Rock in the NOC

Soren Frantz / Photo Editor

While music has been known to be one of the multi-lingual love languages, it is also known as one of the top means of coping with the end of love. Whichever feeling one may be experiencing, the Night Owl Cafe at Keene State College held an event to appeal to every taste. 

On Friday, February 28, the Rock At the NOC “Anti-Valentine’s Day” concert was held by Keene State Radio Station 91.3 WKNH. The event began at 7:00 p.m. and featured the groups Sophisticated Adult, a hardcore band from Penacook, New Hampshire, and Sonic Libido, a ska band from Portland, Maine. 

The first performing act, Sonic Libido, grooved the night away with songs reminiscent of ska legends such as Less Than Jake and Sublime, and had attendees dancing along with them. The five-piece ska group and their punk-influenced vocals and drums brought a certain liveliness to the dance floor that was hard to match.

Though the two genres played at the concert may have been different in sound, they could both appeal to fans of either genre. Sophisticated Adult rocked the stage with their melodic yet slamming riffs and drum fills that got the crowd moving and moshing. The hardcore four-piece always encourages crowd participation in their shows and proved it throughout their set.

Guitarist of Sophisticated Adult Zaq Hollen said he enjoys playing music with his band and being able to watch fans swing, shove and climb over each other and enjoy the music in the moment. 

“This is definitely a good theme for kids to come and swing. It proves you don’t need anybody on this planet at all to come and swing at a hardcore show,” said Hollen.

Students and faculty alike attended the event and nobody was sitting down. Crowd participation was as lively as it could get as students danced and sang along with both bands.

Attendee of the Rock at the NOC and computer science major Cahill Benik said he was surprised about how much he enjoyed the punk and ska fusion that Sonic Libido brought to the dance floor.      

“I didn’t know much about ska before tonight, but I was really surprised at how much I liked it,” said Benik.

Keene State junior and WKNH event coordinator Matthew Perkins said that a lot goes into planning the Rock at the NOC events, and the selected artists are from genres that work well together but still provide some variety to the show.

“We were originally thinking of a punk band, but we couldn’t get them to play, unfortunately, so we went for a hardcore band. I figured that a ska band would work well with that because it’s a slightly different vibe,” said Perkins.

Rock at the NOC takes place on the last Friday of each month each semester and also at the end of each spring semester. For those who missed this one, keep an eye on the 91.3 WKNH Facebook page for event dates, times and updates.

Alex Dube can be reached at

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