Penn State celebrated its 159th birthday with some musical fun in the form of the annual Founder’s Day Concert, which took place in the HUB’s Alumni Hall on Tuesday night.
The show kicked off with American folk-rock group Delta Rae. The North Carolina natives, who have been compared to groups like Fleetwood Mac, warmed up the crowd with their Americana sound before the headliners, A Great Big World, took the stage.
The group played a rather lengthy set featuring songs their album, Carry the Fire, and their EP. They also performed a cover of “Because of the Night” by Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen.
Nearly every member of the sextet seemed to sing at some point during the set. Their wide range of vocal abilities made for some impressive harmonies that added a lot of energy to the tunes.
The highlight of the set was the performance of their most popular song, “Bottom of the River.” Overall, the group managed a rather energetic performance despite a not-so-energetic crowd.
Headliners, A Great Big World, performed a crowd-pleasing set. Despite being known for possibly the world’s most depressing song, “Say Something” featuring Christina Aguilera, their set was entertaining and light-hearted.
The group, fronted by Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, has had their hits featured on shows such as “Glee” and the “The Voice.” However, they certainly haven’t let the fame get to their heads — the band stopped many times during the performance to talk and joke around with the crowd.
The majority of their set was made up of high-energy songs — possibly the most upbeat of them all being “Everyone is Gay,” which they wrote in support of gay youth. Vaccarino said he hopes for it to be “the gayest song ever.”
A Great Big World
The band opted to play their biggest hit, “Say Something,” in the middle of their set, to the delight of the crowd. Axel’s vocals were every bit as good as they are on the recorded version. It was not surprisingly the highlight of the entire concert.
The group continued on with their set without pause despite a minor equipment malfunction involving Voccarino’s guitar about halfway through the performance.
Despite the mishap, they certainly managed to keep the crowd entertained with their excellent vocals and onstage presence. It was obvious that the audience was disappointed when the band opted not to do an encore.