If you happened to make other plans last Thursday night instead of coming out to the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, you missed out on an inspiring performance. Jammed with energy, soul and the unbelievable talent we have not heard since the 1990s, Blessid Union of Souls proudly took the stage, reminding us of the good ‘ol days when we blasted their number one hit, “I Believe,” on our stereos.Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Blessid Union of Souls quickly became a radio favorite in the mid-90s with their chart-topping number one singles such as “Let Me Be The One,” “I Wanna Be There” and “I Believe,” that certified their debut album gold in 1995.
On Thursday night, it was their most recent single, released in 1999, “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me),” that took the crowd to their feet. The band clearly enjoyed the audience’s energy and was pleased to perform here at West Chester University. Lead vocalist, Eliot Sloan noted, “It’s actually pretty cool because we played off and on in this area for the past ten years and we always get a new response.”
Sloan, who grew up listening to Elton John, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder, stated that although they may have been out of the spotlight for the past several years, they were certainly not away from music. “We’re always writing and recording and working with different artists. We didn’t take any time off; we stayed on the road and stayed busy.”
The band gave WCU a glimpse of what they have been working on recently, including the soon-to-be recorded single, “Standing So Tall,” a song dedicated to our U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq.
Sloan’s powerful vocals and evident passion for music was seen throughout the entire performance, where he bounced back and forth between center stage and behind the keyboard. The band performed every hit single and even covered “Long December” by the Counting Crows.
In their encore, they finally performed the anticipated song of the night, “I Believe,” which encourages a positive message that “love is the answer.” In light of the recent tragedies at Virginia Tech. and other local universities, the band stressed how critical this message is now. “There is an answer, if we choose to listen to it,” Sloan stated.
The band expressed their thanks and gratitude toward their WCU fans and stayed after the show to sign autographs. Their humbleness was evident. “When you write from the heart, you write who you are,” they noted, and West Chester University certainly witnessed nothing less.
Courtney Conigliaro is a second-year student at West Chester University majoring in Communications. She can be reached at CC638393@wcupa.edu.