Pulling the plug on bands

Pulling the plug on bands

By Alex Pauline and C. Mae Waugh

In MTV fashion, the bands Steel Train and Augustana performed at afterHOURS Monday night.

“NEU Unplugged” was modeled after “MTV’s Unplugged,” and sponsored by the Council for University Programs (CUP) as part of Springfest week.

The acoustic event also showcased the music of middler music industry major Daren Specter who was the opening act of the evening. Specter drew his own fan base.

“I came to see Daren and I thought he was amazing,” said Anna Klusmeyer, a freshman psychology major.

Specter, who has been playing guitar since fifth grade, brought the crowd back to the past with a cover from “The Little Mermaid” and charmed them with a love song about a bed mate with bad breath.

The student who usually plays for his friends admitted everyone likes a little attention now and then.

“I don’t have a message to convey,” he said. “I just like to write catchy songs that leave a lasting impression.”

The next band to take the stage was Steel Train. The quintet, who range in age from 21 to 29 and started as a punk band playing in New Jersey, rocked the stage.

“They have their own unique, personal sound that separates them from a lot of mainstream bands right now,” said Alex Collier, a senior music industry major.

The members of Steel Train, self-proclaimed “goofballs,” are not known for playing acoustic. However, they had no problem riling the crowd.

“It is cool to be a part of a college festival, and stuff like this on college campuses,” bass player and vocalist Evan Winker said.

Performing songs that ranged from a mellow emo influence to songs like “Firecracker,” which possessed an upbeat rock feel, Steel Train sounded like a hybrid between Death Cab for Cutie and The Doors.

The mellow quartet Augustana, which also is known more for its electric abilities, served as a strong finale to the night by bringing the crowd into a more relaxed realm of music, evoking hints of Coldplay.

Augustana, whose members met at college in Illinois two years ago, spent the last week touring colleges in and around the city, and said the show was “a great experience playing in front of people our own age.”

Boston also happens to be the namesake of the band’s new hit song that had the crowd singing along Monday.

“I’m a fan, but I didn’t know it was going to be unplugged so I thought it would be more upbeat, but I can’t deny a free show with free coffee,” said Kim Burdett, a sophomore journalism major.

Although the band would like to take a break from touring right now, Rosen said he hopes the band will continue in the future.

“It’s a matter of getting into the mode and doing it,” he said.

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