Concert goers were “Happy til it hurts” and sure to have had a “Good Day” this past Friday at the Renaissance Coliseum for ACBU’s annual Recess at RenCo. The show opened with singer-songwriter Tai Verdes followed by the headliner, indie group Surfaces.
Tai Verdes began the event with a few songs off his “TV” album before playing his newest single “3 outfits.” The crowd was energized throughout his set, notably screaming and cheering as the bassline of his hit song “Stuck in the Middle” kicked off, and Verdes matched their energy, jumping around the stage.
Throughout the set, Verdes had the crowd “compete” in singing back to him, with the left, right and middle sections all trying to sing louder than the last. He closed out his set with his song “A-O-K.”
Surfaces walked on stage as their song “Good Day” began to play, and lead singer Forrest Frank immediately began interacting with the crowd while the venue filled with cheers. After the first song, Frank pointed out a girl’s birthday sash in the front row. The performer and audience wished her and Frank a shared happy birthday.
The duo continued with more of their songs before Verdes ran back on stage to accompany them during “Sheesh!,” a song they recorded with Verdes for Surfaces’ 2021 album “Pacifico.”
Surfaces’ band then began playing backup for another rendition of “Happy Birthday” as someone from offstage brought a cake with candles for Frank to blow out.
The duo closed their set with their hit song “Sunday Best” before thanking the crowd and waving goodbye.
Junior physical therapy major Anna Ballenger had been looking forward to this event since the moment it was announced. A long-time fan of Surfaces since 2018, Ballenger was determined to have the best spot possible again at this event after her experience seeing them in the front row at Lollapalooza last year. She arrived an hour and a half before doors opened, waiting in cold temperatures and sleet.
“It was such a good experience; I just really wanted to be first again,” Ballenger said. “They make sure to just be with the crowd and be like as personal with you as possible, and I think that just makes a huge difference … They want to be connected.”
That audience connection was present. During Surface’s set, Frank sang with students and was sure to get close to the fans.
Abbey McComb, vice president of ACBU, has been looking forward to this event all year after the success of their fall concert.
McComb, along with the other members of the executive board of ACBU, chose the lineup based on a list of options their middle agent “How to Concerts” provided, reached out to multiple acts and went with Tai Verdes and Surfaces due to their availability.
“A couple of other artists [we were interested in] were on tour or were busy,” McComb, junior biology major, said. “But Surfaces and Tai were on the top of our list, so it worked out that they were able to come.”
McComb considered the event a success and loved seeing everyone else’s enthusiasm during the event.
“My favorite part was being able to see everyone’s reactions, and just seeing these months and months of work actually coming to fruition,” McComb said. “It was just really fun.”