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ACBU puts on a concert for the old and the new

You are a “Beautiful Soul” and should “Keep Your Head Up” and “Getcha Roll On.”

Jesse McCartney, Andy Grammer and T-Pain played at the first Recess at RenCo hosted by ACBU last Saturday.

ACBU featured entertainment coordinator Dylan Pashke said ACBU was hoping to attract a wide audience with the selection of these specific performers.

“We were trying to appeal to as many Bradley students as possible, but then also connecting them through kind of like a throwback,” Pashke said.

In the past, ACBU has brought only one headliner for its spring concert. This year’s first Recess at RenCo featured three.

“With this new branding of Recess, we wanted to make it more exciting, make it more bigger than it has been in the past,” Pashke said. “So, bringing in those three artists definitely gave it more of that festival feel we were going for.”

Each artist had an hour-long set and played their greatest hits as well as covers from other artists that have impacted them.

McCartney often offers a meet and greet at his venues, and Bradley was no different. According to Pashke, the Peoria community was interested in the chance to meet McCartney.

“Jesse is a great guy,” Pashke said. “He was very genuine and more than happy and willing to talk and take pictures in that way.”

McCartney started his set with his 2004 classic “She’s No You.” His guitarist, Dory Lobel from NBC’s “The Voice,” pulled out an acoustic guitar for the fifth song of the set, “Just So You Know,” while people in the crowd swayed the flashlights from their phones.

The next song was a cover of “Stupid Things” by Robin Thicke and McCartney invited one lucky fan on stage to sing to him.

McCartney also sang the song “Bleeding Love,” a song he wrote, that Leona Lewis made a hit in 2007. He mentioned that he had no intentions on making any new music but changed his mind once his single “Better with You” was a success in 2018.

He tried closing his set with another 2018 song, “Wasted.” However, he had to return for an encore because the show would not have been complete without the tune that made him famous, “Beautiful Soul.” Many were singing the lyrics that transported them back to their childhood.

After a short stage turnaround, the lights dimmed for Grammer’s set. His backup singers and band set the mood for Grammer to open the 14-song set with his 2014 hit “Good to be Alive (Hallelujah).”

Grammer showed off his many musical talents, including playing the trumpet for “Always,” beatboxing before playing the keyboard during “Fine by Me” and playing the acoustic guitar for his new song “Don’t Give Up on Me” featured in the preview for the film “Five Feet Apart.”

He went into the crowd during “Kiss You Slow” before flipping over the railing to run back to the stage.

Grammer shared the personal story of losing his mother and singing to his unborn daughter behind his 2017 song “Spaceship.”

One of his backup singers belted some bars of Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry,” before going into Grammer’s 2011 hit “Keep Your Head Up.” He also used Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” as a transition into his popular 2014 song “Honey I’m Good” before ending his set with “Back Home.”

T-Pain’s set was delayed due to a complication with his flight, but the audience screamed as he finally made his way to the stage.

He sang many of his songs with his DJ backing him up in medley form. Some of his hits included “Buy U a Drank,” “Up Down,” “Bartender” and “I’m in Love With a Stripper.”

T-Pain won Fox’s “The Masked Singer” as he shocked the judges with his vocal in the monster costume. He also treated Bradley to the songs he sang on the show including Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” The Guess Who’s “American Woman,” Joan Jett’s “I love Rock and Roll” and Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me.”

He ended his set with “All I Do is Win” and an inspirational message that relates to his new album “1UP.” T-Pain said to keep on getting better at what you’re doing and to one-up everything else you’ve done.

Pashke said he was happy with the audience turnout.

“The crowd that was there was absolutely amazing,” Pashke said. “They were very engaging with the artists and the artists had a blast. All of them as they were leaving definitely were like, ‘That was a great concert. Thank you for letting us come to your campus,’ so, all of the artists really appreciated the crowd that was there.”

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