Carbon Leaf, an up-and-coming Richmond-based band performed in the annual Welcome Back Kick-off Concert in downtown Blacksburg, starting at 6:30 p.m last night.
To begin the set, they started with an upbeat tempo, delving into ?Home? and other songs off their latest album, 5 Alive.
An eclectic mix of songs, including hits The Boxer, Mary Mac and 7 Brides For 7 Sinners uplifted the crowd to cheering, dancing and bouncing up and down.
?They do a good job about moving around stage and putting emotion into it. They act like they are into their music; they don?t just stand there,? said sophomore general engineering major Eric Rose.
Clapping his hands and dancing around on stage, lead singer Barry Privett involved the audience with the music as much as possible. The band members used a variety of instruments throughout the concert, including a mandolin played by guitarist Carter Gravatt and a pennywhistle played by Privett, producing a unique collaboration of sounds.
?They sound like a mixture of Phish and Dispatch. They use a lot of different instruments,? said junior political science major, Alexandra Sommers.
The band combines a blend of original beats with the knowledge of past performers and musical idols, such as the Beatles, Sting and even Bach.
The combination provides an organic new age rock.
As the name suggests, the band is two very different things put together.
?We are modern, but have a rooted background from jazz, bluegrass, rock and other types of music,? band member Terrel Clark said.
The band plans to release a new studio album at the top of the year following the double-disc live CD effort.
?We would love to go internationally,? said band member Barry Privett. ?We?d like to get played on the radio and reach as many people as possible.?
The band began playing together at Randolph Macon College, and continued after the graduation of Clark and Privett, the two oldest band members. The eventual result was what one band member called ?a healthy long term career.?
The band admits that it?s not always a pleasant life. Two of the band members are married. Travel is year round and living in a van isn?t always easy, as Clark confessed.
?The performance keeps you going,? he said. ?Being in a band is like being in a family. There are good times and bad times, but it?s pretty amazing to see how people react to the music we wrote. It?s a different feeling than anything else.?
The band, Barry said, strives to leave the audience with an impressionable mark and to have listeners walk away with a bright spot in their days.
?We try to have a good vibe and avoid a lot of crap,? Clark said.
After finishing Raise the Roof, the band?s last song dedicated to the crowd, the audience thanked the band by cheers and applauds for more.
The band took stage for one last song and waved goodbye.