Two local bands light up student crowd during concert in the Lantern Room
As the indie groove Jam Bands brought the beats, Keene State College brought their dancing feet.
At first, the crowd was smaller when Midnight Snack, a band from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., opened.
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Yet, as the band continued to play, people started to get up on their feet to start dancing. With a growing crowd throughout the show, they got livelier with dancing, smiles, and laughs as the performance progressed. Zoe Gelinas, singer and xylophone player in Midnight Snack, said, “We just want everyone to have fun, our music is kinda dancey. We like to see people out there dancing, having a good time, and rocking out.”
Once The McLovins took the stage the crowd really grew and started to become engaged in the performance. Various audience members wore tie dye and face paint and some had dreadlocks as they listened to The McLovins as they were performing. The concert was put together by KSC 91.3 FM WKNH. Stephanie Caravedo, junior events coordinator at WKNH, said, ‘The McLovins came last year and had a great turnout. They play really great music that jam band type thing a lot of students are attracted to.” Marc Maroas, a junior at KSC said, “It was pretty sick. I’ve seen them a few times, they killed it. They’re a good band, a little small venue, but good though.”
Dylan Violet, a sophomore at KSC said, “I thought it was pretty sick. I’ve never heard them before. I thought it was pretty groovy. I like them a lot more than I expected coming in. This was a pretty good turnout.”
Emily Potoczak, a sophomore said, “It was awesome, it was like all old stuff. I love Grateful Dead, it was good vibes. The drummer was singing. That’s uncommon except for the Black Keys. He was awesome.”
Sarah Crossman, a sophomore said, “It was awesome, seriously, they killed it. The McLovins are sweet.” Crossman added that the Lantern Room probably helped attract more people to the concert.
“I think its awesome where you can see everything and everyone from outside. I was like, ‘There’s so many people in there, I want to go,’ and I think that helped draw more people in.”
Wyatt Frizzell, who came to KSC to visit a friend, said, “I think they had a very professional sound, which I didn’t expect.”
The bands shared what they did to prepare for the concert, including traveling to the venue for their concert to the experience they have had making music.
Zoe Gelinas a sophomore at Berklee from Midnight Snack, said, “We left Boston at 3:30 after class. We were in Burlington Vt. on Tuesday, which was fun so we got to travel a lot. A week of road trips,” Gelinas said. Gelinas also mentioned her experiences being the only girl band member in Midnight Snack.
Gelinas continued, “It’s a lot of fun, it’s interesting. I try to keep everybody safe. I get called ‘dude’ and ‘bro’ more times in a day then I can count, but it’s cool. There are not a lot of girls at Berklee, I’m kinda the only one.”
Also in the band is Jack Johnson, a sophomore from Berklee who sings and plays keyboard. He said his goal of the concert was to gain more fans and get back to KSC.
Johnson said, “About a year ago this month we became a band. We all lived close together. Zoe joined up with us earlier this year. We jam a lot, make music everyday, but it’s not very structured. Then second semester I had some songs so we started playing those.”
Brian Phillips, also a sophomore at Berklee, said, “I’m actually not really studying an instrument as much as I started. I’m studying production and engineering, so I kind of act as the Midnight Snack producer in some ways.” Phillips also spoke about how his experience at Berklee has helped him establish skills that also help him as a member of Midnight Snack.
“Berklee really helps me to build those skills and create records for us that can stand out. That’s kind of my role in the band too besides trumpet. I’m actually a guitar player and there were actually two guitar players in the band, so I picked up a trumpet. I could go on and on about how I started playing piano at four and how I’m obsessed with music.”
Brad Bahner, a sophomore at Berklee, has been playing drums for 14 years. He shared what it is like to be part of the band. “It’s the most I’ve ever had playing music,” he said. “We all live together now so we’re constantly playing music with each other. It’s fun playing with all the guys, we talk to each other without talking to each other on stage. We kind of feel like we know what everybody else is going to do in respect musically, which is a cool dynamic to have. [It is a] pretty deep relationship, I think, which is pretty neat,” Bahner said.
Zack Kardon a sophomore at Berklee who also studied at the University of Colorado, plays guitar in Midnight Snack. Kardon said a distinct memory of a bonding experience with the band was a trip they went on. Kardon said, “[The] trip [was] minus Mike and Zoe, we wish we could have had them there. We went out to the White Mountains in the winter for like five days. Things got religious. We jammed out.”
Johnson said, “Mike, Brad, and myself went to high school with Jake the drummer and Atticus, we are playing with them in the future.”
Brian Phillips said, “We’re all starting a production company to create records for local Boston bands. We’re trying to get our feet off the ground. We’re producing videos for local bands.” Along with The Midnight Snack, an independent jam band The McLovins also put in a lot of dedication to get to where it is at today.
Jake Huffman, drummer and lead singer for The McLovins said, “Jason and I were the founding members of the band. We started three-and-a-half years ago. We had a different guitar player at the time. We’ve played a lot of festivals, a lot of different venues,” he said. In addition, Huffman said, “When we first started, we posted a Youtube video of Phish’s ‘You Enjoy Myself’ and it became kind of like a viral video. It has like 250,000 hits right now and a bunch of online websites picked us up. That’s kind of like the buzz. We kind of took off from there and started playing shows right away,” Huffman said.
Huffman also said, “I think it would be good to pick up fans around our age so they can kind of grow up with us. [We are going to] try to play at some more colleges like this.”
Huffman continued, “It’s kind of cool being a festival band, being part of that scene. You know, playing for pretty large crowds, a couple thousand people. It’s cool to have been exposed to that and have our foot in the door in that scene,” he said.
“We’re really taking it a step at a time and trying to stay grounded and take it to the next level, ‘cause you know we’re in this for the long haul and we want to make sure the band grows the right way,” Huffman continued.
Atticus Kelly, guitar, keys, and back up/lead vocals talked about the breakdown of effort and who does what in the band.
“We have three albums out. Someone comes in with an idea and it usually comes out with Jake does the writing, the words, and we’re all going in our own directions, someone having the idea either guitar or vocal or a cool drum groove and we all get our own input, which makes it more of a collaborative experience. But when we come together you get a variety of sounds in different songs,” he said.
Marybeth Bjork can be contacted at email@example.com