By Kimberly Ilkowski
CUBRat’s first student band night of the semester showcased a diverse mixture of musical genres and young talent, as three local bands performed to a packed house of supporters at the Rathskeller on Friday, Sept. 19.
Valgaian Trio, a progressive metal band hailing from Vernon, N.J., first took the stage.
The band is composed of senior Lucas Gisonti on bass, Montclair University student Vincent Assante on guitar and Ramapo College student Anthony Assante on drums.
The all-instrumental set featured harder rock sounds, dramatic solos and a flair for experimentation.
The entire set was a performance of their expansive piece, “The Journey.”
Brothers Vincent and Anthony have always played music together. After meeting Gisonti in high school, they have been writing and performing music ever since.
Next up was Something Soon, a student band from the College that delivered old-school rock and roll sounds in a setlist of all original tracks.
The quartet is made up of class of ’13 alumnus Bernard Miller on vocals, Daniel Fitzgerald on saxophone and keyboard, junior Connor Mullin on bass and class of ’13 alumnus major Kevin Alexander on drums.
Something Soon put on a show as fun as it was quirky. The song “Big Kahuna Burger,” which is a reference to cult-classic “Pulp Fiction,” was dedicated to its director, Quentin Tarantino. The track featured heavy instrumentals that morphed into an epic rock rendition of the Imperial March from “Star Wars.”
The band’s idiosyncrasies were evoked again during its song “Steve Buscemi’s Eyes” in which the chorus provides that every member chant the award-winning actor’s name in unison.
The band plans to hold a mini-festival in October for Blindness Awareness Month in honor of Mullin, who is legally blind himself.
Old Briar Road, a folk group, wound down the evening. It was the band’s first appearance at the Rat since winning second place in CUBRat and WTSR’s spring Battle of the Bands competition, scoring airtime at the station as a result.
The band’s lineup has seen changes since then, with senior Kyle McCabe on guitar and vocals, freshman Emily Paddon also on vocals, senior Michael Cort on banjo, Rutgers University student Daniel Crowley on guitar and class of ’14 alumnus Matthew Mance on drums.
The band played original tracks like “Sails and Vines” and “Creek Fables” off its record of the same name.
The sweet yet melancholic song “Harvest” featured stellar harmonies between McCabe and Paddon.
The band also debuted several new songs they had been working on throughout the summer, including “So Long” and “Be Scared.”
Paddon, the bands newest addition, enjoyed performing with them for the first time at the Rat.
“Their music is great,” Paddon said. “I’m so happy they chose me to be a part of the band.”
Catch even more student talent on Friday, Sept. 29, for the semester’s first student soloist night.