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Audio Issues and Underwhelming Crowd Dampen AWOLNATION Performance

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Audio Issues and Underwhelming Crowd Dampen AWOLNATION Performance

Photo by https://instagram.com/awolnation/

Photo by https://instagram.com/awolnation/

Photo by https://instagram.com/awolnation/

Dan Russo

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AWOLNATION had a lot going for them. The band, fronted by lead vocalist Aaron Bruno, was looking forward to headlining the ground stages at Summerfest for its second consecutive year, and this time on Fourth of July weekend. With a sophomore album out, one might imagine they have built a larger fan base and more easily yield energy as the show kicked off; however, due to low audio levels, the audiences fascination the Milwaukee fireworks, and a lineup throughout the grounds that brought other popular names, AWOLNATION began the show with a surprisingly low-populated, and mostly low-energized crowd.

Their performance itself was nothing worth complaining over. Bruno and Company put heart and vigor into each song, but it was the selection of songs that continued to not allow the crowd to match the on-stage energy. Opening with the first song from the second album (and album namesake), “Run”, Bruno’s voice and the band’s instrumentals matched everything that it is on the studio-produced album, but even fans near the middle were well aware that the volume on both the mic and the instrument speakers could’ve been turned up. The use of neon lights behind the band from opening to closing song was a smart move, but at times it was a bit too mood-setting, creating a dark, melancholic concert atmosphere.

It was not until AWOL’s performance of debut album semi-hit song “Kill Your Heros” that the crowd’s energy was high enough that fan-singing became more important, and subsequently more powerful and louder, than Bruno’s singing. This rise in energy only made fans hungrier for “SAIL”. Once the band walked off stage without performing the mega-hit song, fans were positive they were going to come right back on for an encore to perform it. As the stage remained black and silent, fans impatiently waited, screaming things like, “SAIL!” or, “WE WANT MORE.” So, AWOLNATION came back on to continue to tease the fans by playing three more not very well-known songs before finally playing “SAIL”. The song, of course, didn’t sound the best due to volume issues.

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