Flashfest 2011 leaves with a bang

Photo by Philip Botta.

Nicole Aikens

Bruno Mars came out banging. Literally.

He immediately hopped on the drums before jumping on guitar and into his first song “The Other Side.”

Donning his signature fedora, Bruno step-touched and hip-thrusted with his band. The sweet vocals Bruno is known for were on point; the only thing different from the CD tracks was the screaming crowd, especially while he slowed it down and seductively sang “Our First Time.”

Bruno was singing “Marry You” when we got kicked out by Bruno’s head of security for taking photos.

Plan B opened the show, and the only word to describe Plan B is energetic. He and his band played big, and the set stayed that way throughout. Dressed in suits and ties, this band from the UK mixed jazzy vocals, rap and pop and turned it all into a huge show. Plan B recreated beat box versions of “Stand by Me” and “Kissed a Rose.” There’s a chance the Kent State crowd hasn’t heard of Plan B before, but this performance probably earned the band a spot on most of their iTunes.

Travis Clark, lead singer of We the Kings, commanded the crowd to dance with “lust” written on his hand. “We are We the Kings, and we are here to make you shake your booty,” he yelled during the set.

The band started booking colleges a year and a half ago; these types of shows are nothing new to We the Kings, and it shows when Clark describes the “white boy dance” and the girls “grinding their shit into it.”

They played a new song called “Friday is Forever,” which they created as a parody of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

They also played a cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” and they ended their set with their big hit “Check Yes, Juliet.”

In an interview before the show, Clark said, “I kind of believe that music is the only thing that still makes sense in this messed up world.”

That attitude, matched with his funny remarks to the crowd, made for a great set. He flirted with the crowd, called them sexy on multiple occasions and told them, “I’m really glad I have jeans on because otherwise I’d have a boner.”

Contact Nicole Aikens at [email protected].