By Kimberly Ilkowski
CUBRat had one of its biggest turnouts in years during its first show of the spring semester, with New Jersey bands Forever Losing Sleep and On Your Marks opening for alternative rockers Have Mercy on Friday, Jan. 30, in the Rathskeller.
Forever Losing Sleep opened the night with its dark and often times somber sounds. Made up of Joe Kelly on vocals and guitar, Aaron Facher on bass, Freddy Pruden and Anthony Webster on guitars and Noel Herbolario on drums, the band commanded the attention of the overflowing bar.
The band played multiple tracks off its October 2014 full-length release “I Lost Myself Again,” which features heavy emo influences.
Up next, On Your Marks brought their signature energy to the stage.
The punk quartet hailing from Oceanport, N.J. was comprised of vocalist and guitarist Alex Piraquive, drummer Matt Arnone, bassist Freddie Koechlin and guitarist Phil McGarry.
The first half of their set included songs off their new EP — which is expected for release in the spring — like “Reflect,” “Repeat” and “Replace.” The remainder of the set featured tracks off their LP “Ripped Out By The Roots,” including “Anxiety” and “Perfect.”
They dedicated their song “Cemetery Hill” to a friend that recently passed away at just 19 years old.
“I’m so fucking grateful to be alive and to be here playing music for you guys,” McGarry said before ripping into the songs first chords.
The band has previously played their own personal brand of fast pop punk at the Rathskeller last April for the Battle of the Bands competition.
On Your Marks is part of the Mayflower Collective, a new DIY entertainment group who recently set out on a small concert tour with the College’s own Save Face.
Finally, Baltimore-based band Have Mercy closed out the night.
Featuring Brian Swindle on vocals and guitar, Andrew Johnson on guitar, Todd Wallace on drums and Nick Woolford on bass, they played songs off their new album “A Place of Our Own,” released on Hopeless Records in October of 2014.
The band thrashed through songs like “To Convey” and “Two Years” as well as the crowd favorite-turned-singalong “Let’s Talk About Your Hair,” off the 2013 full-length “The Earth Pushed Back.” For their final song, the band performed the melancholy “My Oldest Friends” off a 2012 EP of the same name.
“We never went to college, so we’re gonna pack it all into one night,” Johnson laughed as he proceeded to try and make plans with audience members after the show.
This year’s new CUBRat co-chair, sophomore communications major Connor Meany, organized the night’s show and was blown away by how many students and friends were in attendance.
“We had to have at least 130 kids in there, really packed the floor space and then some,” Meany said. “Have Mercy are some of the most genuine dudes I’ve met and really brought a crowd with them. It was just a really cool experience for my first Rat show, seeing my friends in On Your Marks and Forever Losing Sleep tear it up right before Have Mercy took the stage for a super intimate set.”
In between songs, Swindle couldn’t help but wonder what acts had come to the Rat before.
“You guys have Connor setting up these shows now,” Swindle said. “What if back in the day some hoity toity dude was like, ‘We’re gonna bring Beethoven over here!’”
Have Mercy is planing to tour this spring with Head North and You, Me & Everyone We Know.
Catch next week’s stacked Rat lineup with Superheaven, Elvis Depressedly, Young and Heartless and Glassgrade.