The Rockets Rock THON Like No Other With Incredibly Diverse Set
The Rockets took the stage as the BJC began to really fill up on Sunday. The 7-piece band from Philadelphia was ready to bring some life and energy to THON with upbeat covers that literally shook the Bryce Jordan Center — and had the crowd singing along with every word. The Rockets turned to some very popular songs to get the crowd involved, and it certainly worked.
Every song that they performed was upbeat and just what the crowd needed heading into the waning hours of THON. The group crossed genres to an unbelievable extent and were extremely successful in doing so, a true testament to the energy they brought.
The Philly band started with Mr. Brightside, which is a somewhat unfortunate choice given how many times it’s been covered this weekend as some of us sighed. But you could chalk that up to some unfortunate timing late in the weekend and it was in no way indicative of the rest of the set. The ensuing medley included Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,” Pitbull’s “Timber,” Kesha’s “Die Young,” and even some Rihanna.
The Rockets donned some sparkling gold jackets for a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which quickly turned into the group’s other hit, “ABC.” They jumped forward in the life of Michael Jackson next, giving the fans exactly what they want in “Billie Joe.” They took the jackets off for Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” which had everybody singing along before moving into “Man! I Feel Like A Woman.”
The fantastic song choices continued as the entirety of the attendees got Rick-rolled with “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The jams were not about to stop as a new singer took over with Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The Rockets had the time of their lives with the Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes duo.
The group then moved back into some more contemporary rock, starting with “One Foot” by Walk the Moon. They then went with a Beaver Stadium hit by the same band in “Shut Up and Dance.” They switched lanes with “24K Magic” from the Grammy-awarded Album of the Year. All of the free pinky fingers in the place were pointed at the moon.
One of the vocalists shared with the crowd that his sister had danced in THON in the past. That was a good intro point into “Shout,” which every Penn Stater knows very well. They threw in the melody of “Seven Nation Army” and even squeezed in an “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!” chant before finishing off “Shout.”
The Rockets headed into the realm of hip-hop next. They went for “Golddigger,” which seemed to be their only miss-step of the set before transitioning into Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.”
A hard left turn came next as some long “Nants ingonyamas” moved to “Part of Your World” and then into “Let It Go.” The Disney portion was strong, as they even channeled Timon and Pumbaa with a rendition of “Hakuna Matata” that had a reggae twist.
A return to Bruno Mars came after the Disney medley, as we jumped in the Cadillac to “That’s What I Like.” Only The Rockets could follow that up with “You’re The One That I Want” while rocking the appropriate black leather jackets. “Greased Lightning” and “Summer Nights” naturally followed as the crowd continued to be swept away by the upbeat music, irrespective of the genre or song.
The Rockets closed out the show on a slower but no-less-intense medley. The band had everyone singing at the top of their lungs to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” The performance was truly unrivaled to that point in THON.
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About the Author
The Penn State episode will air Wednesday, October 9 at 10 p.m. and follow the team’s preparation for its Homecoming game against Purdue the previous weekend.
Dvir is a Penn State professor who has made revolutionary documentaries that have played a role in changing today’s world.
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