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‘War’ transforms Rat battleground of sound

Tim Arnold of Good Old War plays the accordian during the band’s performance at the Rat. (Photo Courtesy of Kate Stronczer)

By Rj Gladysiewicz

In an intimate acoustic affair, the Philadelphia-based trio, Good Old War, performed for a jam-packed Rathskeller on Friday, October 22.

Members Keith Goodwin, Dan Schwartz and Tim Arnold captivated the audience with their three-part harmonies and good-natured humor. They encouraged everyone to sing along with them, even if they didn’t know the words.

Rather than performing as a full band as originally planned, Good Old War decided that the small venue deserved a more personal acoustic performance. They opted to just use vocals, one acoustic guitar, an accordion and a tambourine.

Audience members stood shoulder-to- shoulder near the front of the stage, clapping, singing and laughing along with the band.

Good Old War performed a wide variety of songs spanning both its albums, including “My Own Sinking Ship,” “Coney Island” and “I Should Go.” For “That’s What’s Wrong,” in an uncanny feat, according to Goodwin, drummer Tim Arnold “played lead guitar with his mouth.”

Opting to step off stage into the mass of students gathered around, the band played its last song, “We’ve Come a Long Way,” unplugged and with only the support of the crowd to carry the tune.

“Good Old War was the most anticipated campus event of the year for me,” said Steven Goldblatt, senior English major. “I was impressed with the turnout and the number of students who really knew the music. It made the show that much more enjoyable … it was a good night.”

Openers included the acoustic duo of John and Cate Minus 8 and the Long Island based rock band, the Robbers.

College Union Board member Allie Sotolongo said, “The bands connected so well with the crowd, especially Good Old War … it was impossible not to have a great time.”

When asked about playing a small venue, the band unanimously said that “it’s awesome.”

“We can play an acoustic show tonight because it’s appropriate … it’s all about the crowd … you can have a crowd of 10 people that are super into it and you can have a crowd of 1,000 people that no one gives a shit,” Schwartz said.

Good Old War released their second album in June and plan to record new material in February. In the interview they also said in January will be working on music with Circa Survive vocalist, Anthony Green.


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