Wiz Khalifa & Walk The Moon @ Bucknell: Concert Review
All throughout Friday Nov. 6th, you could hear the question “Are you going to the show tonight?” flying through the air between friends and colleagues, all trying to devise their evenings to transition seamlessly from live music to lively Bucknell nightlife. Despite the overwhelming on-campus popularity of Wiz Khalifa, the Pittsburgh rapper with a laundry list of awards and nominations to his name, the opening band, Cincinnati alt group Walk the Moon, amassed a crowd from all parts of the Bucknell and Lewisburg community that only grew when Wiz took the stage. This lineup was not narrowly defined by one genre; instead, Bucknell's own Concert Committee devised an evening that would energize students and local residents of all musical inclinations, and bring both communities together in celebration of art and life.
Walking into an emptied Field House is a trip; yet, upon entering the building it was clear that no stones had been unturned in preparing the space for this huge event. The stage was erect and centered on the far side of the building, fully lit by a professional light array, and the sound system was just as grandiose, easily filling the space with sound at every moment.
I entered into Walk the Moon's set without any idea of what the band was about. In a few minutes, it was clear that this group was not a white-bread pop act. Despite the popularity of their hit song “Shut Up and Dance,” Walk the Moon is a talented, energetic alternative band that has a wide catalog of music to its name. Their most recent release, Talking Is Hard (2014) is a twelve song album that hits many different emotional overtones, which may partly explain why their brand of alt-pop can be appreciated just as well by an older audience member as a hip Bucknell student. They came alive on stage, and judging by the movement in the crowd, the audience was feeding off the band's energy even after they left the stage, and it is this lasting impact that made Walk the Moon such a memorable opener. The crowd was buzzing in anticipation for Wiz to take the stage, but the crowd's energy was set aflame and maintained by Walk the Moon's killer set.
Different Colors - WALK THE MOON
Wiz Khalifa took the stage by storm, with two DJ's manning turntables center stage, and instrumentalists to either side. Live drums and bass filled out the sound spectrum so often rendered lifeless by pre-recorded backing tracks. The audience filled out too; by the time Wiz began his set, the audience was packed shoulder to shoulder on top of one another, anxious to get the best spot in the house to experience Wiz live. From the moment the first beat dropped, the crowd was moving and jumping with excitement. Wiz was all over the stage, filling it with his personality and swagger, jumping around almost more than the crowd was. He was the ringleader of the night, and the audience was his circus. Keeping up with images, it wasn't long before Wiz was asking the crowd “Who here smokes weed?! Where are my stoners at?!” To the supervising PSafe officers' chagrin, a mass of hands flew into the air accompanied by screams of rebellious joy, and from that point on, plumes of skunky smoke could be periodically noticed drifting into the rafters of the Field House. Wiz didn't just follow a script on stage, though; during a breakdown, the performer walked to the edge of the stage and began issuing shout outs to audience members, injecting energy all throughout the crowd. Having played a mix of older songs and more recent tunes off of his most recent full release Blacc Hollywood (2014), Wiz put on a show that was filled with high energy bangers, moderated by the stoney, chill flow he is known for. Wiz entertained and enlivened, and I left the field house with the rest of the crowd feeling like I was ready to conquer the world.
We Dem Boyz - Wiz Khalifa
Both Wiz Khalifa and Walk the Moon put on great performances that the audience ate up, and due to the diligence of the Bucknell Concert Committee, the concert as a whole was professionally set up and executed all the way through. I'd recommend either of these performers as an act to go see live, and although I wasn't a devoted fan of either before the concert, I can say that these two groups have gained another contented fan in the writer.