By Cameron Dering
Sophomore mechanical engineering major Robert Richardson sat on a couch in a quiet corner of the Brower Student Center Thursday Oct. 7 writing music on his laptop when loud noises distracted him. He looked up to see what all the commotion was, and saw that a band was setting the stage and preparing to play.
The band members laughed and joked around with one another as they set the stage, stopping every minute or so to say “hi” to old friends passing by.
“I think I’m gonna stick around,” Richardson said. “I wanna see this.”
Despite starting almost two hours late due to technical issues with the College’s new sound system, 4.O, formerly known as The Attic, was able to keep audience members like Richardson interested.
The band members include all 2009 alumni — vocalist Mina Greiss, violinist Jeremy Bernardo, keyboardist Pierre Miller, drummer Dan McFadden and bass guitarist Matt Leibowitz. The band members came together their freshman year when they all lived on the same freshman floor, Wolfe 7.
Known as Attic during their time at the College, they played at the Rat on many Friday nights and opened for Lupe Fiasco and Ludacris at the College’s spring concert in 2009.
The band is now working on an album with a grammy-nominated producer Jim Salamone at Cambridge Studios, Greiss said, and for legal reasons is changing its name to 4.O.
Greiss said they decided on the name because “we came from the same school and we’re very much about education. We strive for intellectual music … classical themes mixed with modern styling. That’s what we’re all about.”
The band played an array of covers and originals, often mixing as many as six songs together in one piece.
Their set list exhibited the band’s wide range of talent, as they covered songs new and old, from Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo,” Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby” to The Temptations’ “My Girl” and The Foundations’ “Build Me Up Buttercup.” The band also played with speed, ranging from fast to slow songs, from Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” and The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” to Bruno Mars’s “Just The Way You Are,” The Script’s “Breakeven” and Brian McKnight’s “Back At One.”
They also played songs like “Billionaire” by Travis McCoy and “Airplanes” by B.o.B. in which Bernardo took a break from the violin to rap, sometimes changing the words to sing about the College.
“I enjoyed the covers,” Richardson said. “They definitely gave a fresh feel to songs.”
The band also played three originals, “Miss Untouchable,” “Lullaby” and “Heat of the Club,” which are currently being recorded and should be released sometime in the near future.
“It was a nice mix of their stuff and cover songs. I really enjoyed it,” said sophomore elementary education major Alaina Springsted.
4.O not only entertained the crowd musically, but interactively as well, as lead singer Greiss serenaded audience members with love songs, pulled a girl onstage to dance with him, picked on a girl who was texting during the show and gave shout-outs to friends.
“Their improv. was great,” Richardson said.
“Mina’s a good time,” McFadden said. “He knows how to entertain a crowd.”
At the end of its set, 4.O played Miley Cyrus’s “Party In The U.S.A.,” letting audience members sing into the microphone karaoke style, and Cupid’s dance hit “Cupid Shuffle,” which had the whole audience on its feet dancing along.
“I liked it because it was interactive. It was really entertaining,” said Dominique Pierre, freshman open options major.
Some audience members, such as Steve Bonk, sophomore civil engineer major, felt that the band exemplified the strong bonds of friendship encouraged by the Freshman Year Experience
“Their friendliness and enthusiasm exemplifies the (the College’s) spirit,” Bonk said.