For the sixth year now 93Q has celebrated the beginning of summer with a party. This year’s party was held June 22, at Papermill Island in Baldwinsville, on the perfect sunny 70 degree evening. As the gates opened, the stage began to fill in as though a tide was washing the crowd inward. This evening definitely had the potential to bring the party up a notch or two with a stellar lineup just ready to start the summer bash off right; beginning with Erin Bowman, then followed by the new hit group AJR, My Crazy Girlfriend, and ending with the AMA award-winning Hot Chelle Rae.
As the shows began, Erin Bowman, a stunning young lady with a powerful voice, won over the crowd immediately with her original tunes such as “King Boy”, “Problem”, and of course her new smash hit, “Hey Summer”. It was the mash-up medley though that truly showcased her vocal range, style, and influences in music with songs as diverse as “Oops I Did It Again”, “No Diggity”, “If You Want to Be My Lover” and even REM’s “Loosing My Religion”. This diverse collection was beautifully choreographed and delivered perfectly. Every performer/band has a signature look that makes them unique. Erin was no exception. Her look was classic 1960’s retro from her high wasted shorts and donut themed top to her retro camera and felix the cat looking phone cover. This musician was extremely talented, playing and writing her own songs, and wowing the audience. She definitely left an impression on the audience who now know her as an up and coming star.
Next up for the evening was AJR. Watching these three brothers, Adam, Jack, and Ryan, take the stage I felt a bit reminiscent of how the fans must have behaved with the Beatles all those years ago. These young fans were pushing and shoving, shouting and crying, just to get a view of them. As they began to play I could see why. Their style was uniquely their own. Raised and influenced by many great artists of the 60’s and 70’s these young men truly shone through in a Beach Boys kind of way. Their breakout hit “I’m Ready” featuring the voice of cartoon character SpongeBob Squarepants is one example of their creative and fun-loving mannerisms and musical style.
Next on the bill was the pop/hip hop group My Crazy Girlfriend. Myah Marie, Cosmo, and twins Justyn and Bennett Armstrong took over the stage and won over the audience with their harmonic, upbeat and individualistic style. Performing for years individually, their unique style and outstanding stage presence meld together perfectly to bring audiences hit songs such as “Crazy, Stupid Love”. The one thing that stood out with this group was their love of their audience, as they demonstrated doing everything in their power to reach out and make their day as they were performing.
The final act of the evening, and Central NY favorite, Hot Chelle Rae took over the stage and owned it the moment they came out. These three young men never cease to amaze me with their talent. Taking American Music Awards Best New Artist award in 2011, it is apparent why Ryan and Jamie Follese’ and Nash Overstreet continue to create hit after hit forging new directions with their music each time they put out an album. Can’t think of a better band to start-up the summer fun with or a better setting to do so.