McCoy addressed the floating misconception that Gym Class Heroes came out of nowhere. He pointed out that they have been around for almost 10 years, since McCoy first met drummer Matt Ginley in gym class back in ’97. McCoy told the crowd to remember ”hellip;For the Kids,’ which was their first self-released album in 2001. McCoy stopped talking as the harmonizing beats of the keyboard floated out of the speakers, and the band switched things up with ‘Shoot Down the Stars,’ off their most recent album, ‘As Cruel As School Children.’

    The concert continued in the same fashion with the tempo and mood picking up a bit, but not much. The band continued with ‘Taxi Driver,’ another song off ‘The Papercut Chronicles,’ then borrowed a Franz Ferdinand beat for the next song in their set. ‘Pillmatic,’ got the attention of the crowd with an upbeat tempo laced with McCoy’s fast paced lyrics.

    Towards the middle of the concert, McCoy broke out into freestyle after telling a quick story of how he was insulted at a Nas concert. A young boy walked up to McCoy and told him that he was only there to see Nas. McCoy responded by saying, ‘Yeah, but your girlfriend isn’t.’ McCoy’s anger transformed into his freestyle: ‘Yeah, I got your CD, I use it to break weed on.’ The words were directed towards both Nas and the kid, describing how he would rather rap about meaning than himself.

    The concert came to an end as the band ‘brought the beach’ to the audience with a cover of the Beach Boys hit, ‘Good Vibrations.’ ‘It’s time for us to go,’ McCoy bellowed. ‘As much as this song is for the ladies, I want everyone to sing along.’ Just as the band began to play the song most of the crowd was there to hear, a girl sitting on a friend’s shoulders threw a black laced bra at the stage. As promised, the audience sung along and the familiar lyrics of the overplayed radio single, ‘Cupid’s Chokehold,’ were barely heard over the screaming, tone-deaf crowd.

    McCoy ended the show with a tribute to James Brown as well as a message to be aware of the events unfolding throughout the country today. However, most of the crowd was filing out of the gym once ‘Cupid’s Chokehold’ was over. Fans cheered loudly as the concert, which lasted just over an hour, ultimately came to an end.

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