February 02, 2012

Gym Class Heroes

As the band walks to the stage and the Papercut Chronicles II intro starts playing, the crowd seems restless. But the first sight of Travie McCoy makes it explode and the direction is clear; it's gonna be a Travie -show all the way.

Gym Class Heroes is an alternative hip hop group from New York, who mix rap and folk with pop rock music. The band has been active since 1997 but released their first album in 2001 and their first major label debut in 2005. Today the band paddle on with their two original members - the rummer Matt MgGinley and the lead vocalist Travie McCoy, though the guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo and the bass player Eric Roberts have been with the group since 2004.


But let's get back to the year 2012. The fact that Travie is dressed in a winter jumper points out that he was not ready for this cold weather nor the Finnish audience. For his nebefit, the audience is quickly under the puppet master as he makes them jump, clap and dance with simple orders. Travie McCoy leads the concert with great charm, flirting and teasing. Telling stories and jokes between the songs keeps the chill good-time vibe going on throughout the whole show. He also gave away his secret talent, singing, as they end the show with a surprise encore with a Prince song.

I want to point out that this must have been the most mixed crowd I have seen in a while. With the hipsters, the emos, the scenesters, the hippies and the rockers all becoming one for great music. Its delightful to see everyone in harmony having good time and just enjoying the music.

The set-list was a positive surprise filled with songs from each record and not forgetting older singles. The crowd surprised me by even singing along with the good ol' 2006 hit singles Cupids Chokehold and Cookie Jar. As the newer singles Stereo Hearts and Ass Back Home begin with the guest vocalist playing from the back-track it really didn't matter as the audience's singing covered it easily. As the band plays Billionaire, a song from Travie McCoys solo album the guys like it so much that they want to hear it a cappella once more after the song is over.

Overall the band was great live, they're very talented young musicians and bring something new to simple songs. As they switch styles between reggae to hip hop to pop and then rock again it doesn't in any point feel like they are in over their heads. They nail all the songs and bring some new dimension to the songs. The whole concert was really good, worth of the 20 and maybe even more. This band shows that different sorts of fans can come together and enjoy good and fun music. Next time when Gym Class Heroes comes to your town, be there. 8/10


SETLIST
Cookie Jar
Peace Sign/Index Down
Cupid's Chokehold
Martyrial Girl$
Live A Little
The Queen And I
Ass Back Home
Guilty As Charged
Papercuts
Taxi Driver
Billionare
Solo Discotheque (Whiskey Bitness)
On My Own Time (Write On!)
Stereo Hearts
Encore:
When The Doves Cry (Prince Cover)