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“Not So Silent Night” review

by Mia Thompson, Arts and Entertainment Editor

On Dec. 11, Live 105 hosted Not So Silent Night,  a compilation concert that is held every year and features hit bands that cater to the “Live 105” brand. For the past three years they have had two nights, each with their own lineup and usually with their own sound. In past years there have been performers such as Lorde, Alt-j, Interpol, Fall Out Boy, and many others.

To set the scene for Not So Silent Night it should be known that the Oracle is in Oakland. In the amount of time it takes to drive there through traffic, we missed the first three bands.  That being said the first artist we saw was Halsey; though we missed the beginning of her set it was still amazing. Being familiar with album does not fully prepare anyone for seeing her in person. The energy and emotion throughout her set was palpable. “Colors” was so much more powerful in person than it ever was through headphones while rushing to class. “Hurricane” rang out like a feminist cry that longs to be heard in most women. Also “New Americana” as her finale elicited the crowd to sing along and could be heard being sung aloud by patrons while in line for the merchandise table. Overall, her sound, stage presence, and passion made her a pleasure to see live.

Something to note, between sets the 105.3 talk show hosts would attempt humorous bits to fill the time but mostly failed at it. The most notable being when they said Stephen Curry was there to introduce Weezer when in reality they had someone voice over a video of him. Obviously they were there to keep the show going even between set/band changes, but honestly if they had just played music instead it would have been better for the overall ambiance of the show.

One thing that always stands out about Live 105’s shows is that they always have outliers in their set, bands that don’t quite sound like everyone else. This year’s was Silversun Pickups. Maybe it’s because none of our group really knows them, or that between the three of us, I was the only one who liked a song by them, but their set was kind of strange. Their sound seemed out of place next to Halsey and Bastille, and their songs are not hits that one hears when they tune into Live 105. The band seemed friendly enough however which would separate them from Death Cab later on. All that being said, the crowd seemed to enjoy them on a whole, and hearing “Lazy Eye” live was truly great.

After Silversun Pickups, Bastille took the stage for their set, the second time they had been there in recent years. Even without knowing their whole discography, they were a great show to see. The charisma of the band made them seem lively. They played a majority of their hit songs, such as “Bad Blood” and “Flaws”, which appeased the audience. The UK-based band concluded their set with the empowering “Pompeii”, which they started with the piano and ended with the crowd shouting along to the lyrics.

Here is where the main problem with Not So Silent Night happened. Death Cab For Cutie, while generally well-known had one of the most boring sets that Lilly, Sam, and I had ever seen. They seemed to go on and on without talking to the crowd, or introducing new songs, which may work for a band like Weezer but not Death Cab. Their music seemed repetitive and honestly kind of boring after a while. They came off as impersonal and anti-social. At one point Sam, another staff writer, asked if they were ever going to stop. Also they did not play “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”, arguably their most popular song. While that is a personal choice for the band to make, it really could have saved their set.

For the big finale, Weezer, a band that embodies alternative rock, utterly saved the show. They catered to the mass public by playing their hits, “Island In The Sun”, “Say It Ain’t So”, “If You’re Wondering If I Want You To I Want You To” and more. Even newer albums and music appealed to the whole stadium and not just the die hard fans. As someone who knows most of their older music, their set was a treat that won’t soon be forgotten. In a section where people hadn’t stood up the whole night, Weezer brought people to their feet and got everyone singing along. They were lively, entertaining and overall an amazing set even for those who don’t know their music as well. The cherry on top of a great set was when they came back out for the encore and played “Beverly Hills”, bestill my heart, hearing Rivers sing the “gimme gimme’s” was so heartwarming that there is no way to top it.

Overall, with the exceptions of Death Cab, a creepy person sitting in the next seat over, and the downright terrible stadium food, Not So Silent Night delivers a great show for a reasonable price. Completely worth getting a ticket for next year.