On April 16, Albion College Union Board hosted it’s 2019 Big Show with opener Oferle and headliner/childhood heartthrob Jesse McCartney.
Prior to that Tuesday night, the campus was buzzing with excitement over McCartney’s upcoming appearance. McCartney’s hit single, “Beautiful Soul,” could be heard while walking through Whitehouse Hall or strolling across campus as students prepared for the show.
On the day of the show, students, community members and some faculty and staff gathered around the stage outside of Kresge Gymnasium on the Quad in anticipation. Opening band, Oferle, a family band from Nashville, played some original and cover songs to amp the audience up.
At 9:00 p.m., the crowd began chanting, “Jesse!” McCartney ran out on stage with the drums pounding, the electric guitar blaring and the crowd screaming. He opened the concert with “She’s No You,” followed by “Leaving.”
During a cover of Robin Thicke’s song, “The Stupid Things,” McCartney asked to bring up a member from the audience to sing with him. Jordan Marmul, junior, from Glen Lake, Michigan, was the lucky student.
“I just want you to know meeting you has been on my bucket list since I was twelve,” said Marmul on stage.
“Well, check it off, baby,” responded McCartney.
After McCartney sang some of his new songs, like “Wasted,” and “Better With You,” he left the stage, only to be brought back with an encore of what the crowd wanted: “Beautiful Soul.”
After the concert, Pleiad reporter Gabby Henriksen sat down with McCartney for a few minutes for an interview:
Gabby Henriksen: Have you been to Michigan before?
Jesse McCartney: Of course! I’ve never been here [to Albion], but I’ve been to Detroit many, many times.
G: How did it feel coming back?
J: It felt great! It felt less cold than the last time I was here. It’s great when I come back during the warm months. Detroit is a great city for me and all of Michigan actually. I’ve been to Grand Rapids and it’s a great welcoming state always.
G: Is there anything you do before performances to help yourself up?
J: A lot of pushups to get the adrenaline coursing through my body — try to get myself amped up. I try to control the adrenaline. I never get nervous, but there’s so much adrenaline running through your body and especially if you have to play piano or sing really slowly, it really can mess with your physical playing. I get a lot of adrenaline and I get super excited. It’s just about harnessing it.
G: Is performing at a college different than any other venue?
J: College’s are just a lot of fun, it’s usually a weekend, tonight’s an exception, but college crowds in general are always having a good time and are pretty carefree. I love the spring events more than the fall because a lot of them you can do outside and there’s anything goes kinda feeling, there’s so many variables at a college show which makes for a lot of fun as an entertainer because you can sort of pull from the moments that happen in the audience and use it to entertain. So I love performing colleges. I think this is literally after a weeks ago, I’ve done over 100 colleges in the last two years so it’s a fun gig.
G: Do you always bring up people at every concert?
J: Oh, yes.
G: How does it feel to be at Albion?
J: This was a really fun crowd. They were super turned up. All colleges are pretty up, but this one was consistently throughout the whole show — their energy was at 11. Sometimes there can be some lulls, and once in a while I’ll cut a song if I feel the crowd isn’t performing the way I want them to or I’m not getting from them what I want. But tonight, full setlist.
G: Favorite type of candy?
J: Dark chocolate.
G: Favorite movie?
J: Basketball Diaries.
G: Favorite music artist?
G: Spirit animal?
G: If you weren’t a musician, what would you have been?
G: What made you interested in music?
J: My parents.
G: Are you coming out with anything new you want to broadcast out there?
J: So this year, as soon as I finish this April and early May of spring college shows, my goal is to be at home in the studio writing all of May and June so that I can finish up an EP, maybe a full album. I don’t want to make any promises because a lot of times you can get into the studio and write and work, but you can’t promise something great is going to happen. I’d like it to happen, but I am working to finish a full-length album if I can, and if I can’t, I’ll put out whatever I can that I think is amazing, is the best. New music this year — I’m going overseas in the summer but then hopefully back in the States touring in the fall.