Riley: Coleman Hell connects with audience at Schine Underground concert

Liam Sheehan | Assistant Photo Editor

Coleman Hell's show was opened by two bands: Pizza Party, a local Syracuse band, and Prelow, a band from New York City.

Coleman Hell, a mixture between a cowboy, pirate and hipster, blends style and music with his original mix of funky-fresh synth beats layered with his mind-bending, glass shattering high notes. The Canada native took the Schine Underground stage Wednesday for University Union’s Bandersnatch concert series.

“I try to make electronic music that feels like ‘real’ music,” Hell said before his set.

Opening with a bang, Hell sang his way through the night as the audience thrashed and clapped along. Playing newer hits like “Flowerchild,” “Sitcom” and “Supernatural,” Hell revealed his ability to both entertain the crowd and dance like nobody was watching. The sounds, while relying heavily on synth, were incredibly upbeat and fun.

Openers for the show included local band Pizza Party, who seemed like a fan favorite. Audience members kept yelling pizza-related words including pepperoni, sausage and cheese. They closed their set with a cover of The Killer’s “Mr. Brightside,” which had the whole crowd screaming along.

Prelow, a New York City band, calmed things down with sleepy singing and even more synth beats. Sounding like a mix between The Neighbourhood and Jack Garratt, they were the perfect accompaniment to Hell’s wild sound.

Hell closed the show with his big hit, “2-Heads.”

“Recently, I’ve kind of re-embraced where I grew up and that’s why my single is like a banjo dance song,” Hell said. “I’m kind of just experimenting with the kind of sounds I heard growing up.”

Hell’s new album drops this summer, and he encouraged all Syracuse University students to pick up a copy. Or, as Hell put it, “Illegally download it. That’d be cool.”

Hell said he wanted to create an experience for the audience.

“I think just connecting in place that I’ve never been before with a group of people I’ve never met,” Hell said.

As the Syracuse University students sang to his lyrics and danced the night away, Hell’s goals seemed to be met.

Emera Riley is a sophomore magazine journalism major. Her column appears weekly in Pulp. You can email her at or follow her on Twitter @emerariley.


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