Student musicians got the chance to show off their talent and ability to their peers in a show hosted by CUBRat in the Rathskeller on Friday night.
First up was the duo of Caryn Feder and Steve Klett, who described their musical interests as pure rock. Feder, junior music education major, and Klett, freshman English major, have only been playing together for a month and stuck to cover songs, but they hope to write some original music in the future.
The duo opened with “Punish” by the Stone Temple Pilots with Klett on lead vocals and Feder on guitar and backup. The two also covered “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson and “Hold Me” by Weezer, in which Feder took over lead vocals. They also played a slower ballad-style version of “Honestly” by Cartel and ended the set with the Bob Dylan classic “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”
Next up was the self-described “indie-acoustic rock” of Pegasus Jetpack, a Lafayette-based band comprised of Jon Irizarry, freshman business major, Randy Sabo, freshman psychology major, and Rick Rogers, a student from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The group, which has been playing together for close to seven years, opened up with “Leslie Anne Levine” by the Decemberists with Irizarry on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Sabo on electric guitar and backup vocals and Rogers on bass. They glided easily into “Soul Meets Body” by Death Cab for Cutie, in which Sabo helped out on vocals.
For the next song, “Guess I’m Doing Fine,” a Beck cover, Rogers sat out while Irizarry pulled out the rarely-seen melodica (an instrument similar to a keyboard), playing along and complementing Sabo’s vocals.
Next, Rogers hopped back onstage to perform a cover of a band he cites as a major influence on his own musical tendencies, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band also played the upbeat “What I Got” by Sublime and finished off with “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals.
Pegasus Jetpack will play in WTSR’s Battle of the Bands at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Rat.
Hold on Love, a band from Toms River, brought a large following for the performance. Justine Hudak, sophomore business marketing major, was joined onstage by fellow band member Rico Caruso, a student of Ocean County College, in what Hudak describes as a “pop-acoustic” set. “Some people say it’s girly,” joked Caruso, who is the primary songwriter.
The pair has been playing together since high school and recently added two other band members, a cello player and guitarist who couldn’t make it to the show. The band has played with acts such as Hidden in Plain View, Roses are Red and Junior Varsity.
Hold on Love opened with “Hours, Hours, Hours,” an original song that blended both voices among Caruso’s vigorous guitar playing.
The rest of the relaxed yet experienced-sounding set also featured original tracks, some of which required a lot of singing power. “This is my least favorite song to play,” Caruso said about a song titled “Felicia Who?” that involved compellingly high vocal notes. “It just kills me every time.”
When asked about their musical influences, both agreed with Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams.
Where can you catch them next? “We are playing at the (Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity) Cinco de Mayo party,” Hudak said. “We are going to try and play (at the Rat).”
Last up was Eric Castellazzo, sophomore business major, who is no stranger to the Rat with his laid-back acoustic set. He opened with a Bright Eyes cover of “The First Day of My Life” and then played a Dustin Kensrue cover of “I Knew You Before.”
“I kind of suck at this one part in it,” Castellazzo said, to which audience members responded, “I heard no sucky part” and called him a liar.
Next, he played an original song titled “Ascension,” which he performed for the first time in front of an audience.
He dedicated his next song, “Pistol,” to his girlfriend, which he claims he never does, but got a non-surprising “Aww” from audience members. “I figured I’d be sentimental today,” Castellazzo said.
Although he played mostly covers, Castellazzo, who has been playing guitar for five years now, reassured the audience that he will be writing more in the future.
When asked what he is currently listening to, Castellazzo mentioned Brand New, Gatsby’s American Dream and Bright Eyes.
He closed his set with two songs, both of which included harmonica, an instrument he just recently picked up. “I just started playing not too long ago, so go easy on me,” he said.
The first song was an original that he claims “has some connection to the Never-ending Story, but I don’t know why.”
His final song was Thrice’s “Red Sky,” to which Castellazzo added, “If you haven’t listened to it, you’re a loser.”
Go to tcnj.edu/~cub for more information about upcoming shows at the Rat.