Big D brings ska and skanking to the Rat

By Ashley McKenna
Correspondent

As students anxiously awaited the last week of classes, members of the College community enjoyed one of the last shows of the year with the performance of the ska band from Boston, Big D and the Kids Table, at the Rathskellar on Friday, April 26.

Big D and the Kids Table consists of lead singer and guitarist David McWane and bass guitarist Steven Foote. With Alex Stern on guitar, Derek Davis on drums, Paul Cuttler on trombone and Ryan O’Connor on tenor saxophone, the six performers brought the crowd to their feet, drawing out several genres, such as reggae, punk and rock. With about 100 people in attendance, the band encouraged the crowd to stand in front of the stage to sing and dance.

As they began their repertoire at the College Union Board’s show, they made a statement with a clash of drums, guitars, saxophone and vocals. Their songs, such as “Wired,” and “LA.X” were performed with vigorous emotion. The lead singer sang out the lyrics from “The One:” “And if you keep that smile then you’ll find a way / And if you keep your sun out then you’ll find a way.”

The six-man band mixes instrumental brass and brawn for a dancing crowd. (Janika Berridge / Photo Assistant)

“For the first time seeing them live, they were a lot better than I imagined,” said Ian Schneedbery, a community college student. “I would like to see them again.”

Their powerful presence kept the audience engaged and entertained as they played more of their popular songs like “Shining On,” “Little Bitch” and “One Day.” A group of fans also congregated in the front of the stage, jamming and nodding their heads to the catchy rhythm. There was even a little bit of crowd-surfing.

“There was a lot of energy in the crowd,” sophomore biology major Kelly Griebert said. “I’ve never seen crowd-surfing at the Rat. I wouldn’t expect it.”

Between songs, McWane thanked the students for coming out to the show and supporting the band. They also announced that they will be on Warped Tour this summer.  Along with the announcement, McWane mentioned their records would be coming in just a short month and a half.

Fans were encouraged to donate to The One Fund, which helps the people affected by the tragic events that occurred during the Boston Marathon.

After the show, fans had the opportunity to talk to band members as well as purchase merchandise. One fan, senior psychology major Rachel Tenenbaum, saw Big D and the Kids Table live before.

“I saw them at Starland Ballroom,” Tenenbaum said. “It was great to see them here, though, in such a small, personal atmosphere.”

Before the group hit stage, New Jersey ska/punk band Survay Says! opened the show with their exhilarating song “Where We Exist.” With their lively musical talent, they started off the night with a bang. The band is made up of five members, including brothers Henry Menzel (guitarist) and Dennis Menzel (lead singer). In between songs, they entertained the crowd with stories and stand-up comedy talent. They announced to the crowd that this is their 71st show in 2013.

The vibrant stage presence and energetic variety of music of the opening band got the crowd clapping and cheering. By the time Big D and the Kids Table stepped on stage, the eager crowd was ready to hear their music.