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Concert Review: Mansionair provides Columbus with a night of energetic indie music

Mansionair performing at The Basement in Columbus, Ohio, on March 28. Credit: Abhigyaan Bararia

In the small, underground and intimate venue that is The Basement, the people of Columbus were treated to a night of smooth, soulful yet at the same time extremely energetic electronic and indie music as Mansionair took the stage with Beacon as the opening act.

When the show began, New York-based electronic music duo Beacon emerged from backstage under the garb of a cool black and white light show, they were complemented with low bass beats which progressively got higher through the use of an electronic drum pad.

Their music supplemented the already dimly lit venue and the first thought that came into my mind because of the setting was “this is probably what being in a speakeasy felt like.”

They performed “IM U,” which is their most popular song on Spotify and one could really appreciate the electronics in the song. The drum beats backed the vocals really well and gave the song great depth, while the echo effects helped sustain the vocals and elongate the effect the song had on the crowd.

Beacon also performed “Be My Organ,” for which Jacob Gossett brought out a guitar to create live loops on the stage, playing to the prerecorded drum beats. The light falling on the stage made both Gossett and singer Thomas Mularney III look like they were standing under a waterfall.

Mularney’s voice had that deep ability that proved to be really effective in capturing the crowd’s attention, and you could see by how into each song he was that he was more focused on having good time himself and making sure that the duo enjoyed themselves too.

Beacon proved to be a great opening act for the electronic indie band out of Australia. Mansionair, who came onto the stage to the sound of a synth blaring through the speakers, had the stage absolutely dark for their entrance, before the band was flooded with a blue light.

They started off their set with an instant crowd pleaser, “Alibi.” The upbeat tempo of the song along with the catchy pitch-bending sound was enough to get the audience pumped up for the show. The use of electronics was quite similar to Beacon’s with the main difference being the use of live instruments in the form of guitarist and singer Jack Frogatt, drummer Alex Nicholls and bassist Lachlan Bostock.

The heavy-lifting on the live electronic sounds fell onto Bostock’s shoulder, as you could see him using all sorts of different gadgets and equipment to produce the sounds that are present in the songs.

The presence of the guitar really uplifted the songs, as the clean, finger-picked riffs contrasted the electronic-heavy backgrounds really well, and made for a refreshing sound.

I also really enjoyed the fact that most of their actual beats came from an actual drum kit, as no amount of technology can substitute for the sound of a live instrument.

“Hold Me Down” came in great contrast to the high tempo “Alibi,” and did the job of shifting the pace of the performance to something a lot slower and smoother. This was something that the band did really well, creating the set in such a way that it never stayed at the same pace for too long, providing the crowd with a rollercoaster of tempos.

The different paces and tempos also did a fair job of highlighting the talent that Frogatt possesses, with him singing in very different vocal ranges and also exhibiting how well he could hold the key and pitch, without wavering even once.

“Easier” saw Frogatt and Bostock put away their guitar and bass respectively, and it was a song that really got the crowd involved. Bodies started swaying, heads started nodding to the easy-to-follow rhythm and Frogatt got them to sing along, making them repeat the lines “Tell me it gets easier” and “I’m stuck with you.”

You could see that the band was enjoying itself, with Frogatt shuffling all across the stage and barely standing still and then both him and Bostock crowding Nicholls and playing together in a huddle. Their chemistry was easily translated to the crowd, making for a great performance.

The band ended their set with “Astronaut (Something About Your Love),” which is arguably one of their most famous songs, if not the most famous. Ending the concert as they began, full of energy, Mansionair never lost the focus of the crowd and had them singing till the very end.

Overall, both Beacon and Mansionair came together for a night full of energetic music, and with the perfect tempos – not too high energy to wear you out, just enough for you to have a great time and keep you on your feet.

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