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CUB’s Student Band Night celebrates variety at Rat

We Set Fires played second at the Student Band night on Oct. 23. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)
We Set Fires played second at the Student Band night on Oct. 23. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)

The Rathskeller was host to a diversity of musical genres during the College Union Board (CUB) sponsored Student Band Night. The Brian St. John Quartet, We Set Fires and Attic took the stage Friday Oct. 23 to showcase its talents.

Much anticipation surrounded Attic’s performance. Introduced by CUB co-chair Estephanie Betances as “everybody’s favorite,” the band has performed in numerous past Student Band Nights, and, most notably, opened for last spring’s Ludacris/Lupe Fiasco concert. Consisting of all 2009 alumni, lead vocalist Mina Greiss, vocalist and keyboardist Pierre Miller, Jeremy Bernardo on violin, drummer Dan McFadden and bassist Kyle Macker, the band took instant command of the stage. Its set began with an original piece, “Miss Untouchable.”

Opening the show was The Brian St. John Quartet. The band consists of vocalist Brian St. John of Clemson University, Brian Cornish of William Paterson University on saxophone, senior business major Jon Irizarry on drums, and bassist Randy Sabo, senior psychology major. Highlighting the performance was a spirited cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” featuring a substantial electric guitar riff that dominated the end of the number, as well as a number of enjoyable original songs.

The band exhibited all aspects of their multi-layered style by opening with a sound more in touch with the rock aspect of its three-part genre — rock, jazz and blues — and gradually incorporated elements of jazz and blues with the addition of a saxophone after three songs.

“Their sound was very mature,” said freshman biology major Amanda Costanzo.

Picking up where the Quartet left off was indie/punk band We Set Fires. The band consists of Rowan University’s lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Bratek, bassist Frank Ferro and Dave Leonhardt on guitar and keyboard, and the College’s senior digital arts major Kevin Keane on guitar and drums and senior computer engineering major Brian Schulte on guitar.

It began with a riotous cover of the Pixies song “Where Is My Mind?” on which raucous guitars and drums occasionally threatened to drown out the lead singer. The band’s sound improved on original songs such as “Beers,” where they displayed more cohesiveness on shorter, catchier pieces.

Though the band cites Bright Eyes, Kevin Devine and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists as its influences, these inspirations were nearly undetectable during the band’s heavy power-punk set.


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