Doors opened at 7:30 p.m. for the Wild Child concert at the Knickerbocker in downtown Holland. By the time the performance began at 8:00 p.m., students and community members were surrounding the stage in anticipation.
The headliner’s special guest, SUSTO, performed first with an array of emotional country songs. All five band members immersed themselves in their music, whether on guitar, bass, drums or keys. Attendees listened with rapt attention throughout SUSTO’s set and clapped after every song. Afterward Justin Osborne, the lead singer, thanked Holland for having them and asked if everyone was ready for Wild Child. After cheers and applause in response, SUSTO stayed in the Knickerbocker lobby, talking to students and selling merchandise after their set wrapped up.
There was a slight break in between sets before Wild Child entered to delight the crowd. With Kelsey Wilson on violin and vocals, Alexander Beggins on ukulele and vocals, Evan Magers on keyboards, Sadie Wolfe on cello, Chris D’Annunzio on bass, Drew Brunetti on drums and Matt Bradshaw on trumpet, Wild Child creates a soothing classical pop sound. More people travelled towards the stage as the seven-piece band began their first tune.
Wild Child played songs across all three current albums (“Pillow Talk,” “The Runaround” and “Fools”). Every song had a bright, bubbly personality, with fans dancing left and right. “Crazy Bird,” “Pillow Talk” and “Bullets” were some of the well-known songs the crowd helped sing along to.
Wild Child’s songs touched upon life, love and most importantly, lessons they have learned along the journey to where they are now. “Like human beings, they really aren’t what they seem / they will lie, cheat and steal to get ahead of you,” Wilson sings in “Silly Things.”
Wilson and Beggins were charming, singing back and forth and smiling at the crowd. Throughout the concert, jokes were cracked and pizza rolls were even brought onstage for the band to snack on halfway through. Wilson loved interacting with fans and answering questions that were shouted out.
Clearly Wild Child has been playing together for a while now, as the members were charismatic and playful with each other. Their comfortable, laid-back attitudes made everyone else feel at ease and made the night even more enjoyable. After the show wrapped up, some of the Hope College Concert Series (HCCS) members brought the band back onstage to go through a Q & A.
When a band travels somewhere new for the first time, they are never sure what will happen. Will people respond positively, will anyone sing along, does anyone even know them? All of these thoughts and more were sure to run through Wild Child’s mind when the band entered Michigan for the first time.
Despite the downpour outside, Wild Child was able to spread light to everyone in attendance with their sunny dispositions. Needless to say, Wild Child warmed the mitten with their debut here and the city of Holland, as well as Hope, is eager to see them again soon.
The HCCS will be hosting All Sons and Daughters in Dimnent Chapel Monday, Oct. 17 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 per student and $20 per faculty member.