Students treated to a little acoustic, a little rock-n-roll

Bright and Early’s John Browne entertains the audience with both music and comedy.
Bright and Early’s John Browne entertains the audience with both music and comedy. (Matthew Mance / Photo Assistant)

By Katie Dougherty
Correspondent

A group of stragglers remained on campus during fall break just to tap their feet and sway leisurely to three drastically different indie bands on Friday, Oct. 26.

The first band to take center stage at the Rathskeller was Life Without A Jacket. This up-and-coming band from Atlantic City premiered several songs from their debut album Use Your Words, including “The Lauded Fraud” and “Tightrope,” both of which offered audience members an upbeat echo of sound.

Bright And Early was next to grace the Rat’s stage. This band, born right out of Philadelphia, received a few head bobs from audience members while playing their high-energy tune “Good Things End” from their album Louder Than Words. The drummer, Matt Welsh, practically leapt out of his seat as he commanded the loud rhythmic beats. Bassist Eric Camarota bounced around the stage in a loose, jig-like fashion as lead singer, John Browne, passionately sung the lyrics his vocal chords tremoring all the while.

Between each song, Browne added comedic commentary, including observations about the room as it gradually filled up, while simultaneously poking fun at the one lone audience member who bravely admitted to seeing the band perform previously. Browne then switched gears and slowly strummed a normally acoustic tune “Stick By Me” with his electric guitar while fellow bandmate Pete Delgais provided backup vocals. Bright And Early ended their set with their song “Beat Myself Up,” which at one point had all three guitarists gathering in the corner of the stage around drummer Matt Welsh in a streak of nearly-maniacal strumming.

The final band and the headliners of the Friday night show, Tigers Jaw, brought a more relaxed feeling to the Rat with their entirely acoustic set of songs. Two members of this indie band, Adam Mcllwee and Brianna Collins provided the audience with just a few simple ingredients: two stools, two voices and one guitar. The guitar, played eloquently by Mcllwee, slowly melted the audience into a puddle of warm comfort. Collins’ shy demeanor and sweet girlish voice helped transform the songs into soft lullabies.

Josh Cobb, senior accounting major and big fan of Tigers Jaw, anxiously sat through the other two band’s performances in order to receive the acoustic treatment from Mcllwee and Collins.

“I commuted from home just to see Tigers Jaw play,” Cobb claimed. He also mentioned that he has seen the band perform twice before their appearance at the College, which certainly confirmed his commitment to the band.

When Mcllwee and Collins asked for any song requests, Cobb called out his favorite Tigers Jaw song “Distress Singles,” and the band complied in return.
Mcllwee and Collins’ harmony was sometimes slightly off — but this only seemed to foster a more organic sound. Mcllwee grew more comfortable as the pair sang on, but admitted to being nervous and a little shaky about the show. But his guise of effortlessness certainly paid off during the band’s performance of the song “Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine” in which the harmony became more compressed and confident. The show ended with a hearty round of applause, serving as the perfect thank you to the three bands.