Author: Annie Borse
Those are really the only three phrases you need to use describe the crowd that filled the Majestic Theater on Wednesday November 29th for the Whitney concert co-hosted by WSUM. The local Madison parents must have been very forgiving with their curfew that night because any high schooler with wire-rimmed glasses and an oversized flannel seemed to be there, almost like exact replicas of Whitney’s front men Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek.
As the youths began to push closer and closer to the stage, you could physically see the age divide between people at the show. Anyone the age of 20 and over stayed on the periphery of theater, as far away from the main floor as they could get without sacrificing a good view of the stage. Looking around, the railings on each platform acted like a barrier, separating them from having to interact with the hyped up and Urban Outfitters clad teens.
As the stage lights came up and small puffs of smoke were illuminated, a figure came on stage and profoundly spoke into the mic, saying, “Dick Cheney made money off the Iraq War.” Great. A meme to start the evening. This wasn’t the only little proclamation of the night. Julien had some words of his own to share with the audience. He started the set with an apology to a staff member at the Majestic that he was apparently rude to, but it was such a strange and seemingly unwilling apology that left me slightly confused.
After all the announcements, there was no hesitation before the band jumped right into their hit Golden Days. Whitney is one of those bands whose live show rival their recorded sound. It seemed like every note, lyric and guitar riff could be packaged and put onto a CD right there and then. I’m hesitant to call it mechanical, but the band members played everything so precisely, yet with a looseness that made them appear carefree and completely natural. The genuineness of the sound, unlike that phony apology, carried the band, and you could tell that they were sincerely glad to be there.
The audience was kept on their toes, swaying or bopping to the beat of every song, as if having their strings pulled by Ehrlich, whose falsetto voice was able to cut through the crowd and grab everyone’s attention with ease. With such a distinct sound that borderlines on 60s pop rock, Whitney isn’t any old band that rolls through town. They’re true musicians that command attention and hold it, all the while taking you on a ride you didn’t know you were on until it’s over.