Hits like “Ships in the Night,” “Breathe in, Breathe out,” and “Hey Mama” rang through the James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall as hip-hop/folk/rock singer Mat Kearney took to the stage Thursday night.
STAR Programming Intern Linnea Bicking said roughly 700 students attended and said “everyone loved it.” The concert’s capacity was set at 900.
Freshman Leah Mergen said she made a playlist before Thursday’s concert to help fuel her excitement for the show. She said she is an avid Mat Kearney fan and was ecstatic when she landed a coveted front-row spot.
“I just want to see how he will react, and this isn’t his usual crowd. I want to see if he will be like jamming to us or if he will kind of be awkward,” Mergen said before the show started. “I hope he rocks us out. A mellow concert isn’t the best thing in the world, but hopefully he will jam.”
Junior Karlie Eaton said she likes to find new music and found the concert to be the perfect opportunity to expand her musical taste.
“I’ve never heard this guy. I’m excited to hear him for the first time and see what his music is like,” Eaton said. “I really like live music. Plus, it’s free.”
Kearney got the crowd going with radio hit “Hey Mama,” and he played a stripped version of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” He ended the concert with an encore performance of “Ships in the Night” and invited St. Thomas’ new men’s a capella group on stage to join him.
Junior John Dieltz admitted that he wasn’t Kearney’s biggest fan when he heard “Hey Mama” on the radio before Thursday night. But after his live performance, Kearney won him over with his “stellar performance.”
Sophomore Brooke Davies said she was on her way to the library after the concert. She said she thought more people would have attended if the concert had been scheduled on a different day.
“Some students have 8 a.m. class on Fridays,” Davies said. “I wish I could enjoy this concert more and stay longer.”
Kristopher Jobe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.