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The ‘Rumors’ Are True: The Driver Era Electrifies Penn State With SPA Performance

In no typical Tuesday night, rock duo The Driver Era lit up Alumni Hall with a dazzling free concert organized by Penn State’s SPA.

The opener, “almost monday,” kicked the night off with its best-known single, “only wanna dance,” which got the crowd quickly singing along. The San Francisco natives dove into a few more songs like “coast to coast” and “cough drops.”

After a quick cover of “What I Like About You” by the Romantics paired with a little harmonica action from lead singer Dawson Daugherty, the band moved into some of their other popular songs such as “the sun keeps on shining” and “sunburn.”

Over time, the crowd loosened up and connected with almost monday, so much to the point that Daugherty entered into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for a crowd member. After the special serenade, the band topped off its opening act with “life goes by,” a feel-good song to end its opening act with.

Fans waited with anxious anticipation in between sets but certainly weren’t bored. Moments before The Driver Era was set to take the stage, Penn State’s anthem, “SkeeYee” by Sexyy Red, came on to hype the crowd up once more.

Shrieks filled the hall as the headliner took the stage and led off with single “Feel You Now.” Taking energy from the lively crowd, Ross and Rocky Lynch then moved into another favorite, “Natural,” from their debut album “X.”

At the conclusion of the song, Ross peeled off his jacket and button down, and the crowd erupted. He proceeded to change in front of the audience into a cropped white t-shirt that read “Rumors” and began to play the band’s newest single.

The crowd enthusiastically danced and sang along to “Rumors,” and it was clear that Ross commanded the crowd and was a huge part of the evening’s high energy. He then led the students in a “We Are” chant.

Rocky was the lead vocalist for the next song, a mashup of “OMG Plz Don’t Come Around” and “flashdrive,” which assembled plenty of clapping and hands in the air from the fans.

For the next song, “Nobody Knows,” Ross sported a pink and white star cowboy hat gifted to him by a student in the front row. The hat must’ve brought him back to his time on Disney Channel as Ross busted out some of his old signature Austin Moon dance moves during this song.

With the target audience in mind, Ross yelled, “Do you guys like ‘Teen Beach Movie?'” He moved into “On My Own,” Ross’ hit from the 2013 Disney Channel movie.

After a bucket list moment for many fans in attendance, a now-shirtless Ross didn’t disappoint and led into another fan-favorite: “Fantasy.” The hit was then followed by “Heaven Angel,” “cray z babe b,” and “San Francisco.”

Rocky took over lead vocals for the next song, “Low,” and threw in a short mashup with Ginuwine’s “Pony,” which produced a roar from the audience.

The band’s insane guitar skills were not only featured in these songs, but were on display throughout the whole night.

As Ross attempted to put his button down back on, he was met by a series of boos from the crowd. He responded to the audience by subtly flipping them off before moving into the band’s debut single, “Preacher Man.”

Another round of the “We Are” cheer was followed by a “hell yeah” from Ross, getting the crowd rowdy and enthusiastic.

Ross and Rocky both took the mic for “Heart of Mine” and prepared the crowd for their last song of the night. Ross donned a pair of sunglasses from a girl in the audience as he capped off the night with “A Kiss,” another upbeat, popular hit. Vibes were high and fans were jumping, dancing, and savoring every last moment of a memorable night.

The band closed out its last show of the 2023 year by showering fans with love and gratitude before it headed off of the stage. The Driver Era surely gave Penn State a night to remember, from its talented vocals, gifted instrumentals, and ease at connecting and commanding an audience.

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About the Author

Ally Eaton

Ally is a first-year Public Relations major from York, PA and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She is an avid lover of all things sports, the beach, and coffee! Find her on Twitter (@ally.eaton31) or in her inbox ([email protected])!

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