Lying in the green grass with a cold drink listening to live music sounds like the perfect summer evening. Add some food trucks serving barbeque, fries and nachos and Harrisburg University (HU) Presents has created the perfect night. As a part of their Summer Concert Series, HU presents closed off part of the Riverfront Park between two bridges to put together an ideal summer venue. Previous shows for this year’s series included Death Cab for Cutie and The Roots.
Nashville based singer-songwriter Annika Bennett kicked off Friday night as she commanded the stage with just her teal guitar. The indie artist’s set included tracks from her EP “ROOM (DEMOS)”, that was released earlier that day, other previously released singles and a cover of ‘Sex’ by The 1975. Most of her songs deal with heartbreak but Bennett still keeps the mood light with a strong rhythm.
Pop duo Surfaces were next, bringing beats and vibes to the riverside crowd. With mixes of hip-hop, jazz, reggae, and soul added to their pop tunes, it’s hard to not get drawn in and find yourself dancing along. Surfaces’ style perfectly matched the mood of a summer evening by the water as the sun set half way through their set. After a cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, they closed out their set with fan favorites ‘Wave of You’ and ‘Sunday Best’. There was never a dull moment for Surfaces’ set as they kept the energy high and the crowd excited.
With the sun set, the primary source for light was the giant LED screen at the back of the stage which allowed waiting fans to see their fellow concert goers in the crowd and the stage covered in fake cobwebs. LANY had announced via an Instagram story that their show that night was going to be “Halloween in Harrisburg”. As ‘you!’ began to play, the band took the stage in their various costumes; a nurse with messy,bright orange hair, a Greek god, a prisoner in black and white stripes (Jake Goss) and a cow with black and white face paint (Paul Klein). With only 24 songs for the setlist, they made sure to play fan favorites from across their discography, including ‘cowboy in LA’ from their 2020 album “mama’s boy” and their 2016 single ‘pink skies’. Klein always finds time during their shows to get close to the crowd and was standing atop the barrier holding hands with fans during ‘Made in Hollywood’. LANY closed out the night with their most well-known song ‘ILYSB’, from their 2017 debut album, as the whole crowd clapped and sang along.
Check out our Instagram for more photos. Photo credit: Kate Atkinson