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Review: Ohio State students welcomed back to campus ‘Safe and Sound’

The “welcome” was loud and clear.

Ohio State students flocked on Friday to see live performances from Captain Kidd, GRiZ and Capital Cities at the Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored 2014 Welcome Week Concert, which was held on the now construction-free South Oval for the first time since 2010.

The crowd quickly drew in when Captain Kidd — comprised of fourth-years Nate Baumgard, Eric Blaha, Nick Samson and Stew Weinland and second-year Andrew Gutierrez — opened the event with a cover of Phoenix’s “1901” and took the stage with its alternative style and musical accuracy.

The band’s set introduced students to the atmosphere and music that would continue to be heard and felt throughout the concert.

Grant Kwiecinski, who goes by the stage name GRiZ, is an electronic producer and saxophonist from Detroit who had a large section of students chanting and cheering his name before he even stepped on stage. His lively presence was unmatched at the concert, and his funky sound never failed to make the crowd move, jump or scream.

“Seeing GRiZ was exciting,” said Ashley Dukes, a first-year biomedical engineering student who attended Friday’s concert. “Everything was really high-energy.”

Kwiecinski’s exclusive musical style is arguably its own sound as it nods to various genres, such as drum and bass, jazz, electro, hip-hop and soul, just to name a few.

During his performance, he played his saxophone — which he said he’s been playing since fifth grade — DJ equipment, a computer and artistic light visuals.

“I’ve always played and been interested in music,” Kwiecinski said in an interview with The Lantern after his set Friday night. “And when I downloaded the music production software Fruity Loops Studio, I got really fascinated with electronic sounds.”

GRiZ’s popularity skyrocketed after the release of his first official album in 2012, “Mad Liberation.” The album was created under Kwiecinski’s own independent label, which he said he started up to help other aspiring music producers who sign with the label to network and get their name out.

Although GRiZ was a tough act to follow, Capital Cities — consisting of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian — successfully claimed the stage. Their indie pop music was a perfect change of pace and had students singing along to the very end, especially to their 2013 breakout hit “Safe and Sound.”

The genre of indie pop has been gaining popularity among college students in recent years, Matthew Chimes, concerts chair for OUAB, wrote in an email, so Capital Cities was the perfect fit for the concert.

“We always try to stay ahead of the curve and diversify our concert schedule throughout the year,” Chimes wrote. “Students listen to multiple genres, and our goal is to bring a concert that is representative of their tastes.”

The concert, which is free to Columbus-campus students, is a Welcome Week tradition funded by the student activity fee.

“The Welcome Week Concert provides students with an opportunity for new friendships and an exciting experience,” Chimes wrote. “It is a tradition that provides a memorable kickstart to a new academic year.”

OUAB did not disclose how much it cost to bring the artists to campus for the concert.

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