State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Monica Consbruck

Lily Allen is BACK!

After announcing some time ago that she was retiring from the music biz to be a wife and mother, Lily Allen is officially back with her latest single, “Hard Out Here. Lily’s past two albums were full of songs with messages, and this one is no different. The song talks about the struggles of being a female, and a female popstar at that, sending the message that, “It’s hard out here for a bitch!” The catchy song includes Auto-Tune here and there, but in a way that makes Lily sound perfectly sweet and loving, just as she always has. The song is an instant hit, and it’s message resonates with the listener, even if it’s in a silly way.

The music video for the song pokes fun at all the racey and sexually provocative women we usually see in rap videos these days. As a result, the video includes tons of twerking, ass shaking, and phallic symbols, although it’s clear that Lily struggles a little pulling each of these off. Allen pokes fun at herself and the world in this wildly entertaining song and video. Have a listen below:

Steve Earle to Return to State College for Solo Performance

See Steve Earle perform in an intimate solo acoustic show at The State Theatre on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 8pm. Steve Earle is an alternative country musician known for his storytelling and songwriting. This upcoming performance will be the fifth time he has performed at the State Theatre. Due to overwhelming audience requests, Steve Earle has performed on the State Theatre stage more than any other nationally touring music act.

He is best known for his song “Copperhead Road”. A performance of this song can be found here. With fifteen Studio albums, Steve Earle returned to the studio in The Spring of 2013 to record his new album, The Low Highway. The new album is being favorably compared to Steve Earle’s Grammy Award-winning album, The Revolution Starts…Now from 2004. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, and Joan Baez have recorded his songs.

Steve Earle is also recognized as an actor from his roles on the HBO Original Series, The Wire and the New Orleans based TV drama, Treme. He is also the host of The Steve Earle Show: Hardcore Troubadour Radio, on Sirius XM Radio.

For media interested in attending Billy Bragg’s performance, please contact Programming Manager, Greg Ray via email: or via phone (cell) (336) 558-7459 to reserve your complimentary event tickets.

Founded October 1938 and reopened December 2006, The State Theatre is a home for local artists and audiences to experience, appreciate and embrace the transformational power of the performing arts. We are committed to presenting a variety of excellent local and national music, theatre, dance, comedy, and film programming.

Local DJs, Standard, Opening for Datsik Tonight!

Tonight 2 lucky DJs will have the chance of a lifetime – opening for the massively popular Canadian DJ and dubstep producer, Datsik, at Levels Nightclub in downtown State College. DJs Dan Karo and Alex Good, or better known together as Standard, will open the show at 9 with their powerhouse deep and UK dubstep. Attendees can expect to be welcomed into the show by chill, relaxed vibes emanating from Standard’s DJ booth, setting the stage for a whole slew of amazing DJs – Funtcase, Anti-Serum & Mayhem, The Frim, and, of course, Datsik himself.


Standard was lucky enough to be sought out by the president of the Electronic Dance Music Club, Nick, who has been working closely with the owner of Levels Nightclub to bring the hottest acts to State College. Being unofficial members of the club, Standard was chosen for their awesome ability to bring down the house and get people pumped and ready for an amazing night.

People can expect an original set from the boys, as they put together a pool of potential songs to play before the show and let the energy take them where they need to go as the show goes on. There’s no pre-made set list, and there’s really not much pre-show preparation that goes into the sets. Standard are the type of DJs that know what their doing at all times and know exactly how to move the groove along and put out an amazing set on the spot. Being the only local opener, there’s extra pressure to really pull out all the stops, so Standard is sure to bring their A game.


Before the show, be sure to check out Standard’s Soundcloud, Facebook, Youtube channel, and clothing line, because you’ll definitely like what you hear and see. Click the links below and make sure you don’t miss Standard and Datsik tonight at Levels!

My Night With Umphrey's McGee

This past Monday, State College was lucky enough to host Umphrey’s McGee again, and we could not be happier and more thankful for it! The entire show, and its attendees, exuded a funky, chill, and magical groove that consumed the intimate venue for hours.

The band started promptly at 9pm, to a roaring tie-dye laden crowd. The movie-theater venue was packed, with fans spilling into the isles and the space in front of the stage, as well as high up in the balconies, dancing the entire time. The music was intoxicating. It took over the crowd like a psychedelically powerful wave of funk and soul and seeped deeply into our pores. The energy was high and it was apparent that the guys were having just as good a time as the crowd, smiling and physically showing their passion from one solo to the next.

The set was incredible, lasting over 3 hours and playing some obvious crowd favorites. At one point, a sort of battle trio happened between guitarists Jake and Brendan and bassist Ryan, that built up more and more until an explosion of creativity splattered all over the crowd.

After the show, I was lucky enough to be invited by Brendan to come backstage and hang out with the band for a little. They cracked open some beers and talked with us about their plans for after the show: a 12 hour ride home to Chicago for bit, then down to Philadelphia, and then off to Milwaukee for a Halloween show, where they say their biggest fan base is. They compared the crazy, loud, and restless Milwaukee crowd to those in Denver, Atlanta, and Colorado, but said this smaller show in State College was really great and awesome, and they were very impressed with the turnout on a Monday night (they must not know Penn Staters too well…). We then chatted about everything from super bowl halftime malfunctions to the glutton bowl, and from the inconvenient one way streets to various musicians and their styles. Jake, one of the guitarists, gave us a peek into his source of musical genius and inspiration:

“Yeah, I have something like 4,000 records at home and it’s kinda like my education in a way. There’s so much to take in and so many people that have been forgotten about that its your job to sort of revitalize it in yourself… and you might pick up this little gem from someone that’s completely forgotten about and bring it into your style, and its just like tricks in a bag, like magical tricks you can pull…”

Somewhere along the line we ended up in a little improvised sing session with Jake, who sat and hung out with us the whole night long. Other members of the band were excited to go and check out the State College bar scene, I think deciding on Zeno’s for the night.

All in all, the show was fantastic and the band was truly a genuinely nice, inviting, and entertaining group of guys. I was sad to have to go, but I think with such a hit show and great turnout there is no reason for them not to return.

Check out the full album of pictures on our Facebook.

Judith Hill to Perform with Jason O from My Hero Zero

Friday, November 1, 2013 | 8p

$26 (Plus $3 ticketing fee/ticket)

Judith Hill is set to take the stage at The State Theatre coming up this fall, November 1, 2013 at 8 p.m! Having spent her life immersed in music, Judith Hill has been long on the path to find her own voice and fame, from writing music at the age of four to her recent and well-known appearance on The Voice. A richly emotive vocal stylist and virtuosic piano player, Hill describes herself by saying, ““I’m an organic soul artist with a passion to bring the world together,” Hill says. “The music, whether it’s funk or a ballad, it’s all about that message. That’s the thing that resonates most for me, that message and the heart behind it.”

Hill grew up in an deeply musical household – her father, Robert “Pee Wee” Hill is a pioneering funk bassist known for his work with such artists as Sly Stone and Bob Dylan, while her mom, Michiko Hill, is an accomplished keyboardist in her own right, with credits including Rufus w/Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, and Billy Preston. Not only the gifted musicians she grew up surrounded by, but also gospel influences including Aretha Franklin and Vanessa Bell Armstrong have inspired Hill. Of course, her experience touring with the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, had a huge impact on the gifted singer/songwriter/musician. In addition to her role as background vocalist, she was chosen to duet with Michael on the classic Bad ballad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” later to become the undisputed highlight of the posthumously released film, This Is It. After his death Hill was pushed by the media to release her own music but held of, experimenting with collaboration and various techniques to find her own unique sound and perfect her artistic persona.

Judith has since performed background music with Stevie Wonder, contributed music for Spike Lee’s film Red Hook Summer, performed on the stage of The Voice and will contribute to film director Morgan Neville’s upcoming film 20 Feet From Stardom, which tells the true story of the backup singer behind some of the greatest musicians of the 21st century. Hill will soon be recording her first solo and gracing the stage of The State Theatre in a few short months! Don’t miss this exciting performance of a uniquely talented young musician right here in Happy Valley!

Opening the show will be a familiar face from the area, Jason O of cover band My Hero Zero. You’ve seen what he can do with his band all over the bars downtown, now see what he’s like as an opener for a pretty big name!

For information on tickets, please contact The State Theatre Box Office at 814-272-0606 or visit us online at For media interested in attending any of these events please contact Marketing Director, Cathy Brown via email: or via phone: 814-272-0606 ext. 305 or (cell) 814-404-8097 to reserve your complimentary event tickets.

Concert Review: Zedd!!

This past Friday, Penn State was lucky enough to be able to host Zedd for the night, an excellent way to wrap up syllabus week. People had been anticipating the event since it was announced last semester; excitement and ravers were all around.

The show was incredible from the moment the doors opened. The Bryce Jordan Center was using their “arena” setup, with the stage in front, large floor space for dancing, seats in the stands, and black curtains encompassing it all, creating a tent-like feel. The openers were great and set the tone for the night, give the crowd great tracks to dance to while they patiently waited for Zedd, who took the stage around 10pm.

Zedd’s set was such a spectacle, that it is almost indescribable. However, after thinking about it long and hard, and looking for just the right words, I might be able to do the trick. The songs themselves were captivating, going into every audience members soul; the bass pulsing through our veins and taking over completely. Zedd opened up with his remix of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” and played some of his own crowd favorites, such as “Clarity” and “Fall Into the Sky.” He also played remixes of other DJ’s songs such as Skrillex’s  “Breakin’ A Sweat,” Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” and Dada Life’s “Kick Out the Epic Mother Fucker,” which you can check out below. All in all, he played an incredible set from the first minute to the last, complete with confetti explosions, smoke machines, insane beat drops, and marvelous energy throughout it all.

The lights were awesome, in the most original sense of the word. They were so bright you could feel your retinas burning, but so entrancing you couldn’t look away. His artistry of just the right variations of colors and strobes mixed with the visual effects on his DJ booth, which included galaxies that made you feel like you were in a different world, made the show incredibly fantastic.

Looking back, it was more than a rave, or an EDM show. It was truly an experience, and a mind-blowing one at that.

For the full album of pictures from the show, check out our Facebook Page.