The hip hop band from Geneva, N.Y., Gym Class Heroes, Saturday, September 29, 2007 8 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Sports Center.
True pioneers of live hip-hop, Gym Class Heroes has won popular and critical acclaim for kicking out genre-busting jams that seamlessly meld rap, rock, R&B, and anything else that happens to strike the musically voracious outfit’s fancy.
Now, with their new Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen release, As Cruel as School Children, Gym Class Heroes stepped up the game on every level.
The roots of Gym Class Heroes reach back to 1997, when frontman Travis McCoy first met drummer Matt McGinley in gym class. The band officially came together in 2001 with the two high school friends eventually teaming up with guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo, and bassist Eric Roberts. Their goal from the start was to create a new palette for hip hop, one that replaced the genre’s trademark programmed beats and samples with the live instrumentation of rock ‘n roll.
In 2001, they released their debut collection, For the Kids. Two years later, they hit the studio once again and after a four day burst of creative energy, emerged with The Papercut Chronicles. The album’s deeply personal lyricism and inventive sonic vision caught the attention of Decaydance founder Pete Wentz, who promptly invited Gym Class Heroes to sign aboard the Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen roster.
The band spent much of the next two years doing what they do best, playing live. They headlined sold out dates, lit up Vans Warped Tour, and toured the world with bands like Fall Out Boy, constantly bringing unique hip-hop vision to new fans. As 2006 began, Gym Class Heroes pulled off the road to produce As Cruel as School Children, marked by its diverse grooves and warm, organic textures. The band took inspiration from dissimilar artists, spanning dark sonic provocateurs Interpol and Radiohead to pop power balladeers like Phil Collins and Hall & Oates. But most crucial to the album’s buoyant sound was the band’s love for the funk-flavored mainstream R&B of the 80’s, including such colorful icons as Prince and Ready for the World.
The concert, being sponsored by the UPJ Student Programming Board, is open to the public. The general public may purchase tickets in advance for $15 at the UPJ Student Union Information Desk, The Music Haven, Scalp Ave., Johnstown, or George’s Song Shop, Market St., Johnstown.
From the early beginnings at Johnstown High School and at the “Asphalt campus” in Moxham, the local community has given generously of its time, talents and resources.
“Celebrating 80” years of tradition in 2007, UPJ’s Homecoming Weekend is a time to rejoice with friends in the community, to show appreciation for the decades of support and goodwill and encourage the community to join the university to redouble efforts and build on the legacy of excellence.
Established in 1927, UPJ has emerged as a flourishing campus of the University of Pittsburgh, a world-class institution. UPJ’s record of excellence is reflected in part by the accomplishments of students, staff and faculty; the record of achievements of over 17,000 alumni; the satisfaction of area employers; and the commendations of many external organizations. Ranked in the top tier of its category, UPJ’s retention and graduation rates exceed the national averages of similar institutions. Proud of its legacy as a preeminent community citizen, the University ranks as a top employer and is a key partner in shaping the region’s economic future.
For additional information on Homecoming Weekend 2007, visit celebrating80.upj.pitt.edu.
During the last week of September, the picturesque Richland campus will be bustling with activity as UPJ celebrates its 80th anniversary and the Inauguration of its fifth president, Dr. Jem Spectar. The largest regional campus of the internationally renowned University of Pittsburgh, UPJ has come into its own as a vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s intellectual, social and cultural environment. Proud of its legacy as a preeminent community citizen, the University ranks as a top local employer and is a key partner in shaping the region’s economic future.