Performer returns for music, fried food

Jarrod Gorbel (right), accompanied by Dre Babinski (left), performed his folk- and Americana-inspired music for College students at the Rathskeller on Friday, Sept. 16. (Matthew Mance / Staff Photographer)

By Anne Montero
Correspondent

The Rathskeller was full of College students waiting to spend their dinnertime listening to the folk and Americana sounds of Jarrod Gorbel’s 11-song set on Friday, Sept.16.

If the performer’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Gorbel was just here last spring performing at the To Write Love on Her Arms event with speaker Jamie Tworkowski.

This time, however, Gorbel was accompanied by violinist and singer Dre Babinski. Together, the two harmonized and serenaded the crowd with sweet, simple songs and lots of laughs.

After playing tracks “Mother/Father” and “Desperate Hands,” Gorbel set the night’s laid-back atmosphere by joking about the Rat offerings. “Enjoy them safely. We don’t know how many times it’s been deep fried,” he said, admitting that he was eating the same food as his audience.

Gorbel continued to play tracks off his new solo album, “Devil’s Made a New Friend,” released Aug. 31, 2011, including “Impressions” and “Weight.” In an interview, Gorbel said that working on a solo album has “given me more freedom to do whatever I want.”

Babinski added backup vocals and intricate violin parts to all of Gorbel’s songs, sweetening songs like “Each Breath.” Together they sang the passionate lyrics, “Let me hear what you feel/closer to reveal/Stay where you are/at distance so I can watch/I want each breath.”

Gorbel kept the fun alive when he thanked CUB member Maggie Murad, creating a jingle with only her name, singing “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie” for about a minute.  Moving on from his appreciation, he announced that he would be playing some songs from his old band, The Honorary Title, including “Stay Away” and “Reassemble.”

Gorbel finished the night off with one of his most popular tracks, “I’ll Do Better,” and thanked the crowd yet again for listening. Gorbel opened in Philly at TLA on Sunday for Motion City Soundtrack. He’ll be starting a tour Nov. 1.

It was Atlantic/Pacific that started the night off though, with four soft, melodic songs off their album “Meet Your New Love,” complete with guitars, a keyboard and a floor tambourine. Although they told they crowd, “You don’t know who we are. That’s okay,” they still interacted humorously with everyone and even performed something they thought everyone would know: a song recently played on the  MTV show “Teen Mom.”