Aided by local talent and the day of the viral Area 51 “raid,” Garage Bandz, presented by the Memorial Union Student Organization (MUSO), took over the Entertainment Center in the Memorial Union Building on Friday, September 20.
To mark the occasion, students came dressed in space-inspired makeup and outfits to hear the bands debt., Notches, and Daylo perform. Meanwhile, MUSO transformed the room to match the epitome of a “Garage Band Concert.”
Many audience members had seen these bands perform previously. Sophomore environmental conservation and sustainability major Madison Tobin said that she has seen debt. and Daylo perform a few times, and attended Battle of the Bands held by MUSO last semester.
As the stage lit with a multitude of colored lights and music blared from an elaborate sound system it was hard to remember that the show was happening on a college campus. MUSO Director Will Muller, a sophomore political science major, complimented the student organization on bringing in well-known local bands, adding that there will be another event in November that students can look forward to.
The first band to take the stage, debt., is comprised of Johnny Gifford on vocals and guitar, Connor Murphy on bass, Dan McCarthy on guitar and Iain Brouwer on drums. They opened with the song, “Candle Shaving Bastard”, one of the band’s favorite pieces. Debt.’s set showcased their diversity as musicians with their smooth vocals and subtle guitar and drumming which instantly switched to a louder and faster pace tempo that flooded the room.
“We just finished our first tour,” Gifford said. Debt. toured in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City and Connecticut.
Although it was a tough act to follow, the three-man band Notches lived up to the expectations set by debt. The bassist said that his hand was causing him a lot of pain that night, however it would have gone unnoticed by the audience based on his impeccable performance. As their high energy set came to a close, they called up Daylo to the stage.
Daylo is made up of UNH students Chase Retrosi, Nick Paul, William Snow Downing, Christopher Salemme and Sophia Kurzius. Before they performed, junior journalism major Evan Ringle said that he had seen the band play at the Press Room in Portsmouth a few weeks ago, and saw them perform last semester as well. Ringle spoke highly about the band.
“They have a really, really great sound, and it’s always a really great atmosphere,” he said.
It was hard to believe the band spent a summer apart as their connection to one another radiated off the stage. Daylo is filled with many different aspects and elements that make them unique. The lead singer and guitarist both wore elf ears, the bassist played a six-string bass, and the keyboardist wore a tin foil wrapped helmet and glasses. These tiny elements of the bands style had audience members intrigued from the moment they stepped on stage until the last chord of their set.
“Garage band” is a perfect way to categorize Daylo, as they are a combination of many different genres. The keyboard adds a layer of electronic music, while the guitars and drums have a rock sound. To create even more complexity to their sound, Kurzius has extraordinarily impressive range and control of her voice. In multiple songs, she held out high notes and runs for multiple counts at a time. The crowd was dancing and singing along to their songs, and after the second to last song, audience members pulled out lighters to hold up and sway with the music. It was as though it was a scene from the film, “Almost Famous”.
Audience members were thrilled with the night’s performances. Getting to listen to great music in a great atmosphere that happens to be right on campus was an amazing opportunity for students at UNH. As the lights went out, speakers turned off and equipment came off stage, the first Garage Bandz of the year came to an end. With the impressive turnout, there will definitely be another one in the near future.
Disclaimer: Sophia Kurzius is a staff writer for The New Hampshire.