by Taylor Brethauer & RikkiLynn Shields, Staff Writers
Musician Mike Posner performed an acoustic set for students in Smith Auditorium this past Saturday for Quadstock, an annual campus concert. Students began filing into the auditorium around noon, and the intimate crowd grew in size as students trickled in after hearing the music from outside.
Quadstock’s feature act, Posner, was only announced to the student body last week in preparation for the weekend. For this college-aged crowd, students remember his older songs like “Please Don’t Go” and his most famous song “Cooler Than Me” from their high school days.
“I was really excited. I remember a couple of his songs from back in high school,” student Sarah Poons said.
The crowd started getting excited and started chanting ‘Mike’ as they waited for him to come out on stage. Students began crowding the front of the stage in anticipation.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him. I want to hear all the new songs he has out,” student Veronica Roman said before the concert began.
When Posner finally stepped out on stage, the small but energetic crowd erupted in cheers. He started with one of his songs from his first album, “Bow Chicka Wow Wow.” Exchanging his guitar for a piano halfway through his set, he showed his musical versatility and range. He also showcased his talent of freestyling by including Manhattan College references in a many of his verses.
“I was surprised how good he was and he really connected with the crowd which made me enjoy the show even more than expected,” student Victoria Cruz said.
Quadstock had an interactive environment that allowed Posner to connect with the crowd. People would cheer his name and in response he would play along, freestyling verses during his songs.
The singer saved his hit single “Cooler Than Me” for last but came back out for an encore as the students chanted for him to perform one last song.
“I remember jamming out to ‘Cooler Than Me’ when I was 13 and hearing it now brought my friends and me back to those good ole days,” student Alex Constantine said.
Afterwards, Posner shared stories about his career as a musician and performer.
When asked about his musical influences, Posner responded, “It changes week to week just from listening to different music. From all of my projects, you can tell it varies. It’s gone from Andre from Outkast and J Dilla to, on my new albums, Bob Dylan and Hank Williams Senior and Junior.”
Posner also mentioned that he has a new album in the works.
“I have a new album coming out which includes the ‘Truth EP’ which I just put out, plus a few more songs that are tentatively being released in March,” Posner said.
Posner wasn’t afraid to stray away from the seriousness of the interview, claiming that the most embarrassing song he was on his phone is “A Whole New World” from the “Aladdin” soundtrack.
Even though he’s been changing his style, Posner has noticed that many of his fans have stuck with him throughout the years.
“My new music is much different from what I started out doing. So to see people that like both of those things is very cool to me. Like when I played ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza,’ I almost cried because everyone reacted so strongly. I feel really blessed that I keep making career 180’s, my music is finding an audience still,” Posner said.
He’s been enjoying touring and performing during his time as a musician, which was always his dream. He gives credit to his passion that has helped him get to where he is today.
“As a musician, I make music because I like making music. I would be doing it even if I was making zero dollars and no one was listening,” Posner said.
“When you finish a show, the crowd tells you ‘thank you’ when you’re the singer but I almost always say thank you back and people think I’m trying to be nice… but I really mean it… I definitely feed off the crowd’s energy.”
Manhattan College proved to live up to his ideal crowd with their chants and singing along to his songs.
Posner thanks the students, saying, “the crowd was absurdly hype and also when we took it down for the serious songs were really respectful, too. I appreciate that.”
As a final statement, Mike Posner leaves this to the Manhattan College student body: “I recently gave a talk at Duke called ‘Music, Money and Meaning’ and I told the kids four things there: one, treat everyone like they could make a million dollars because they could. Two, don’t follow the herd. Three, sleep and eat well and drink once a week. And four, you belong.”