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Parachute brings non-stop energy to The Jefferson

Charlottesville band rocks homecoming show with help from Kris Allen

<p>University grad Will Anderson fronts Parachute. The group performed at The Jefferson this week.</p>

University grad Will Anderson fronts Parachute. The group performed at The Jefferson this week.

Pop-rock band Parachute brought The Jefferson to life April 23, playing a high-energy set featuring old hits and new on their “Getaway Tour.” Frontman Will Anderson and saxophonist Kit French created the group while both were attending the University in 2007. Since then, Parachute has gone on to be one of the most successful bands to emerge from Charlottesville. The group has toured alongside acts like Kelly Clarkson, The Script and Gavin Degraw.

Before Parachute took the stage, American Idol winner Kris Allen warmed the crowd up with his acoustic rock and stellar vocals, opening with the catchy “Faster Shoes.” Despite playing most of the set with only his guitar and piano accompaniment, Allen captivated the audience with his sincere lyrics and charming personality.

Standouts from Allen’s set included a crowd-pleasing cover of Katy Perry’s hit “Chained to the Rhythm” as well as the heartfelt ballad “In Time” — a song Allen described as “the most real song I’ve ever written.” “Live Like We’re Dying,” Allen’s biggest hit, elicited a lively response from the audience, who sang back his lyrics with enthusiasm. Allen concluded his set with the aptly titled “End of Show” — a clever, partially improvised song that highlighted his skills as a performer.

Parachute soon took the stage to thunderous applause, and kicked off the show with “Getaway” from its latest album “Wide Awake.” Anderson proved himself a superior showman throughout their set, as he jumped on and off the piano and belted out song after song with consistent energy. Even during slow songs, Anderson’s sheer charisma shone through and held the audience’s attention.

Barely taking a breath in between songs, Anderson first launched into a series of hits like “She Is Love” and “White Dress.” He then paused to share the backstory to a slower song, “The Mess I Made,” which he wrote in the hopes of winning back a girl who broke up with him after only two weeks of being together. Though Anderson was unsuccessful in his plight, the song is one of the band’s best, and it provided a quiet respite from the more intense songs.

Parachute put on a thoroughly entertaining set from start to finish — performing with the energy and skill of a seasoned rock band. Even someone unfamiliar with the group’s music could appreciate the talent and passion put into Parachute’s show. This energetic homecoming show only helped further prove that Parachute is one of Charlottesville’s best local acts.