Mike Posner at Marquee Theatre Last Night

Mike Posner
September 11, 2010
Marquee Theatre

Hard-partying, fratty Duke musician Mike Posner played to an undersold crowd (probably due to the ASU football game) at the Marquee Theatre last night.

The crowd -- what there was of one -- was pretty evenly split between high school and college kids, and they sure were hyped up.

After taking off his jacket to show that it was time for him to really get down, he told the crowd they were far superior to the audience he played to in Tucson a few months prior. The sea of hands wouldn't stop waving through Mike's whole set.

The crowd of youngsters shouted -- not sang -- all the lyrics to "Drug Dealer Girl." His backup band, which sounded great, was even more enthusiastic than the audience. Posner even had his band jumping during "Evil Woman," which borrows from Electric Light Orchestra's melody and chorus.

Mike seemed to get stoked off the crowd's energy. During "A Matter of Time," he threw his mic stand down and rolled around on the stage like he was having an emotional adult tantrum, even though he was singing a ballad. He got just a little too into that song, but when you feel it, you feel it. He tore the place up with "Cooler Than Me" with a loud bass to make it even more of a dance hit than it usually is. Plus, he showed off how much cooler he is than everyone else by crowd surfing during the song. His band, a funk guitarist, two backup singers and an always on-point drummer, finished off with a brief jam sans Mike.

The crowd shouted "Posner" and "Smoke and Drive" in hopes of an encore, and people threw their hands at him like it was a Jay-Z concert when they got what they asked for. Mike had a playful call and response with the crowd, shouting "ASU!" during "Smoke and Drive." He closed out with the very chill "Gone in September," Posner's version of a love song. He said at the very end of his set, "I love everyone so much. I hope you guys go get really fucked up!"

How inspiring.

Considering he's still somewhat of a breakout artist, it was pretty impressive that everyone sang along for every song, although his stage presence only seemed powerful because of the strong audience response.

I couldn't really figure out what all those kids found so appealing about Posner, but whatever it is, they definitely found him captivating. Perhaps the passion of all the underage drunk chicks falling over contributed to the crowd's cumulative interest. There was nothing notably creative or artistic about the show, but it was great for anyone simply looking for a party after the football game.

Good work, Posner.

Critic's Notebook:

Last night: Mike Posner at the Marquee Theatre.

Personal bias: None, actually. Until last night I have always hated his single "Cooler Than Me," and after having seen his performance on America's Got Talent this summer, I expected him to be terrible.

The crowd: Not that I'm much older, but overall they were really young... high schoolers and college freshmen.

Overheard: "Oh shit, it's time to party!" Also, overheard in the girls' bathroom after the show: "I had a cigarette in my nose. You burned me!" I couldn't leave that out.

Random notebook dump: Anyone with a song called "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" seems like they wrote the song around the title just so they could say "bow chicka wow wow," which would have been great if everyone was still saying it all the time like they were in 2008.

Set list (with the exception of two songs):
Please Don't Go
Do U Wanna?
Drug Dealer Girl
Bow Chicka Wow Wow
Save Your Goodbye
A Matter of Time
Delta 1406
You Don't Have to Leave
Cooler Than Me

Smoke and Drive
Gone in September