Every week at the Twilight Concert Series brings new faces, sounds, and experiences. It’s always exciting to watch how the crowd changes from week to week, as well as the energy of each performance. It’s a new narrative for every performer and it’s always something to anticipate. Thursday night the energy of the evening started off slow, but it didn’t stay that way for long. It built up quickly and soon, the venue was buzzing with life. People seemed at ease and carefree, regardless of the 90 degree weather. At every angle there were different groups of people, either lounging against trees, lining up at the various food trucks, or laughing with one another. This scene was the perfect foundation for the artists who performed last night. By the time the local opener, Burnell Washburn, took the stage the crowd was ready for him. Burnell did an amazing job of keeping the energy up with his beats and lyrics and prepping the crowd for even more of the hip hop sound that was about to fill the stage.
By the time Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals came on the crowd had expanded, probably double in size. It was really fun to see how Anderson .Paak really seemed to thrive off of the magnitude of the crowd. He was a great performer to watch and to move around with. Most everyone in front of the stage was dancing and trying to engage with him and the band, and they were stoked on it. The funk and hip hop sound of their set was so enjoyable that at one point, people were visibly running to join the already large crowd in front of the stage in order to be more involved with the music. There was non-stop electricity for the entirety of their time on stage, only further exciting everyone.
With the sun still out at 9 p.m., all the concert-goers were still ready to keep it going/keep it moving. Even though the temperature had finally started to cool down, people were on fire anticipating Big Grams. This electronic hip hop group, composing of rapper Big Boi and electronic artist Phantogram, was the opener of the night and they definitely delivered. Big Boi and Sarah Barthel of Phantogram were obviously meant to work and perform together. They functioned very well alongside each other, equally allowing one another a taste of the spotlight, but also interacting with each other and with the crowd just as much. It was truly a lively and entertaining performance, getting to hear some Outkast tunes mixed in with some Phantogram hits. It ended up that not only were people dancing along to these mash-ups, they were singing, too.
The performances of this week’s Twilight Concert series were undoubtedly such a treat to be able to participate in. They only upped the ante from last week, and considering we’re only two weeks in, I think the following performers have a lot to live up to. It’ll be intriguing to see how the crowd continues to morph and change each week as we get to hear and see different artists, in addition to just how well the artists can continue to wow and engage the masses. With big names such as Diplo, Jenny Lewis and Grimes, I’m sure we only have more to be excited about.