Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 10, 2017

Infinity Now

Infinity Now performs at Rock the Plaza in Fort Wayne. The group played this show as part of their summer 2016 tour.

MU Talent Lights Up the Firehouse

Maddie Jo Shultz

Passersby on Main Street could feel and hear the excitement coming from the youth concert on Saturday, March 4.

Manchester students showcased their musical talent at the Firehouse downtown at 7:30, with an open mic session preceding the event at 6:30. Performers at the mixed-genre concert were Infinity Now, a pop/rock quintet based in Columbus, IN, with lead singer Sarah Farnam, and the Mykayla Cynthia Band, led by Mykayla Neilson.

The concert lasted two hours and had a casual, jam session atmosphere, with couches and chairs at the perimeters of the room full of eager audience members from the campus and surrounding community. With a large interior ideal for acoustics, the Firehouse is a resource for local artists who need a space to practice, or in this case, perform their music. “This venue is awesome and free,” MyKala Neilson said. She added that the Firehouse is one of those “local, hidden gems” that people do not always realize is available for public use.
A simple but effective plywood stage, decorated with traffic signs and loaded with speakers and other music equipment, served as a platform for Infinity Now and the Mykayla Cynthia Band as they played both covers and original material. Both bands brought their merchandise, such as t-shirts and CDs, for audience members to purchase after the show.

Infinity Now kicked off the concert, playing their unique renditions of covers “What I Like About You” by the Romantics and “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers. “We like kicking off our set with some really high-energy songs,” guitarist and vocalist Colin Singer said. “It draws the audience in and gets them involved right away.”
They played music from their album “Love Young,” including “As Good As It Gets,” a rock ballad that had the flame and flavor of many hits on the radio today. The performance also featured “Break My Heart” from their CD, and Farnam asked the audience to sing along when they played the cover “Gives You Hell” by the All-American Rejects. Most of the audience sang along with the band, and several audience members got up to dance when Infinity Now played their final song of the night, “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon.

“I love when audience members sing along, or when they dance along to the beat,” Farnam said. “It shows that they’re into our music and our sound, and it’s really rewarding to see.”
The Mykala Cynthia Band played at 8:30 with a mixture of folk, pop, jazz and rock music. Like Infinity Now, they performed a combination of covers and original music: the latter including “Sunny Outside,” which Neilson wrote about a crush when she was 13 years old, and a song written by Ally Roskos, a violin- and ukulele-playing member of the band. “Ally came to me with words and said, ‘I know you’re a songwriter and I think this should be a song.’ I found a chorus and went from there,” Neilson explained to the audience. Another song, entitled “Fifteen,” spoke to the struggles of high school and what it can feel like when someone is fifteen years old.

Neilson and Roskos, in addition to Tyler Roebuck, Kevin Friermood and Tony Zinish, finished up the night with several Mumford & Sons–style songs, complete with a euphonium featured in the instrumental ensemble, played by Friermood. The last song of the night captured the mood of everyone in the Firehouse: it was called “Happiness.”

“People have no idea how much it affects a local musician when they have support from their community,” Neilson said after the show. Her advice? “Support local music!”