The Undergraduate Student Government broadened the musical landscape of this year’s annual Back To The Brook Concert with performances by Timeflies and Walk The Moon. A mix of student reactions and spirited surprises swept through the Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Thursday, Sept. 17, including a performance by the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band.
Justin Love, R&B singer, and In Loving Memory, a student alternative rock band, made way for electronic hip-hop duo Timeflies.
“Being on the stage at Stony Brook was pretty surreal. It was certainly the largest, most legitimate stage we’ve played on thus far,” Thomas Diognardi, drummer of In Loving Memory, said. “ And not to mention the biggest crowd we’ve played too,” he added.
In Loving Memory played their original songs, including “All Systems Go,” “I Stay True,” “With or Without You,” and “Burning Flower.” “All Systems Go” was a debut single that the band released last November, while the other three songs can be heard on the band’s recently released debut EP, “Stand My Ground.”
“We knew going into this that the audience for this particular show might not be into our type our music,” Diognardi said. “But we thought it was important to not let that show. We figured if we acted like we belonged, then we would belong.”
The band received a positive reaction from the crowd and pumped up the students for the Timeflies performance that followed.
Lead vocalist Cal Shapiro and producer Rob Resnick of Timeflies transformed the arena into a typical “Timeflies Tuesday” night. The duo hyped the audience with its infectious mix of rhymes and rhythms.
“I was really worried if they were going to be good or not, but I actually felt really good about it,” Danielle Dostally, a junior sociology major, said.
The duo is known for its YouTube covers of popular songs like “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid and the hit song “I Choose U” from its 2014 album, “After Hours.”
“I got great responses from the students,” USG Vice President of Communications and Public Relations Brody Hooper said. “Many of them were commenting on how they did not know who Timeflies was, but now they love them.”
Due to contracting, media access was prohibited. However, Shapiro was very conversational during the performance and interacted well with the college-age audience, with comments like “Ya’ll have to stay up on that Adderall and Redbull.”
He related to those struggling on the five-year plan. He described how he took more than four years to complete his bachelor’s degree, “finally” graduating from Tufts University in Massachusetts where he met producer of Timeflies Rob Resnick.
“They were really inspirational when they talked about the rough patches they have been through,” Justin Jacob, a junior engineering major and event staff, said.
Dostally was one of the many audience members impressed by how the pair incorporated aspects of Stony Brook culture into its remix of “Cheerleader” by OMI. Shapiro read off two pages of pre-prepared raps, giving shout outs to on and off-campus favorites like The Bench Bar and Grill, Seaport Deli, the Staller Steps and Schafer’s Bar.
Timeflies finished off the performance with its more popular songs, like a remix of “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” by Miley Cyrus and hit songs “Swoon” and “I Choose U.”
“Their freestyle was the best,” Dylan Marzano, a senior marketing major, said. “They should have ended with that.”
Walk The Moon had some students shutting up and dancing, and others dancing out the door.
“It was great, it could have been a lot better. [USG] should have taken into account the music that is popular at the time and play music that reflects that,” Stephanie Castro, a junior mathematics major, said.
Even with the mix of emotions regarding the choice in genres, USG President Cole Lee said he still received “an overwhelming amount of positive feedback.”
“That is what Back To The Brook is all about,” Lee said. “Giving Stony Brook students some awesome memories and maximizing the student experience for all.”
The band opened with a rendition of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” and transitioned into one of their more popular songs, “Sidekick.”
The Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band then came out for a secret surprise performance. In only four days, the marching band successfully organized a spin of “Shut Up and Dance” in a key different from one played during halftime scheduled for this football season.
“All of the sudden they come in with their uniforms,” Nicole Scartozzi, a sophomore political science major, said. “They embraced Stony Brook culture.”
However, with changes and shifts in keys and only one sound check a few hours before the concert, the marching band accepted the challenge.
Baton twirler Kaylyn Ahrenstein found out only hours before the show that she would be performing on stage. However, she said it was a college experience she would never forget.
Ahrenstein, along with the rest of the band, was able to meet Walk the Moon. She described them as “really fun,” which radiates through the music they play. The band even wore the feathered hat, otherwise known as the shako and plumes, during the performance.
“I would have never said no,” Ahrerstein said, “I would make it work because it was worth it.”
Correction: Sept. 20, 2015
A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of Kaylyn Ahrenstein.