On Saturday, Nov. 2, Canadian funk band Schwey danced from amidst the audience of the Horn Gallery up onto the stage. The band members had danced with the crowd for the entire opening act. They only came up onto the stage when their openers, student performers Hoolian and Mile$, called, “Schwey, you guys can come up any time.”
The band constitutes of bassist Isaiah Dobbs, vocalist Jarah Dobbs, keyboardist Jacob Schwinghammer, drummer Zak Haddad and guitarist Ben Robertson. Clad in sweatpants and T-shirts, the Dobbs brothers remained smiling and on their feet for the entire performance, constantly creating new ways to engage with the audience. They covered bits and pieces of classic crowd-pleasers between songs, such as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” At one point, Jarah Dobbs even walked right out of the Horn with microphone in hand, joking, “I could perform from out here, and it would be just as fun.” The unpredictable banter and performance added to the jazzy nature of the concert.
Their energy seemed endless, and the crowd eagerly did their best to match it. The band’s performance of “Can’t Stop (A Playa)” had the audience jumping and flailing along to the upbeat bassline. Swaying in the corner seemed almost forbidden, as every member of the audience was dancing.
“I would follow Schwey to the ends of Canada. It was positively euphoric,” audience member Jenny Jantzen ’23 said.
Audience members became closely intertwined with the actual performance. During their performance of “Our Rhythm,” Jarah Dobbs passed the microphone to several audience members and asked them to sing along, to which they happily obliged. Dobbs also pointed out particularly enthusiastic audience members throughout the concert, saying, “Shout out to my guy over here” when he noticed one particularly active dancer in the front row.
Several times throughout the concert, the performers would direct the audience to come closer and sit on the floor. This was a shift away from the intensely energetic, dance-inviting previous songs, but it created a much more intimate environment for some of the mellower songs. “It was incredibly intimate; people moving and vibing together to one of the most exciting performances I’ve seen at the Horn,” Rebecca Mucheru ’23 said.
The members of Schwey tried to end the show by thanking the crowd, but the chants for “one more song” were convincing enough for an encore. As Jarah Dobbs shouted during one piece, “Schwey is just a feeling, now when you’re feeling it, say ‘oo’! Say ‘ah’! Say ‘Schwey’!” The feeling of the ‘Schwey’ can be defined by the sounds of funky keyboard solos, smooth basslines and soulful vocals.
Schwey’s dynamic performance wowed audience members and brought an electric energy to the Horn.