Surprises abound at Parachute concert


Allison Stubblebine

Parachute captivates the audience at Irving Plaza.

Parachute’s Sept. 12 concert at Irving Plaza was packed with anecdotes from lead vocalist Will Anderson and surprises, including an appearance from members of O.A.R.

Even before Parachute, an alternative pop rock band from Charlottesville, Virginia, came on, the packed room was given an impressive show from solo acoustic act Jeff LeBlanc, who opened with a mix of pop, rock and folk. LeBlanc’s raspy falsetto fit his sound well, captivating the crowd in a way that opening acts rarely ever do.

LeBlanc’s set was filled with personal stories, including one detailing his mother’s ecstatic reaction to a song of his that made it to the small screen. The choice of songs for the evening proved to show off his wide range of talents. During “What Do You Got To Lose,” LeBlanc showed off his beatboxing abilities, and he later played an impressive rendition of “Mirror” by Justin Timberlake.

Following LeBlanc, Parachute played a total of 16 songs, from older favorites, such as “She Is Love” and “Kiss Me Slowly,” to their newest hit single, “Can’t Help.”

Anderson also shared stories between songs, including a long-winded anecdote about living in the Upper East Side of Manhattan for the summer. Anderson added that he even invited a worker from his favorite frozen yogurt place to the show.

The band has surely come far from their “Losing Sleep” days. Anderson’s voice has noticeably gained a bit of an edge, which was especially obvious during “American Secrets.”

Multitalented band member Kit French often took breaks from his spot at the keyboard for saxophone solos. New members of the touring band were featured on multiple songs as well, including a new song titled “The Other Side.”

During their 13th number of the night, “Something to Believe In,” members of O.A.R., the first band that Parachute ever toured with, came to the stage to play along.

The guitarist and saxophonist of O.A.R. both took turns playing solos, blending in with Parachute as if they always had been members of the band. The band returned to play again for the last song of the night, “She Is Love.”

The crowd’s enthusiasm brought back Parachute for an encore less than 30 seconds after they had left the stage.

The stage was flooded in plum and orange lighting, mimicking a sunset and setting the perfect mood to end the night. Each and every moment seemed flawlessly planned out, and the concert offered an amazing experience to everyone in the crowd.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 17 print edition. Email Allison Stubblebine at [email protected].