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listen, hear

ANNA STATHAM • LISTEN, HEAR EDITOR

nothing for design

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owboy Monkey quickly fi lled capacity on Saturday, April 29. Despite the rainy weather, people poured in as the music poured out onto the streets of downtown Champaign from the stage at the back of the bar. The bill of the evening consisted of openers Gentleman’s Auction Club and Wandering Sons, two bands worthy of their own respective articles in dedication. However, much of the excitement fi lling the bar centered around the headlining act of the evening, a local band on the exponential rise — elsinore. The show marked the Champaign release of elsinore’s fi rst full-length album, Nothing For Design, and the unveiling of the band’s new T-shirts. Design is a seven-month collaborative effort on the part of the folk-rock quartet. The excitement in Cowboy Monkey escalated late Saturday night in anticipation of the headlining act. As soon as Ryan Groff (lead vocals/acoustic guitar), Dave Pride (congas/percussion/vocals), Mark Woolwine (piano/vocals), and Chris Eitel (bass/vocals) took the stage to do a quick sound check before their scheduled 12:00 a.m. performance, the crowd became increasingly antsy,

PHOTO BY AUSTIN HAPPEL

PHOTO BY ROSS FLOYD

releasing its anticipation with outbursts of clapping and shouting after a random strum of Groff ’s acoustic guitar or a random beat of Pride’s congas. At around 12:15 a.m., the crowd quieted down as the four-piece band played the fi rst notes of their opening instrumental riff, giving way to a brief bass solo from Eitel. Groff stepped up to the mic, paused for a second, dug his foot into the ground, and promptly howled the f irst line of the f irst song off Design, “Mind, Space, and Time,” from center stage. I think it would be a discredit to elsinore and their powerfully hypnotizing, crowd-pleasing stage presence (and new- Dave Pride, Chris Eitel, Mark Wooline and Ryan Groff at Pogo studios, Feb. 27. found reputation as the 2006 Local Music Award winners of write-in category Best Live Act) to say the crowd Standing as testimony to their loyalty and adamant following went anything short of nuts. of the band, the crowd sang right along with elsinore during “It was amazing and left us with no words — only emotions most of the songs, at one point, during “Sliding Glass Door,” and adrenaline for our set,” Groff said of the crowd. singing the entire chorus call-and-answer style with Groff. Also Combusting into a collective mass of hand-clapping, head- notable was the crowd’s inability to keep from losing control of bopping, hip-swaying happiness, the 130 in attendance were, no their hands to air-drum along with Pride or air-keyboard along doubt, there in front of the stage because there was nowhere else with Woolwine perfectly in sync. This fan participation was in the CU universe they wanted to be at that point in time than particularly impressive considering the album was only released dancing on the floor to the music of their local favorites. But if it that night and already the lyrics and music have been committed can be said that the people on the floor were fi st-pumping happy, to memory by a good chunk of enthusiastic devotees. Saturday’s then it must be noted that the four guys on the stage were even show sold 75 copies of Design and all 40 available T-shirts more elated. Groff ’s bicep-length ringlets could have stood on “[The Champaign release show] was another huge reason to end from static due to the amount of electricity flowing through love and respect the CU music scene and call it home,” Groff his body on stage. Never has an acoustic guitar been played with commented after the show. “For the Monkey to be at capacity so much energy. And smiles. And hugs. before Gentleman Auction House started at 10 p.m., and for a Despite a broken G-string during the second song (go line of 20 to 30 people to be continuously at the door all night, ahead, think of all the jokes you could make if only you were we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout.” writing this article), elsinore fi lled over an hour and a half The men of elisnore came together in October 2004 time slot with music from Design, as well as a couple of new during their time spent in Charleston, Ill. at Eastern Illinois and old songs. Mixing it up a little, a few guest musicians and University, where three of the four members were pursuing friends performed on stage with the band throughout the set degrees in music. — Jenny Keefe on vocals and Adam Walton on bongos. From “Over the course of a few months we realized we all wanted the sentimentalist’s perspective, crowd-favorite “Cannonballs” the same thing ... to play the music Chris and I were writing in was to Cowboy Monkey Saturday evening what Clapton’s front of as many people as possible,” Groff said. “So, we started “Wonderful Tonight” is to most high school proms — not putting the songs together with our unique instrumentation and in the cheesy, over-the-top way, but in a feel-good, bringing they sounded like us, and not really any other band. We felt like everyone together way, that when coupled with the right were on to something good. Simply put, a year and a half later, environment (say, a live elsinore concert) might make you we’re doing what we want to do, playing the music we want to, choke back a small tear. and we couldn’t be happier.”

Mark Wooline performs live with Elsinore during the WPGU/ buzz Local Music Awards at the Highdive April 6.

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Buzz Magazine: May 4, 2006  

May 4, 2006

Buzz Magazine: May 4, 2006  

May 4, 2006

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