They thought they were only going to get the chess club in attendance. Instead, Walk The Moon got enough people to fill the upper plaza of the RPAC.
The four-piece indie rock band played an unplugged show at Buck-i-Frenzy Tuesday, clad with only two acoustic guitars, a shaker and a cardboard box played with two snare brushes for percussion.
Walk The Moon, consisting of lead vocalist Nicholas Petricca, bassist Kevin Ray, guitarist Eli Maiman and drummer SeanWaugaman, hails from Cincinnati.
The quartet’s set at the Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored event was a bit uncertain, given the band asked for requests from the audience, but it came with a disclaimer.
“This is the first time we performed all summer,” Petricca said to the audience. “It’s been awhile since we played music in front of other humans.”
The show, though, came together, and served as a preview for the band’s Aug. 30 show at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. Opening with “Tightrope” and ending with “Anna Sun,” Walk The Moon produced a 30-minute, six-song, acoustic set list, promising more music for the fans at the show next week.
The band’s decision to keep the show unplugged was based on ease and the fact they were asked by OUAB to perform a “couple of days ago,” Waugaman said.
“For one, it is a whole lot easier,” Petricca said. “You can come in and just do it really quick, but it’s kind of a last minute thing. We like to do it for a change every once in a while.”
The acoustic performance was not only a last minute decision for the band, but a surprise for Ohio State students, who were informed of the concert the night before the show via OUAB’s Twitter.
However, it was a welcomed surprise for many Walk The Moon fans on campus.
“I’m from Cincinnati, so I’ve been watching them play since, like three years now,” said Mollie Ruffing, a second-year in industrial engineering. “One of my friends is in OUAB, and they told me (Walk The Moon) was going to be here, so I decided to come. And we stood in the front row, and it was probably my favorite concert, honestly.”
Some students attended covered in face paint, a norm for Walk The Moon concerts, Bria Davis explained.
“The band usually paints their faces and comes out in the concert, and it just sort of became a thing. Every Walk The Moon concert, everyone’s just painted up,” the second-year in communication said.
Some students, including James Warvel, a second-year in psychology, were not familiar with Walk The Moon, but attended based off recommendations from friends.
“I’ve actually never heard of them,” Warvel said before the concert. “I’m just trying to check them out to see what they’re like … I heard they’re pretty good … They’re kind of pop-rock, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Walk The Moon’s concert comes on the heels of OUAB’s annual Welcome Week Concert Thursday, which will feature The Band Perry and Charlie Worsham.
Chris Wallace, a third year in computer science and engineering, was pleased OUAB brought in another act in addition to Thursday’s concert.
“(OUAB) puts out a lot of cool stuff, but music, I feel like they’ve been lacking a little lately,” Wallace said. “So the fact that they put up this little stage and bringing in people is awesome.”
Waugaman said Walk The Moon wanted to play for OSU to say “Hi” to the students and welcome them into the new school year.
Petricca also said they wanted to do something special for the students, and called the fans who came out Tuesday “amazing.”
“We were seriously not sure (how many people would show up for the concert), because it was sort of a surprise thing, so we weren’t sure there’d be anyone here,” he said. “It was a really fantastic crowd.”
OUAB did not immediately respond for comment Monday.