Jounce took the stage last Friday night at the Rathskeller (Rat) to a crowd unaware of the band’s musical capabilities. Featuring self-described “Jersey Boys” Dan Tambarelli on lead vocals and bass, Matt DeSteno on lead guitar and backup vocals and Joe Ciarallo on drums, Jounce played a montage of impressive guitar-heavy songs that left the crowd speechless.
A handful of the songs featured on Jounce’s set list were instrumental, which gave the concert a jam session atmosphere. Songs like “Hypoglycemic” had no vocals but didn’t need any either, as Tamberelli and DeSteno rocked out on their guitars and Ciarallo kept the music pumping.
“I want more vocals,” Ciarallo said. “None of us are really lyricists. Sometimes the songs become instrumental because they never get written and just become an instrumental song.”
Most students filled the Rat anxiously awaiting ‘Danny’ Tambarelli from Nickelodeon’s “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” “Figure it Out” and “All That,” but what the audience got was unlike anything they had seen on Nick.
DeSteno spent the night doing some inspiring shredding on his guitar to maintain the songs’ enthusiasm and kept the audience entertained with his edgy solos and catchy riffs.
Tambarelli led the vocals for Jounce with his melodic voice that captured the Rat’s attention while Ciarallo kept the guitarists’ solos in check with his steady beats that had most of the crowd members bobbing their heads or tapping their feet.
Though the specific genre of Jounce is hard to define, it is easy to see that a lot of energy and excitement goes into each note they play.
“There’s sort of an improvisational element to it,” Ciarallo said. “I played a lot of jazz . Matt played some classical . It just sort of melds into each other. A lot of songs change as we play them live so we can see what works in front of an audience.”
Ciarallo added, “The biggest thing we feed off is the crowd. It elevates us; in the moment you don’t even realize it.”
It was easy to see how Jounce was feeding off the crowd as Tambarelli’s dance moves propelled the band’s stage presence and DeSteno’s facial expressions changed with the tone of the music.
DeSteno also utilized several foot pedals to change the sound and, in most cases, the mood of the music. Employing everything from standard distortions to a ‘wah’ pedal, DeSteno experimented with different sounds that continued to raise the anticipation of the crowd.
Jounce began to form during the members’ high school years and got serious during college when, according to DeSteno, they decided to give it a shot. However, they did get plenty of practice in before high school.
“I’ve always been playing music since I was 11,” Tambarelli said. “During ‘Pete and Pete’ I was playing bass in my dressing room.”
Since many of the audience members were unfamiliar with Jounce’s music, the audience’s excitement rose when Jounce played the two covers of the night: “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones and “Black Betty” by Ram Jam.
Jounce closed its set with a pounding rendition of “Black Betty” that left the crowd wanting more. Luckily, a new album is on its way from the band.
“Our sound has changed a lot,” DeSteno said. “We’re overdue for another recording (which should happen) in the near future . (Our first album) helped us to get some better gigs and get taken more seriously.”
“We all work full-time jobs so we can’t work in the area just being musicians,” Ciarallo said. “We’re going to start recording a new album in spring (and hopefully get) a really cool label, someone to invest in the band. We can do a lot of it on our own online. That’s what we really focus on.”
Structurally, Jounce’s songs remain dynamic as they change time signatures and speeds. A few of Jounce’s songs rolled into what the crowd thought was a slow, soulful ending only to break back into a fast tempo and more guitar shredding. With sounds that can resemble Yes meets Bob Marley and song styles resembling Led Zeppelin, Jounce has a sound anyone can enjoy.