It was not rtb’s and my intent to attend the Fresh 102.7 Fall Fest. rtb got an email from Ingrid Michaelson mentioning a stripped down concert at the Beacon Theatre. We took this to mean an acoustic show and we jumped right on it. Instead we were treated to a line-up of five acts in shortened sets. Five acts that have hits on the Fresh 102.7 radio station.
102.7 used to be the numbers for WNEW-FM, which is one of the best free-form radio stations that ever existed. So I already had a bone to pick with this station. I’ve never been happy that WNEW-FM disappeared from my life and this Fall Fest was going to have to be pretty good to make me like them.
The crowd was mostly very young 20s and, I guess, teens – mostly women – who were screaming up a storm. Let me be clear. This was not just loud approval. This was screaming at the top of their lungs for as long as possible.
The DJs were out between every set listing all the sponsors for the show. The biggest sponsor was Mercedes-Benz. I did not understand why Mercedes-Benz was adverstising to this demographic.
Nico & Vinz describe themselves as African Vikings, since they are both black men from Oslo. They are very energetic and, apparently, had the song of the summer, “Am I Wrong.”
Matt Nathanson is a singer-songwriter and his big hit is “Come On Get Higher,” which much of the audience sang with him. He was funny and engaging and told a very funny story about his 4-year-old daughter. Her teacher saw her on the ground with her dress up and her peers were pouring dirt on her. When the teacher investigated, Willa said they were pouring dirt on her belly and her vulva. The story got even funnier from there, with the teacher having a conversation with Willa and telling Nathanson and his wife that they might want to follow up at home.
Bleachers is a good pop/rock band. They did a ‘90s cover (I forgot what song) and performed their hits, “You’re Still a Mystery” (with a nice saxophone solo) and “I Wanna Get Better.”
Finally, Ingrid Michaelson. She wasn’t acoustic and the only stripped down part of her act was the shortened set. (At this point I’m thinking that the shortened sets are a nice idea because before you get bored with the act they are off the stage.) Ingrid performed songs from her two last albums, which I’m not as familiar with. But the audience sang along (loudly) to every song. She did do one older song – “The Way I Am.” Other songs were “Girls Chase Boys,” “Winter Song” (written with Sara Bareilles), “Soldier,” “Time Machine,” “Maybe,” and “Afterlife.”
Neon Trees was the headliner, even though all the advertising listed Ingrid Michaelson first. A lot of the audience left after Ingrid played. Neon Trees is a rock band and immediately reminded me of a cross between 80s dance bands and T. Roth and Another Pretty Face, a rock band from the 80s (their drummer went on to play for Bon Jovi). They are energetic and lead singer Tyler Glenn likes to talk to the audience a lot. They also have a female drummer with a great singing voice. Those who stayed were treated to “Sleeping With a Friend” and “Animal.”
So it wasn’t the night we expected and out of all the bands I may check out Neon Trees and I’m buying Ingrid’s latest. So I guess the evening was a success for me.
By Carene Lydia Lopez