Most college students love live music, and most colleges recognize this. Temple, however, is not like most colleges.
Many students here at Temple have been asking the question: “Why aren’t there shows on campus?”
On Wednesday, February 21, the students who ask this were silenced. A show held at the Owl Cove in Mitten Hall served as a CD release party for the Slackers and also featured Venice Shoreline Chris, Oddyssea, and E.T. Sex Machine.
E.T. Sex Machine and Oddyssea both feature Temple students. It was great to see the bands of fellow students performing on campus. Temple rarely provides the opportunity for students involved in bands to showcase their talents.
E.T. Sex Machine is a high-energy band that seems to make amusing the crowd its number one priority. The highlight of their set was their insane covers of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.”
Oddyssea is a band heavily influenced by the sounds of the both the rockers and Rastafarians of the 60s. They have an infectious sound that pulsated through the Owl Cove. Their set could be compared to a musical journey, much as their name implies.
Chris Murray, also known as Venice Shoreline Chris, enchanted the crowd with his sweet Jamaican reggae-style. Murray is a one-man act featuring only his heartfelt vocals and his acoustic guitar. With quite possibly the best rhythms of the night, Murray’ set invoked hands clapping and hips shaking to the beat.
The Slackers were simply amazing. The New York City based band’s highly danceable sound mixes styles as diverse as rhythm and blues, garage, reggae, jazz, ska, calypso and soul. The result is a powerful sound that is highly danceable. Virtually everyone in the room was moving to the music in one way or another during their set. Their lyrics touch topics that everyone can identify with such as alcohol and lost love. The band’s enthusiasm and love of playing music shined through in every song.
So whom do we have to thank for bringing us such an awesome show? For the most part, Matt Bernardo, Temple student and member of Oddyssea, organized the event. According to Bernardo, he took a package to Temple’s activities planning board and activities director. He had wanted to promote a Slackers show in the Philadelphia area and he decided that Temple would be a good place to hold it. The planning board was excited by Bernardo’s idea, but they didn’t want any punk or hip-hop bands to play because they had problems with such acts in the past, many resulting in violence. The Slackers seemed like a good choice because they wouldn’t draw or provoke a rowdy crowd. The board offered to pay for most of the expenses including the room, use of the sound equipment, and security. The money earned at the door went towards paying the bands.
Bernardo and his friends put fliers all over campus advertising the show. They also put fliers in most of the record stores on South Street and handed them out at both Drexel and Penn. Their advertising was a success; the show had about 225 people in attendance.
Overall, many people were pleased by the show. Those who came to see the bands had a great time and, according to Bernardo, the bands had a great time as well. The planning board was also pleased that students proposed an activity and it turned out well. Bernardo plans on organizing another show like this in November. So if you missed this event, be on the look out for future shows.