Carrabba and New Amsterdams get emotional at QU

By on November 17, 2004

The emo bands The New Amsterdams and Dashboard Confessional performed last Sunday in the Rec center in a concert sponsored by Quinnipiac University’s Student Programming Board.

Some might recognize New Ams’ vocalist Matt Pryor as lead singer of the Kansas City, Mo., based emo rock group The Get Up Kids. However, he appeared at the QU show along with Bill Belzer on drums and percussion and Eric McCann bowing on upright bass.

Pryor cursed and threw off a harmonica early on in their set which began just before 8 p.m. This almost seemed to indicate the tone of their performance. The sleeve tattooed Pryor and McCann made idle banter with one another between songs while Belzer seemed to struggle with keeping his rhythm in step.

Among their seemingly generic style of emo pop-rock, the New Ams managed to bring the crowd into their performance with a bubble-gummy crowd pleaser “all about dinosaurs,” said Pryor. One of their more impressive songs of the evening was “The Spoils of the Spoiled” off of the band’s newest record release, “Worse For the Wear.” Pryor maintained a level of emotional attachment with the audience through his repressed lyrical howling, but could not seem to hold people’s attention spans, in particular its female members craving the presence of Carrabba.

Just before 9 p.m. Carrabba took the stage, initially wearing a white button down with a brown sport jacket; a unequivocally female roar came from the crowd as he removed the jacket and rolled up his sleeves after finishing the first song of the track, claiming, “It’s way hotter up here than you’d think.”

Carrabba played a decent set consisting of essential DC tracks – “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most,” “Again I Go Unnoticed,” “Screaming Infidelities,” and “As Lovers Go,” a song which Carrabba touchingly dedicated to “all of the QU ladies.” Carrabba even showcased his piano skills, performing the song “So Long, So Long” which has been made available on the band’s official website as a free download.

The set was given some variety by incorporating a portion of a cover song by Brand New as well as a cover of Phantom Planet’s “California,” the recognizable theme song from Fox’s popular television drama, “The OC.” Carrabba expressed interest in the show earlier on in his set, once again seemingly in an attempt to further reel in his swooning female fans.

Carrabba rounded out the evening with an encore including the hit songs “Vindicated” off of the “Spiderman 2″ soundtrack and “Hands Down” from DC’s last studio album, “A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar.”

Jennifer Horton, junior English/Secondary Education major, said, “best show ever! I liked that he took our suggestions.” In regards to Carrabba, she said “great crowd interaction. It gave the show a closer, more intimate feel.” Pertaining to the seemingly new, lopsided fan base of DC, Horton agreed, “it used to be more equal, but now that they went mainstream with ‘Vindicated,’ more love is definitely coming from the ladies.” However, Horton maintains that she is an “old school DC fan.”

This show could be summed up in a simple phrase – fan appreciation. Unless you are thoroughly familiar with DC’s catalogue, this show may have remained unimpressive and overbearing at times, reminiscent of MTV2’s 2002 “Unplugged” event.

However, the New Ams and Carrabba performed with enough vigor and candor to satiate the appetites of die-hard fans.


About Mike McKenna