October 25, 2017 The Signal page 19
Arts & Entertainment
Acoustic duo performs jaw dropping set
Left: Collins delivers an intimate performance. Right: Fans find Tigers Jaw’s show surreal.
By Mae Kristy Calacal Correspondent Outside the closed doors of room 100W of the Brower Student Center, a line of students stretching over the steep staircase located by the east entrance waited to be seated. Some gathered in groups of two or more, discussing everything from the show’s headliners, Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw, to their opinion of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” While some opted for the simplicity of a pair of jeans and a sweater, the majority of students preferred styles associated with the alternative and punk rock subcultures — combat boots, leather jackets and T-shirts with band logos like The Wonder Years and Modern Baseball emblazoned across the front. The students had come to watch three acts that are huge hits in the local New Jersey and Pennsylvania music scene: Dylan Walker of Aw Shucks, Sarah M. and Walsh and Collins of Tigers Jaw. While some performers at CUB Alt are not as well known as others, Cub Alt coordinator and junior English
major Morgan Lubner sees their merit. “It’s cool for (the bigger bands) to come around,” Lubner said, “but the shows are also great opportunities for those starting out to put their name out there.” She cited Walker, of Aw Shucks, as an example. A longtime fan of the main act, Tigers Jaw, Lubner recounts the time she had emailed the band, asking them to perform at CUB Alt. According to Lubner, “it was a surreal moment” when they agreed to come. Walsh and Collins played a sample of their discography, starting from their album “Charmer” to the newly released “Spin.” In between songs, the pair spoke with the students and dedicated a cover of The Cure’s song “In Between Days” to Walsh’s family members, some of who were present at the show. Walker of Aw Shucks, the opener, performed his song, “PJs.” The song had lyrics that could easily resonate with the average college student, such as “Won’t you look at the time? I’m running late for my classes.” Two others joined him after the song, representing 3/4 of the band, Aw Shucks, from Westampton, New Jersey. Aw Shucks played its set, which included songs like “Spitting
Connor Smith / Editor-in-Chief
Flowers” and “Signals.” Following suit were the tracks “Oh Sheesh” and “Backroads.” After a five-minute break, Philadelphia-based musician, Sarah M. took the stage touting only a black bass with an amber-colored pickguard. To conclude her act, Sarah M. chose to open up to the audience about the negative effects of drugs and show business. She advocated for more discussions in the music industry regarding these issues. She then dedicated her final song to a friend lost to drugs, whom she misses dearly. “I lost a lot of beautiful people to drug overdose,” Sarah M. said. Walsh, meanwhile, was grateful for the opportunity to perform with his band. “It is a really amazing thing to play music and make a living out of it,” Walsh said. Walsh recognized the divide between local bands and those who have more experience in the music business, however he said “college shows are great for (closing that gap).” While everyone has their different interests, goals, and area of study, many agree that music, no matter where it comes from, brings people together. In this case, the unity took place in room 100W of the student center.
Modern Baseball makes final weekend a walk-off hit
Sydney Shaw / Former Editor-in-Chief
Members of Modern Baseball play their final show for the foreseeable future.
By Sean Reis Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA — Diehard fans crowdsurfed above. Mosh pits, for the brave few, broke out left and right. The remaining, rowdy attendees screamed their favorite lyrics at the top of their lungs. On Saturday, Oct. 14, Philadelphia poppunkers Modern Baseball mirrored the passion of the 1,200 or so fans that sold out Union Transfer, as both sides were aware that the night could ultimately be one of their last concerts together. The show was the second of three consecutive performances on the weekend of
Friday the 13th. The trio of shows was also the beloved Philly band’s first appearance together since the announcement of a hiatus in February for mental health reasons. The crowd seemed pleased to see “MoBo” back together, but band members Jake Ewald, Brendan Lukens, Ian Farmer and Sean Huber seemed even happier to share the stage for what could perhaps be the final time. “I’m pretty sure I peaked,” said Nicholas Wodeshick, a senior communication studies major who attended Saturday’s concert. A diehard MoBo fan since the release of the band’s debut album, “Sports,” Wodeshick picked the right night to attend
the weekend-long residency — Modern Baseball started its Saturday performance by playing “Sports” in its entirety. “I was very bummed to miss out on Saturday’s show,” said Luke Lenczuk, a junior international studies major who attended Friday’s and Sunday’s concerts. “Yet at their final show on Sunday, I was still able to catch a few off of that record. When that first break down of ‘Cooke’ hit my ears, I was dumbfounded. Sometimes you forget how great a band is, and Modern Baseball did not disappoint.” No matter which of the three concerts fans attended, MoBo swung for the fences. Each night offered a special experience — not only in regards to Modern Baseball’s sets, but also the opening acts, who varied from day to day. After all, the band’s concert series was titled “Modern Baseball and Friends” so Ewald, Lukens and company could show off their up-and-coming colleagues. Ewald has been a mainstay at the College since Modern Baseball first performed at the Rathskeller in 2014. Since then, Ewald has played at the College three more times — once more with Modern Baseball at the College Union Board’s 2015 Fall Concert, and twice last November, as both an acoustic duo with Lukens and as the frontman of his solo project, Slaughter Beach, Dog. “Hearing the older songs into the latest album, you could feel how far MoBo had come,” said Amanda Brecher, a senior communication studies major who attended Saturday’s concert. “There was also a feeling of MoBo giving back by having a few relatively
newer acts open up for them on every night.” One of those openers was Philadelphia’s own Harmony Woods, a lo-fi indie rock act fronted by Drexel University freshman Sofia Verbilla with a backing band. Her guitarist, Chance Halter, was especially excited about the opportunity. “I feel extremely lucky to be in a band at all, let alone one that got to (open for Modern Baseball),” Halter said. “It was a dream come true and I feel incredibly fortunate to have gotten to do that. It was completely surreal.” Modern Baseball also performed more material from its sophomore album, “You’re Gonna Miss It All,” and its most recently released record, “Holy Ghost.” MoBo closed the Saturday show with “Your Graduation,” a fan-favorite from “You’re Gonna Miss It All.” The band played the song not once, not twice, but three times, until the song’s final lyric was screamed in unison one last time: “go ahead and walk away.” If fans could return to the opening number and “Re-Do” the weekend, many would without question. Others, however, may choose to accept the possible bittersweet end of an era. It’s currently uncertain whether or not Modern Baseball will ever take the stage together again, but fans have an optimistic attitude. Despite what “Your Graduation” suggested, no one can simply “go ahead and walk away.” Spoken from a true fan’s heart: “All good things shouldn’t last forever,” Wodeshick said, “but I hope MoBo does.”
The 10/25/17 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey’s student newspaper