Mash Bros. transform Chesapeake into club

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April 4, 2011

11:18 PM

The Super Mash Bros., a trio of college students who make party music for college students, brought their distinctive brand of sonic wizardry to the College of William and Mary Friday night.

The Los Angeles-based group performed in front of a sold out crowd in the Sadler Center’s Chesapeake Ballrooms, transforming the space into a temporary night club complete with flashing strobe lights and music video montages. The cyber-DJs took to the stage equipped with MacBooks and mixing equipment, briefly firing up the crowd before launching into their techno-infused set.

“Super Mash Bros has actually been an idea that’s been thrown around for a year now,” AMP music committee member Nick Velleman ’11 said. “Girl Talk was a hit two years ago, and when this Chesapeake show opportunity came up for us, we wanted to go with another mash-up.”

Nicholas Fenmore, Ethan Dawes and Dick Fink — excluding Fink, who does not tour with the group — combined daring mash-ups with video presentations of YouTube clips and old school cultural references to create a show both energetic and nostalgic. They mixed musical genres of all types, resulting in the fusion of the obscure and the odd. One of their most popular tracks, “I Fucking Bleed Purple And Gold,” opens with Eminem’s “Without Me” laid over the synth line from MGMT’s “Kids.”

Their first two releases, “Fuck Bitches. Get Euros.” and “All About The Scrillions” have earned them some critical acclaim. The Tape, a popular music blog calls Super Mash Bros. a “super fresh respirator swooping in at just the right time.”

Perhaps more importantly, they have developed a grassroots following by touring relentlessly and giving away their music for free, all while maintaining their enrollment as full-time students. What makes Super Mash Bros. so relatable is their understanding of the college student’s desire to blow off steam at the end of a long week. They certainly brought the party Friday night.

Fenmore and Dawes kept the tunes coming at a nearly constant rate, pausing occasionally to rally the wild crowd. During a brief break, fully aware of the audience to whom they were playing, the duo threw handfuls of purple and yellow condoms into the outstretched arms of their eager fans.

From a performance aspect, the show was nearly flawless. Unfortunately some overzealous partygoers let the atmosphere get the best of them, and Fenmore and Dawes repeatedly told the audience to stop pushing forward. At one point the lights were turned on to discourage the rowdy behavior.

The concert — a brief hour and a half in length — was nonetheless a great success, and the extremely positive response to both Girl Talk and Super Mash Bros. is indicative of the growing popularity of mash-up artists. The genre offers a fresh twist on already beloved songs, packaging them into a condensed and danceable blend. Mash-ups are not just a flash in the pan, and Super Mash Bros. are proof of the style’s continuing evolution.

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