On Sunday, April 26, a total of five bands played at SUNY Oswego in the Campus Center arena. The show featured Los Angeles-based Drive A, Medina Lake, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Secondhand Serenade and N.E.R.D (with Pharell), respectively. I was very surprised by how few people there seemed to be at the concert, especially with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus there. I thought that it was going to next to impossible to even breathe in there, but it wasn’t that bad at all. Overall, however, I vehemently enjoyed the show for the most part and was especially impressed by Drive A and Medina Lake.
My friends and I were all under the impression that the show was only three acts, with N.E.R.D., Secondhand Serenade and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus playing, but when we got there, we were surprised to find that there were two other opening acts as well. I found it odd, because as I found out later, Medina Lake is actually somewhat popular, and I heard that of a lot of people who didn’t go to the concert were extremely disappointed, because Medina Lake was there, and this was because Medina Lake was not advertised at all. I know that they were booked late in the game, but there still could have been some notification beforehand.
I seemed to be the black sheep of the family when it came to Drive A, the first band that played. When they got up on the stage, the first thing that immediately caught my attention was how young they were, especially the lead singer. I therefore wasn’t expecting much. However, I thought that they were amazing. Even though they seemed to receive a good response from the crowd, a lot of my friends didn’t have very many good things to say about them afterwards. One of my friends said that they were “Jonas Brothers wannabes,” which I didn’t understand in the least bit. They didn’t look or sound anything like the Jonas Brothers. Someone else said that they thought that they were cool but that they really weren’t.
It seemed to me like the people who didn’t like them ridiculed them because of how young they are, which I found to be unfair. In fact, their age is what impressed me. If you visit the band’s MySpace or download their single called “Are You Blind?” from iTunes, you’ll hear the pipes on that kid, who apparently is sixteen years old. I was very impressed with their performance and can’t wait for the album to be released, which is mid-May, not sure of the exact date. They didn’t play very many songs, but I really enjoyed what they did play. I thought that they were very fresh and energetic and that they really blended in with the rest of the bands that played.
Secondly, we had the pleasure of seeing Medina Lake live, a very pleasant surprise. As soon as the band walked onto the stage, the first thought that ran through my head was My Chemical Romance because of the symbols on their sleeves and the white-blond hair, which reminded me of Gerard Way during the Black Parade era. Some of their music, however, really reminded me of Muse. They put on an excellent show, and everyone who I spoke to about them after the concert agreed with me. I really liked their musical style, and it was great how they got the crowd engaged, especially by throwing oversized balloons into the crowd which resulted in everyone engaging in what I could best describe as volleyball without a net.
After Medina Lake came The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I was very disappointed with them, especially since they were who I was there to see. First of all, Ronnie has an amazing voice, and you couldn’t hear him. I don’t know if it was because the volume on his mic was turned down too low or not, but I think that’s what the problem was. You could just barely him. I mean, it was bad to the point where I often found myself not knowing what the song was until the refrain began. Not only that, but I felt that, for the most part, they chose some of their weaker songs to play. In my opinion, their greatest and most powerful songs are “Misery Loves Its Company,” “Godspeed,” and “Believe,” and they didn’t play any of those. One of the main reasons why I couldn’t wait to see them live was to hear them play “Godspeed” live, and I was vehemently disappointed when they didn’t.
Lastly (I didn’t stay for N.E.R.D.) was Secondhand Serenade. They were also very good. The singer, John Vesely, was very easy to hear, and his performance garnered a very strong response out of the crowd. I was very surprised by how many people in the crowd knew so many of the songs apart from “Fall for You.” I knew a few, including, obviously, “Fall for You,” and I also knew “Your Call.” I wasn’t as familiar with their music as I’d have liked to have been, but I thought that their performance was very impressive. However, I thought that Drive A and Medina Lake were the best, and overall, I felt that my twenty dollars was definitely worth it.