MKTO disappoints at Welcome Back Concert

Let’s talk about numbers. More specifically, let’s talk about the numbers 25 and 22. During the concert at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater Friday night, the vocal duo that fronts MKTO commanded the crowd to “make some noise” 25 times and said “Williamsburg” 22 times. This fact may describe MKTO’s performance better than anything else I will say in this article. It was clear from the beginning that this was a group well-versed in clichés from pop and rock music, and shameless in its overuse of such crowd pandering techniques.

Just a few of these techniques included opening the show with an indulgent, hair metal-esque guitar solo, a drum solo performed by their singer, a token rapper who had absolutely no flow and, of course, the absurd repetition of the overused “make some noise.”

That being said, I would be able to look past the lack of originality in performance if there was even a hint of originality in their music, but MKTO fell short in that department as well. Their songwriting is wholly one-dimensional, and while most of these songs are meant for the dance floor, the band’s inability to write a catchy melody will likely prevent most of their songs from ever reaching a wide audience. I recognize the idea of a one-hit wonder and can appreciate that most people were there for the sole purpose of listening to “Classic,” but by the end of the show, I wanted to ask people if it was worth sitting through an hour and a half of disinteresting dance music just to hear one song that you probably played on repeat for a week last summer.

MKTO is best known for their pop song “Classic,” which made airwaves in summer 2013. ASHLEY RICHARDSON / THE FLAT HAT

From what I could tell, most students seemed to be enjoying the concert. Many people were dancing, and the crowd certainly made some noise all 25 times that they were asked to do so. I can’t help but think that most people were simply sucked into the concert atmosphere. I know that some of my friends certainly were. When asked what they thought, most of them said, “The music sucked, but I had fun.”

I understand that the whole point of the Welcome Back Concert is to book a fun band that will put on an exciting show to make people forget how hard this semester is going to be. I also understand that AMP is not exactly working with unlimited resources.

However, there are plenty of up-and-coming bands that could put on a great show, and just might contribute to a legitimization of the Williamsburg music scene.

If you giggled at the words “Williamsburg music scene,” you are not alone, but if you think about it, our little colonial town has the potential to be a hub for incredible music. Right now, not too many bands are marking Williamsburg as a stop on their upcoming tour, but if organizations like AMP, the Student Assembly, WCWM and the Front Porch Society can bring in high quality bands at the cusp of success, we might just breathe life into Williamsburg’s music scene.


  1. I’m sorry but I really have to disagree with you. Personally I love every single one of MKTO’s songs as do many other people, 229.1k to be exact. How in the world do they lack originality? I don’t know about you but I don’t know any other duos with a singer AND a rapper. I think it’s awesome that Tony opend up the show with a drum solo. It gets the crowd pumped! Is it a crime that they want to put on a good show?You also have to consider this is the bands first album and their music might not be for everyone, I love them and every single song they’ve written but that’s just my opinion. Before you criticize though you might want to look at their past performances and not make a snap judgement. MKTO always gives an amazing performance with their amazing songs and their next album will be even better!

  2. After reading your “review” of MKTO I have to express MY opinion. My daughter (as do I) loves this band and we have been to 3 of their concerts. I think maybe you should pay more attention to the lyrics of the songs during the concert rather then counting the amount of times they said “Williamsburg” or “Make some noise.” Their song Classic was played on the radio more then just a week. The comment “token rapper who had absolutely no flow” is complete crap; Celine Dion doesn’t think so otherwise he wouldn’t be on one of her songs. To be honest I would rather sit through 24 hours of listening to them perform then spend anther 5 minutes of my life reading another one of your “reviews”….


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