Indie-pop Trio AJR Plays to Intimate Crowd in Sharp

Photo by Giancarlo Sepulveda

This past Saturday the indie-pop brother trio AJR played in the Berrie Center to an intimate crowd, following an opening performance by student band Third Floor.

 Audience members were directed to sit in rows of folding chairs set upon the stage itself. The seating arrangement placed concert-goers directly before the performers, creating an intimate environment. A good number of people came out for the show, which made for great audience participation during both sets. Although there were some students, the crowd mainly consisted of teenagers from outside of Ramapo.  

Of the students that attended, several were clearly fans of Third Floor: one of their fans, sophomore Stefanie Sciacca, sported a T-shirt showing her support:

“We made a tie-dye shirt and then we decided we were going to make it into their first unofficial merchandise. On the front it says ‘Third Floor’ and on the back it says ‘No. 1 Fans’ because we’ve gone to every one of their shows,” said Sciacca.

Third Floor’s guitarist, sophomore Zachary Manno, said, “It was definitely our biggest show yet. It was nice to have the opportunity to play a professional show where people actually show up and listen to our music.”

They played a few songs off of their upcoming album, as well as some covers, including the popular number “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon.

Sophomore Jenn O’Hagan, lead singer of the band, engaged the audience with her stage presence, belting vocals and encouraging crowd participation. In almost every song, Manno was able to shred on the steel strings and charm the crowd. Sophomore drummer Zachary Stavros, and junior bassist Nick Perez kept the rhythm section consistent throughout the set.

The headlining band, AJR, started their acoustic set off with a bang, performing a slightly stripped down version of their song “Infinity,” using only a ukulele, bass and vocals. Lead singer and youngest brother, Jack, was personable and friendly with the audience. His older brothers, Adam and Ryan, backed up his singing with their consummate musicianship: Adam playing bass and Ryan, the ukulele and piano.

They used the intimate setting to their advantage, taking time in the middle of the set to have a Q&A with the audience. Before ending the night with their hit single “I’m Ready” – which recently went platinum in Australia – they waited until a young fan who requested the song earlier returned to their seat.

The overall ambience of the show made for a successful event, as stated by freshman Danielle Zanoni:

“The atmosphere that they had on stage with the crowd and everything was absolutely amazing and it felt so intimate.”