Indie-pop bands AJR, Prinze George and duo Matt and Kim attracted an audience of 2,050 to McDonough Field for the 2019 Dooley’s Ball on Saturday night, according to Student Programming Council (SPC) co-President Abbey Kelly (19B).
Headlining band AJR took to the stage around 10:30 p.m., opening with their songs “Come Hang Out” and “Three Thirty.” The crowd was especially enthusiastic when the band performed its hit songs “Sober Up” and “Weak” in an encore before ending their performance around 11:30 p.m.
The band, composed of three Ivy-educated brothers, encouraged a playful and energetic atmosphere throughout the performance.
The youngest brother, 21-year-old lead singer Jack Met, bounced around the stage wearing a fur hat and a high school track T-shirt. After performing “Netflix Trip,” Jack announced that he wanted to talk to a few audience members. He proceeded to ask a student to throw him his bucket hat, telling his older brother to wear it because “it will look terrible on him.”
AJR’s trumpeter, JJ Kirkpatrick, also engaged the audience, even serenading the crowd at one point.
Rachel Jennings (21C) said she thought the band’s songs, which explore topics like identity, protest and work burnout, were especially relevant to Emory students.
“This was my second time seeing AJR in concert and I think this time was way better,” Jennings said. “Their songs were so in touch with the entire [college student] community and their energy was so amazing.”
Around 40 people arrived in time to watch Prinze George open the concert, an up-and-coming band whose setlist included their 2015 songs “Upswing” and “Windows.”
By the time Matt and Kim took the stage at around 9 p.m., a larger crowd had gathered.
Matt and Kim threw T-shirts, confetti and inflatable sex dolls into the audience while performing upbeat electronic dance hits like 2012’s “It’s Alright” and 2009’s “Daylight.” Kim started drumming with two large dildos near the end of the show.
Emory Emergency Medical Services (EEMS) responded to one incident during the event, according to EEMS Director Rachel Barnhard.
Concertgoer Daniel Huff (18Ox, 20C) said he loved the performance.
“They were raucous and fabulous,” Huff said of Matt and Kim. “They knew their audience but I don’t think Emory would invite them back.”
Nadia Shaban (20N) had similar praise for the band.
“Matt and Kim were many things but boring was not one of them,” Shaban said.
Kelly said the dildos and sex dolls were a surprise to SPC but complimented all of the artists nonetheless.
“We were trying to appeal to a different group of students that had not had their music preferences represented in recent concerts. I thought we did that successfully,” Kelly said. “All the artists were really fun and brought great energy, and I thought that reflected well in the crowd.”
This was the first Dooley’s Ball in recent years that featured pop artists. The most recent headliners were rappers Lil Yachty in 2018, Ty Dolla Sign in 2017, DJ Khaled in 2016 and J. Cole in 2015.
Lil Yachty and Desiigner attracted about 2,600 attendees last year.
Emily Koivu (20C) praised SPC for its choice in artists, agreeing with Kelly that the crowd had a great time throughout the concert.
“The energy was fun, the music was great and everyone was hyped,” Koivu said.