Imagine the first school dance you ever attended. It probably happened sometime during middle or high school. Imagine your peers gathered in a dimly lit room where the main dance moves consist exclusively of fist pumping and vertical jumping.
Now, keep that image in your head, but instead of a school dance, you find yourself at Liquid. The floorplan helped for crowd control with the first floor offering the upclose experience — the reward if you were first in line — and a second level for the less serious fans. Right away, the opening band Kainalu was surprising to say the least. As an opener for Bryce Vine, I was expecting something that mixed modern pop and hip hop. Instead, Kainalu started the night with soft melodies and relaxing tunes. While the band was unique, their attempt to excite the crowd failed. Some bystanders even mentioned gratitude when the radio began playing after Kainalu finished performing. To their credit, Kainalu’s sound is anything but mainstream, and it offered a tasteful insight into the world of current jazz. It takes bravery to stray from the norm, but Kainalu dared to be different. The eclectic sounds of their instruments balanced nicely as the songs seemed to blend into one epic arrangements.
Before Bryce Vine entered, a DJ from 93.2 JAMZ announced Vine’s entrance by launching tshirts into the crowd paired with excessive shouting; It caused the crowd to wake up from the previous period of relaxation and regain excitement. Vine entered the stage and began singing right away, jumping in with “Bella,” a clear crowd pleaser judging from the instantaneous singing that started during the chorus. While his set was a simple one consisting only of multi colored overhead lights and a background screen projecting images to accompany each song, the energy Vine brought to the performance was jovial and fun. He danced around on the stage and constantly encouraged audience participation. His sound was great for a bar venue, and while he only performed for about an hour, he controlled the crowd the entire time.
A testament to his fanbase, almost everyone knew the lyrics to his songs, making the crowd a lively and interactive one. He sang just about every song he has put out, “Drew Barrymore,” being a highlight of the night. After finishing the song, Vine invited the crowd to turn on their cell phone lights and wave them in the air while he took photos and live taped the crowd in selfie mode. The night concluded with a confetti cannon, tons of smoke and an aura reminiscent of school dances. Accompanying the nostalgic moment, Vine ended the night with his song “Sour Patch Kids,” leaving Liquid with the fond memory of when Tamagotchis roamed free.