Smallpools

Music coursed throughout the air as one giant and one small blow up whale bounced back and forth within the crowd. Students were suddenly immersed in a friendly and freeing atmosphere as they collectively sung song lyrics to Smallpool’s song “Killer Whales." As the song played, students worked together to push the whales that Smallpools band members threw out into the crowd. Wilson Hall buzzed with anticipation and a small group of students from all different backgrounds came together to enjoy indie pop band Smallpools and Northern Virginia-based band Sub-Radio.

Sub-Radio took the stage first, putting on an energetic performance that pumped up the crowd. The band members, which includes two current JMU students and one alumnus, have known each other since high school. 

“This was the best situation I could have ever imagined, crowd wise,” Adam Bradley, the lead vocalist for Sub-Radio, said. “It was a blast, people were into it. People knew our songs and our lyrics, which I wasn’t expecting.”

The band’s style can only be described as the type of music you’d jam to on the way to the beach in the heat of summer. The pop rock energy of the songs kept the audience’s attention throughout the entirety of the performance. The band has recently debuted its first album “Same Train // Different Station.” The songs are sure to energize the audience just as their performance did.

Many people don’t expect much from an opening act since they are typically more under the radar, but they can also be uncovered treasures and provide a pleasant surprise for concert goers.

“They just blew my expectations out of the water. They were really good, I was a big fan, ” Zach Benson, a sophomore communication studies major, said.

After an entertaining opening act, Smallpools treated the audience to a performance that included everything from multiple wardrobe changes to an intensely long drum solo. They showcased shockingly high vocals and charisma to keep the audience on their toes and dancing in euphoria. 

Smallpools opened with its well-known song “Over and Over” and didn’t take long to get the audience up and out of their seats screaming song lyrics at the top of their lungs. The band members played effortlessly and never ceased to give their all to their performance.

The band also made an effort to gain a connection with the crowd. At one point in the concert, lead singer, Sean Scanlon, left the stage to join and touch hands with many of his fans as he performed. Smallpools also wowed the crowd by performing its newly released track, “Run With the Bulls” for the first time. The song was just released yesterday and JMU was the very first to see it performed. 

“I was totally amazed,” Katherine Gibson, a junior psychology major, said. “I love them so much. They’re one of my favorite bands and they sounded just as great in person, as they do when I stream them online.”   

There were many heartfelt moments that made the concert something to be remembered. In between songs, Scanlon interacted with the crowd by telling stories of his old college career as a business major and describing the process and inspiration of many of their songs. During the concert, the band admitted to getting much of its inspiration from American rock band, The Killers. Scanlon described their song “Karaoke” as a piece very much inspired by the band. 

From blow-up whales tossed back and forth within the crowd to cellphone lights waved in the air, the Smallpools concert was made out to be an unforgettable night. Smallpools closed with their popular song “Dreaming” and a sincere thank you to the audience for coming to see their show. As the colored stage lights dimmed and Smallpools left the stage they left many of their fans pleased by the performance and eager for more. 

“I loved it, they had great energy and I definitely wanna see them again,” Jordan Kuhnor, a sophomore communications major, said.

Contact Alexis Miller and Jazmine Otey at breezearts@gmail.com

Jazmine Otey is a senior writer for Breeze Culture and has her own column for Breeze Opinion. She is a writing, rhetoric and technical communication major. In her spare time, she's most likely found painting or composing music.