By Kris Alvarez
On Friday, March 13, the Rathskeller buzzed with swarms of fans eagerly awaiting the return of Transit, a four-piece alternative/pop-punk ensemble from Boston. New Jersey’s own Cross Town Train, along with Rat veterans Save Face, accompanied the headliner and helped amplify the rowdy atmosphere of the overall performances.
Transit fans tend to bring a significant amount of liveliness to the table when it comes to being an active audience. As anticipated, the pace of the night’s show remained consistent throughout, from the crowd pushing front stage for the microphone to Transit frontman Joe Boynton stage diving into the open arms of the audience mid-song.
“Seeing a band like Transit in an up-close and personal venue like the Rat is always exciting,” junior marketing major Mike Smeaton said. “When people can get that close and energized, it really brings out the best in the show.”
Most of Transit’s set featured fresh tracks such as “The Only One” and “Too Little, Too Late,” but the band did not shy away from showcasing some of their senior material like “Skipping Stone” and “Long Lost Friends” from their album “Listen & Forgive.” The band also played “Nothing Lasts Forever” from their previous full-length “Young New England.”
Since the band’s previous show at the Rathskeller last winter, where they performed an all-acoustic set, Transit has put out their fifth studio LP “Joyride” off Rise Records. The October 2014 release features the single “Rest To Get Better,” which the band put out a music video for on in September of the same year.
“I think (the Rat) has a lot going on,” Boynton said. “It’s just as fun as it’s ever been. The magic’s still there.”
Prior to Transit’s set, local punk outfit Save Face played a similarly eclectic collection of songs for fans both new and old. Pieces from the band’s preceding EP, “I Won’t Let This Take My Life,” encompassed much of Save Face’s set, with the exception of “Dog Years,” off their split EP with Brightener and a cover of “Gut Rot” by Such Gold.
Save Face is made up entirely of students at the College and has opened for bands like Transit, Major League and Such Gold at the Rat in previous years. The group is in the process of recording new music and is looking to go back on tour this summer.
“We are so grateful for all of these opportunities,” said Tyler Cranden, guitarist of Save Face and senior marketing major at the College. “I honestly never thought I’d ever be on the same stage as these bands. These shows are so helpful for smaller name bands like ourselves because they help bring out new, first-time listeners that otherwise would have never heard of us.”
Being their first show in four months, members of Cross Town Train brought plenty of energy on stage to make up for lost time. Their set included several new tracks to be featured off the band’s next studio release, which they have recently started recording.
After this semester, the Rat’s reign as a haven for musical pandemonium will come to an end due to the Brower Student Center renovations. However, it’s safe to say that Transit and the band’s two openers have created yet another lasting memory for students to remember the venue by.