November 28, 2020

For the Foxes falls flat at Rathskeller

For the Foxes delivered its pop-rock sound to the Rathskeller on Friday, Sept. 25 to an apathetic audience.  (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)
For the Foxes delivered its pop-rock sound to the Rathskeller on Friday, Sept. 25 to an apathetic audience. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)

By Ben Sherer

The Rathskeller was disappointed last Friday night by the indie-rock five-some For The Foxes. This Barnegat, N.J.-based group came to the College to showcase their electronica-influenced, pop-rock sound.

The band’s set began inauspiciously enough with lead singer Nick Dungo calling for numerous technical adjustments that delayed the first note by at least 20 minutes. During this adjustment period Dungo chose to imitate a very brief series of what might be called bird and cat noises as the other members of the band warmed up.

After some time, the band began to play. The two guitarists Tim Wright and Jimmy Brindley looked disinterested, while bassist Mike Favara resigned himself to a corner of the stage where he remained for the rest of the evening. Drummer Danny Vassallo overpowered the rest of the group from the start, incessantly pounding the bass drum.

Along with their own individual problems, For The Foxes sounded like a mix between Cobra Starship and Danger Radio but with a little less flare and a lot less talent. Every song sounded like a ringtone, and all were equally indistinguishable. Though Dungo made  several semi-earnest repeated attempts to get the audience involved, the band was left playing to a crowd that was much more interested in their chicken tenders and Mountain Dew.

The band’s sound seemed like it would be more conducive to a commercial than a live show. Dungo’s voice was all but drowned out while Vassallo hammered away. The other members created a sort of static ambience which was reminiscent of the “white snow” that sometimes appears on malfunctioning television sets. This fixed noise was only broken up by the occasional string of notes on the keyboard synth or by some nifty guitar soloing. Though the individual members of the band may have been talented, as a group their sound was ineffective to say the least.

As the show came to a close, Dungo managed to get the crowd slightly more involved, but only in one or two isolated events for half of a song.

“I can’t really say I enjoyed it all that much. I do like some of the recordings I have heard of them but they just don’t really sound that good live,” said freshman psychology major Hanna Berman.

Opening for the band was Rare Candy. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Huston (also Signal Nation and World Editor), his younger brother Andrew Huston on drums, and Ben Cole on bass.

While the band got the audience going with a brief set, the energy would not last throughout the night.

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