By HOPE RACINE
Lights flashed around the Anderson Center, and University of Mary Washington students screamed as Grouplove took the stage for the Homecoming concert on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The Campus Consciousness Tour was initially booked with The Knocks and Saints of Valory opening for Grouplove. Due to a scheduling conflict, The Knocks were replaced with Magic Man, and van difficulty prevented Saints of Valory from reaching UMW in time to perform.
With one band dropped from the line-up, Boston-based Magic Man was asked to step up.
“We showed up, and they told us that our 35 minute set was suddenly stretched to an hour,” said Magic Man singer Alex Caplow.
With such short notice, the band scrambled to prepare a longer set list.
“We only had a few songs prepared, some that we hadn’t played since college,” said guitarist Sam Lee.
To fill time, Magic Man drummer Joey Sulkowski took the stage and put on a short DJ set before Magic Man’s performance.
Magic Man has played together since college, and, for some members, even earlier. The band is currently touring to promote their recent EP “You are Here,” and are crossing the country and racking up performances.
With their mix of electronic and traditional indie sound, the band is a perfect precursor for Grouplove’s hippie dance beats.
“We have a ton of influences, but Grouplove is one of our favorite bands to see live, and we’re so excited that we get to play with them tonight,” said Caplow.
The members of Magic Man were not the only ones excited for the headlining performance. Fredericksburg native Alex Cassetta attended Saturday’s performance, eager to see Grouplove live in concert for the first time.
“I’m a big fan of the band and their new album,” Cassetta said. “I think the green aspect of the tour makes them even cooler, honestly.”
Grouplove headlined as part of the Campus Consciousness Tour, which combined music with sustainability. Students at colleges along the tour are given the ability to take a sustainability pledge and are informed about sustainability options open to students.
“I took the pledge,” said freshman philosophy major Tyler Murray. “I think it’s a neat way to get involved in the tour and the concert.”
While the turnout for Grouplove’s performance was smaller than previous Giant Production shows such as Passion Pit and Matt & Kim line up, band members and concert goers alike were enthusiastic.
Playing old favorites and songs off of their new album, Grouplove entertained the crowd all night. Hit songs such as “Tongue Tied” and “Ways to Go” were the main crowd pleasers of the event.
Coming off of last year’s somewhat disappointing Homecoming performance, Giant Productions wowed students with the spring line up. As a result, expectations for this year’s homecoming concert were mixed.
“I think [the Passion Pit’s show] line-up was better, but I like the green aspect of this year’s concert,” said freshman Tess Osmer.
In addition to promoting sustainability, the band even took time out of their set to remind students about the importance of caring about the environment.
“Anything you can do to help is worth it,” said Grouplove lead singer Hannah Hooper. “Help the environment, pick up trash, even just be nice to somebody. Just help anyway you can,” said Hooper.