Two hip-hop bands, Purveyors of a Conscious Sound and Northstarr, performed a live set in the Roger Taylor Lounge this past weekend. Chairs were pushed back and the elevated ramp area was adorned with sound equipment. The only thing separating the audience and the band were two speakers and wires taped down with electrical tape, lending this Union Board-sponsored event an intimate yet vibrant atmosphere.
Purveyors of a Conscious Sound (PCS)
The opening act for Northstarr had the tough task of getting a crowd of an estimated 30 slightly disenchanted college students pumped up. Considering some of the students had been waiting in the Roger Taylor Lounge for an hour, frustration was expected.
However, once the foursome stepped onto the stage space and invited everyone to stand up and get close, their energetic enthusiasm was contagious. PCS was incredibly personable and engaged the crowd immediately. The three MCs bounced and leapt around the stage area with super-charged energy. One of the MCs, Nick Holder, was hopping so energetically during one song that his baseball cap fell off. Jake Dawson, after an incredibly energetic outburst at the end of the show, said, “You guys broke my Lego necklace!”
However, there was more to PCS’s performance than broken jewelry and wardrobe malfunctions. Holder and Dawson both delivered their rhymes with intensity and conviction and Liz Graham astonished the audience with her strong vocals.
When Northstarr took to the stage, screams erupted from a fairly large group of upperclassmen. One of the members of Northstarr, Ross Miller ‘08, was a Knox graduate.
Senior Krista Anne Nordgrin was a freshman when Miller graduated. She was excited to see them, declaring it: “the best concert I’ve ever been to at Knox. Ross [Miller] is amazing. He was cool then [as a senior at Knox] and even cooler now.”
Northstarr’s two MCs, Miller and Jason Spars were as intense and energetic in their performance as PCS. Spars seemed to run mini laps around the small stage area while Miller soloed. The duo had great chemistry, playing off each other’s moves like sparring boxers. At one point, there were technical difficulties with Miller’s microphone. This, however, did not faze him, as Spars passed his microphone over for Miller’s verse. Miller’s delivery at times was reminiscent of that of a beat poet. Although few in numbers, the audience was immensely enthusiastic throughout the concert’s duration.
Junior Kaitlyn Duling, Chair of the Music Committee for Union Board, was in high spirits because the concert was well received by students, yet “[wished] more people came out” to enjoy the show.
Although the audience was small, this did not take away from the performance at all. In fact, it heightened the experience. No one had to climb over each other to see the performers. In addition, the concert felt much more personal, and it gave the groups more chances to interact with the audience.
Overall, the event was pulsating with enthusiasm from both the bands and the audience.