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Alternative Musician Grandson Rocks Alumni Hall In Free Concert

Alumni Hall doesn’t normally scream “hype,” but Penn Staters took it upon themselves to make the most out of a free concert from alternative artist Grandson. The event hosted by Penn State’s Student Programming Association (SPA). 

The night began at 8 p.m. with an electrifying performance by Grapefruit Cannonball, a local alternative band.

Grapefruit Cannonball opened the show with its new, original song “Secret Motions.” The group followed with “Tightrope” and “Hate” — two more originals. Following “Hate,” the band covered “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by The Clash. The band finished with another original, “Toxic Girl.”

“We love you!” a fan shouted as Grapefruit Cannonball left the stage.

If the name rings any bells, it’s probably because Grapefruit Cannonball participated in Movin’ On’s 2019 Battle of the Bands last March.

Grandson took the stage at approximately 9 p.m., beginning with their famous single, “Oh No!!!.” 

George Liu | Onward State

“Hiiii. How the fuck are we feeling?” yelled lead singer Jordan Benjamin. 

The crowd erupted in cheers.

The band then played “Stigmata,” which got the crowd riled up and dancing on its feet.

George Liu | Onward State

“I’m Grandson. We’re Grandson. For the next hour, whether you like it or not, you’re Grandson too,” the band said. The band encouraged the audience to get to know the people around them.

The third song, “Apologize,” forced the crowd to temporarily become a mosh pit full of raging students.

Next, Grandson performed “Overdose,” and followed with an explanation about the lead singer’s own struggle with addiction. Before he dropped out of college, he shared his story involving the abuse of Adderall and MDX.

George Liu | Onward State

Grandson also took a minute to talk about the importance of politics. He suggested that everyone listen to the Jeff Rogan and Edward Snowden podcast. He wanted everyone to jump up and down as he performed the song “Die Young.”

“I hope this generates a sense of urgency around these topics,” said Grandson.

Grandson stopped to take a moment to connect with the audience, as nearly everyone there were college students.

“The point of college is to figure out what excites you,” Grandson said. “What do you give a fuck about?”

The artist followed this conversation with the popular song, “Is This What You Wanted?”

George Liu | Onward State

In light of the most recent school shooting, the band slowed it down with the serious song “Thoughts and Prayers.” The track begins with a mashup of children’s voices singing the phrase, “No thoughts. No prayers.”

The band followed with another slowed down song titled, “Despicable.” Grandson voiced the reality that sometimes when you are in a toxic relationship, you are actually the toxic one. 

Grandson made a point to talk about The American Democracy, “or lack thereof,” with the crowd. He encouraged honest conversations, all while jumping up and down and banging their heads. The audience sang their hearts out and jumped up and down to every song.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a sophomore biology major from York, Pa and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected]

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