It was a freezing day in New Jersey and still, girls bravely sported mini-skirts and boys walked around shirtless. Thousands of people gathered around the stage and with less than an inch of space between each person, the outside temperature had no chance of breaching the bubble of body heat. Yurcak Field was mud-ridden from the previous night’s rain and we were all ankles deep in the muck. Nature may have been against the concert, but it had no effect on us. For the next few hours, we would be in a zone unaware of our surroundings, focused solely on the stage. Afterall, this was Rutgersfest.
The annual free concert held at Rutgers University is notoriously known for drawing several non-Rutgers students, like myself, because of the popular bands it features each year. This year, one of those bands was 3OH!3. The electronic-pop band consists of two members, Sean Foreman and Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Motte. The band shot to fame after their 2007 self-released album, put together in Nat’s apartment, was passed along to Photo Finish Records, where label president Matt Galle was blown away by their unique sound and brilliant lyrics. To top it off, the band also had a unique name, which came from Sean and Nat’s area code in Boulder, Colorado. Their first single, “Don’t Trust Me,” released in 2008, went double platinum and sold over 2.6 million tracks. On 3OH!3’s official website, Nat describes the band’s sound the best. “It sounds like robots making love,” he says.
It’s no surprise that 3OH!3 was asked to perform at Rutgersfest, since a large part of their fans are college students. The minute they stepped on stage, Sean and Nat were full of energy. They jumped on speakers and ran across the stage, holding the microphone out to the crowd at times, allowing the audience to sing along. They performed hit songs such as Don’t Trust Me, My First Kiss, Touchin’ On My and I Can Do Anything. The rebellious songs carried on the theme that they don’t care about what anyone thinks. They sang loudly and despite all the running around they did, there was never a point that they were out of tune. The radio doesn’t do this band justice. Their vocals are even better live.
If they hadn’t been on stage, Sean and Nat easily would have been mistaken for students from the way they were dressed. They both wore hoodies, jeans and leather jackets. Nat had a beanie on most of the time, and zipped down his jacket to reveal a red and white checkered button-up shirt, the kind you get from grandma for Christmas. Sean also took off his jacket to show his green and blue plaid shirt (I’ve seen an identical one at Hot Topic). Their choice of clothes, much like their songs, gave off the impression that they aren’t trying to impressing anyone and fame hasn’t turned them into money flaunting jerks.
Even offstage 3OH!3 was nonchalant and friendly towards their fans and students. One camera man mentioned that they walked into his tent and struck up a conversation so casually that he mistook them for crew members. The down-to-earth attitude that Sean and Nat are both known for is what makes me like their music even more. They’re not fake like some musicians tend to be. They sing about what they know and have fun doing it. I would definitely recommend seeing them perform live. It’s an unforgettable experience and I’ve even bought tickets to see them perform again at Warped Tour over the summer.