Considering that we often bemoan students’ lack of engagement in or attendance of College-sponsored social events, last Friday night’s Timeflies concert was a surprise of the best kind. Upon entering the gym 45 minutes before the group was scheduled to perform, I was already greeted with the familiar shoves and elbows of a preoccupied crowd. Lasell gymnasium was nearly filled with an eager contingent of concert-goers already gripping the guard rails in the front row.
A DJ opened the night, spinning popular music until the main act was ready to
perform. Though the group came on stage nearly 25 minutes after they were expected, the crowd’s warm welcome made it clear that they would not hold a grudge. And, with a triumphant fist pump and a characteristic “It’s Timeflies!” the duo was finally ready to perform.
The pair consists of producer Rob Resnick and vocalist Cal Shapiro, who got their start as band-mates at Tufts. Their first college band, The Ride (which featured Shapiro as lead vocal and Resnick on drums) won a college competition to be an opening act for their school’s Spring Fling. As a result, they opened for artists whose music is the soundtrack to college parties nationwide: Asher Roth, the Decemberists and Ludacris. From there, Resnick and Shapiro decided to break off from the larger band and create their own sound, something they now classify as “electro-hip-hop-dub-something.”
In their tracks, Resnick and Shapiro attempt to bridge gaps between today’s musical genres, molding their sound into a seamless blend of rock, dub-step, techno and hip-hop. Needless to say, their attempts have been a tremendous success. With tracks like “Lose My Mind” and “All Night” already climbing the charts and crawling into the earphones of 20-somethings everywhere, the future looks bright for Timeflies.
Perhaps their most brilliant idea, however, has more to do with how they exhibit their music rather than what it sounds like. Their now famous “Timeflies Tuesday” concept has dominated YouTube and won over thousands of devoted fans. Each Tuesday, wherever they are, Rob and Cal produce, record and post a short freestyle track. With ingenious concepts like a reworking of the Disney classic “Under the Sea,” this is where their imaginative work shines brightest. Some of their quirky but impeccably-executed concepts include “Natty Beats,” in which Resnick produces a track using nothing but noises recorded using cans of beer, and “Wayward Son,” in which they rework a classic song with lyrics made up on the spot based on concepts picked out of a hat.
Luckily for those of us in the Purple Valley, we didn’t have to wait for Tuesday or even have to browse YouTube to get our weekly fix. Their live performance on Friday featured some of their biggest hits, including “Lose My Mind,” “All Night” and “Never Growing Up,” as well as some sneak-peeks at their new album, The Scotch Tape, which w
ill be released later this week.
One thing each member of the audience could agree on was that Resnick and Shapiro know how to work a crowd. While sipping out of enough solo cups for the entire audience, the two of them were engaging and enthusiastic throughout. Shapiro came down from the stage more than 10 times to high-five fans and even hold the hand of an eager girl in the front row. The pair’s energy was undeniable and the crowd responded well to their huge grins and sick beats. It’s safe to say that Timeflies not only pleased their fans, but won over some new ones as well.
The only negative aspect of Friday’s concert was not the fault of Timeflies, but rather fell at the hands of those who organized it. The lack of advertising was baffling, and I – as an avid fan of Timeflies – did not even know they were coming to campus until 48 hours before. If the campus does, in fact, judge our concerts based on the mass and enthusiasm of its attendants, simply creating a Facebook event with the ever-persuasive sole argument of “It’s First Fridays” is just not enough.
All in all, Timeflies brought energy and an excitement to Lasell that has rarely been there before. When at the end of their encore song, they sang to one excited fan in the crowd, “When the club starts jumping, I lose my mind,” the words rang true. This First Fridays, Rob and Cal helped us all to lose our minds, if only for three-quarters of an hour.