No Bad JuJu Gives THON 2019 Some Help Staying Up Friday Night

The eight-piece funk band No Bad JuJu took the stage just as late night got started at THON. Coming after a long break following Olivia Farabaugh and a series of student dance orgs, No Bad JuJu gave a nice change of pace compared to the last few performances.

Featuring saxophone, trumpet, and trombone players, the band seemed geared up to give the crowd some different takes on popular songs.

After starting out with a great cover of “24 K Magic” by Bruno Mars, No Bad JuJu made their purpose clear.

“How y’all doing out there?” asked singer/guitarist Mark Matteo. “We’re here to keep the party going!”

Next came a cover of “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man followed shortly by “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. The band showed its versatility, using all eight band members to create a harmonious and funkadelic performance.

Some sound mixing issues were apparent, however, despite the long setup process. Though they were seemingly playing hard, it was hard to hear the horns over an overblown guitar and drowning bass during those two songs.

By their next performance, a cover of “Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King, most of the sound issues seemed fixed and the band sounded fantastic overall. A creative take on Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” followed suit, bringing a nice, full-band sound different from how the song is usually done.

A mashup of “Havana” by Camila Cabello and “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas came up next, giving those poor, under-utilized horn players a chance to shine.

After calling the crowd, “quiet tonight,” No Bad JuJu got the tiring crowd into the swing of things with a groovy cover of the Chainsmokers’ “Closer.”

The new songs kept coming from the band, with “Uptown Funk” and 2017 THON performer DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean.” “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce and Jay Z came up next, complete with a nice trumpet solo in the middle.

The band closed out with “No Roots” by Alice Merton and “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco.

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About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Since graduating from Penn State in 2021, Matt is (hopefully) manning a successful job and (hopefully) living a happy life by now. In a past life, he was a writer for Onward State and remains a proud alumnus of the best student publication in the country. Check out Podward State too, Onward State's official podcast, that he co-founded alongside Matt Ogden and Mitch Stewart in 2019. It's his baby, give it a wave and make sure it's doing okay. Thanks to da king Sam Brungo and everyone who follows, it most definitely is.

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