Avid Listeners of Boston College (ALBC) and Music Guild brought together musical minds from all corners of campus for a joint showcase on Friday. Seven student acts jammed together in the Vandy Cabaret Room to unify listeners and performers in their shared love of music.
ALBC’s Evan Kielmeyer, MCAS ’20, introduced Alex Moran, MCAS ’19, and Nicole Rodger, MCAS ’19, to kick off the night with an coffeehouse set from the duo. A highlight of the set was a cover of Ray LaMontagne’s “Jolene,” a pleading ballad that played nicely on Moran’s acoustic guitar.
“This is what you all will probably recognize, so sing along,” Moran said to introduce a cover of CeeLo Green’s “Crazy.”
The two musicians ended with a fresh take on Cage the Elephant’s formidable 2009 hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” a rendition that retained all the energy and kick of the original.
Mac Porter, MCAS ’21, followed in the same style, taking the stage accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. The Singer Songwriter finalist opened his set with a mashup of an original song titled “Different Times,” Post Malone’s “Better Now,” and Drake’s “Marvins Room.” The artist went on to perform covers of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love” and Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” before closing with fan-favorite original “Too Young to be Alone,” a track from his recently released album Seven.
Soloist Stavros Piperis, MCAS ’19, also split his set between originals and covers, including a slow, crowd-pleasing cover of Harry Styles’ “Meet Me in the Hallway.” The 2018 Sing It to the Heights winner bookended his set with a debut of his new track “Time and Time Again” and a performance of “The Way,” a song that the tight-knit BC music community quickly recognized.
The duo of Jake Abrams, LSOE ’20, and Lexi Kelly, LSOE ’19, closed out the acoustic portion of the night with a relaxed combination of covers and originals. Abrams shined during a performance of his recently released original “grayscale,” showing the raw emotion of the song on his face while delivering the lyrics that repeat “Stay focused, stay focused / This love won’t go unnoticed.” A sultry cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” energized the growing crowd and provided the perfect segway to the electric latter half of the show.
Last year’s Battle of the Bands winner Shady Lady was the first band to perform. Moran returned to play bass for the currently all-female group, and Rodger took the mic for a second time to sing the band’s indie rock lyrics. Caroline Rooney and Rachel Moon, both MCAS ’19, stunned the audience with their intricate guitar riffs throughout the set. Stevie Walker, MCAS ’21, made her debut as Shady Lady’s drummer and jammed perfectly with the band through its sixth song, “Ride or Die,” to which the full room danced along.
Merchant made its debut at the event, opening its set with a seven-minute jam sesh that mingled refined guitar riffs from Dan Pflueger, MCAS ’20, and jazzy bass from Adin Henderson, MCAS ’21.
“Yes, we have originals even though we formed last night,” guitarist and vocalist Peter Toronto, MCAS ’20, said before the new band was halfway through its set.
Merchant’s last song, “Ghost,” gave the members an opportunity to showcase their individual musical talents—drummer Arthur Brenninkmeijer, CSOM ’22, kept a steady beat going while Toronto, Pflueger, and Henderson gave rousing solos.
Unit One pulled in the crowd with rambunctious originals for the final set of the night. Bassist Nick Sucre, MCAS ’19, and Josh Mentzer, MCAS ’19, grooved through the second song, “Good Dance,” a track the band released on Oct. 5. Moon returned to deliver impressive guitar riffs and vocals for the band’s seven-song set. The large crowd danced and even faux moshed throughout the final set, moved by the perfect combination of listening and playing at the ALBC- and Music Guild-sponsored event.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff