Up-and-coming bands play afterHOURS

Up-and-coming bands play afterHOURS

By Stephanie Shore

Up-and-coming bands took over afterHOURS to test the roads ahead of them in their musical careers last Thursday and Friday.

When Kristina Grossman of CUP organized the two-night afterHOURS event billed as “This is a Rock ‘n’ Roll Takeover,” her goal was to have a line out the door. Last week, her goal was successfully fulfilled when hundreds of students attended the event.

“For these two shows, I wanted to promote bands that need the push,” Grossman said. “All of the bands are known around Boston, so this show just helped to get them exposure to college shows, because college kids are the kids you want behind you.”

Grossman, a middler music industry major, brought together six bands for two shows. Lights Resolve, Jared Scharff and the Royals and Clarity performed last Thursday, with an attendance of 120. Humankind, Honest Thomas, and Lansdowne attracted over 300 people on Friday.

Lights Resolve, from New York, began the show with songs comprising of upbeat, guitar-driven intros and anthemic choruses, as described by the band themselves in an interview.

Performing on the afterHOURS stage was a good platform to improve their music, they said,

“We are going into our record coming from a live point of view,” said Lights Resolve’s lead singer, Matt Reich. “We are playing the songs ahead of time, and just bouncing them off an audience before we make any big moves.”

This type of feedback allows bands to adapt to demands and do a trial run of their material. With the response received at afterHOURS, Lights Resolve will be able to adjust for the future, Reich said.

“The band had a really distinctive sound,” said Travis Weisberger, a sophomore computer and electrical engineering major.

Thursday’s Boston-based headliners, Clarity, took the stage and kept the energy going from start to finish, which Matt Wolpe, lead vocalist, deemed a hard task.

“Everybody seemed a little sick,” Wolpe said. “I wished we were sponsored by Tazo Tea or something, so we could have handed out free tea to everyone.”

Nonetheless, Clarity’s blend of bright vocals and catchy hooks not only kept their audience awake, but got them singing along to songs such as “Lost in Boston” and “Crazy Amazing.” Their style ranged from acoustic rock to pop punk.

“They were very involved and passionate,” said Maria Montague, a sophomore elementary education major. “It made it that much more fun.”

Friday night, the audience doubled in size and energy. To match, the New England bands featured had a generally heavier sound and more rowdy performances.

Lansdowne headlined the show, and many students claimed to have stayed all night for their set.

“They are a good fit anywhere,” said Chris Arguoyan, a sophomore biology major. “They bring a lot of energy.”

Lansdowne combined soulful vocals with driving guitars, ending with a rock performance that had band members jumping and kicking around the stage, the entire crowd dancing and female audience members screaming.

Humankind, a metal-punk-grunge hybrid, immediately demanded and maintained audience participation.

“If you come closer, we look bigger,” said the lead vocalist, Al Millar.

Honest Thomas generated an intense experience for those watching their performance, with thrashing guitars and grooving bass lines. Using a mix of grindcore, dub beats and psychedelic rock, the band blended genres to create songs that came across as sincere and unique.

“We are about breaking down the walls that are in music today, because it is not in a good place,” said Bob Preston, the lead vocalist. “It is all divided. We just want to blast down the walls.”

The band was joined briefly on stage by their “most loyal fan,” a man in a white bunny suit and white mask who goes only by “Tabby the Mad Rabby.”

“He comes to every show,” said Peter Katz, manager of Honest Thomas. “Nobody knows who he is.”

Grossman, having achieved her objective of filling afterHOURS to capacity, said the show went perfectly. She hopes events such as this one will bring more students into the club.

“I want to have a lot of good bands come this year, and I want people to look forward to coming,” she said. “I think it is a great place that no one really takes advantage of.”

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