More than 100 people tuned in to a livestream to watch Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer FINNEAS perform for this year’s Fallapalooza. Wearing a floral button-up, the artist sat in a room with a rack of guitars and a phonograph. The window behind him, though mostly covered by curtains, created a glow around his face like a rectangular halo.

During the Student Entertainment Events-hosted event, FINNEAS sang with an acoustic guitar and keyboard, the minimal setup making his angelic voice radiate, even through the Zoom streaming through Vimeo. Virtual shows might not be as bad as people think, he said. In an in-person show, he said, there’s always the possibility of an obstructed view or noisy conversations around you.

But, although the virtual performance was entertaining overall, there were moments where the downside to technology was apparent. Finding the livestream was actually remarkably easy — SEE tweeted a tutorial on how to access it, but for the first part of the show, FINNEAS’ video was low-definition. Despite the sound being relatively crisp, there were still multiple video skips and freezes during songs.

About halfway through, the singer’s internet connection improved and with that, a new, higher-definition FINNEAS emerged. The chat exploded with excitement. 

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He performed effortlessly, his wide vocal range complementing every one of his songs, switching between instruments and singing about an array of topics — from having hope for the future to the love he has for his girlfriend. 

“This next song is one of the oldest songs of mine but a song that resonates still for me,” he said about “Break My Heart Again,” one of the first songs he performed. “And I think as a songwriter, that’s what I’m always attempting to do, is to write a song that will continue to mean something to me five years later.”

Many moments like this — little introspective thoughts relating to the song or current times — occurred between songs. FINNEAS also took time to explain how he wrote one song, “Claudia,” for his girlfriend of two years after going on one date with her. 

His passion shined through while performing one of his newer songs, “What They’ll Say About Us.” He held long notes in falsetto smoothly, and honestly, I feel honored to have experienced that. The song speaks of a brighter future.

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Even in a virtual space, FINNEAS put on a memorable performance filled with raw emotion and music that makes you lose yourself.

My favorite performance of the night was “Angel.” I wasn’t sure if he was going to perform it because it was an older single separate from his EP Blood Harmony, but as soon as he started to play the opening chords, I was excited and ready to sway along. The piano is so delicate and warm under FINNEAS’ voice, hearing it live made me tear up.

While it is a love song, the feeling it brings up reminds me of every good thing that’s happened in my life, which is a beautiful thing for a song to achieve.

Though virtual concerts obviously aren’t ideal, this year’s Fallapalooza did a great job of bringing students together to enjoy an incredible show.