Rosenstock brings ska inspired rock to CUB Alt

By Sean Reis
Staff Writer

For a second, the crowd was silent — just a second, though. In an instant, Jeff Rosenstock and his band sent the eager crowd into a frenzy when he began his headlining performance. Fans charged the stage with arms in the air — and they wouldn’t lower them until the CUB Alt concert on Tuesday, April 4, came to a close.

Before Rosenstock took control, three other opening bands had taken the stage: Curtis Cooper, Teenage Halloween and Thin Lips. All three openers had short trips to the College. Cooper and Thin Lips are Philadelphia-based alternative rock bands while Teenage Halloween — an eight-person, indie rock band with strong ska influences — is from Asbury Park, N.J.

Rosenstock hypes up the audience with his energetic ska and alternative rock songs. (Jason Proleika / Photo Editor)

“We always wanted to do a four band bill, but the standard has always been three,” said Dana Gorab, CUB Alt co-chair and a junior communication studies major. “Tonight was originally three bands, but I saw Curtis Cooper in Philly and I knew I wanted to add him to the show.”

With four bands total, students at the College may have had a bigger bill to swallow, but the crowd was ready for Rosenstock. Those in attendance had enough energy to enjoy live music all night if the Decker Social Space would have allowed it, and the crowd gave the band their all from start to finish.

Rosenstock broke the brief, aforementioned silence and opened his band’s headlining performance with “We Begged 2 Explode” off “WORRY.” — Rosenstock’s latest album released in October 2016. The beginning of the set then followed the album chronologically, only interrupted by hilarious banter amongst the band members in between songs.

When the band played another “WORRY.” release, “Festival Song,” the College was especially enthusiastic.

“I’m trying to match your energy,” Rosenstock said. “But it’s just too damn high!”

The band as a whole also brought a very high energy to the stage, musically driven by heavy guitar, bass and hard-hitting drums, but Rosenstock’s fellow musicians also utilized one acoustic guitar, the keys of a synth and a drum pad to slow a couple tracks down. The set’s first half had more alternative rock elements, while the latter half became a more ska-oriented show.

“Ska is as popular as it’s ever been!” Rosenstock yelled to the crowd after the band performed “Rainbow,” which he had previously introduced with a shout out to the openers Teenage Halloween.

It’s unlikely the entire crowd was aware, but as a founding member of ska punk band The Arrogant Sons of Bitches in 1995, Rosenstock has been in the music industry for longer than some students in attendance have been alive.

He’s yet to stop doing what he loves, and when asked in an interview with the College’s radio station, 91.3 FM WTSR, about how he still finds inspiration after all these years, Rosenstock simply responded, “I just like music and I like making music.”

His connection with the crowd and stage presence was a testament to his passion for music. Rosenstock was constantly jumping with pure joy onstage and his hardcore fans were jumping right back at him all night, even as the set was close to its end.

“We have six songs left,” Rosenstock told the crowd, but the remaining songs were primarily a minute each and rolled into one another.

The final stretch started with “HELLLLHOOOOLE” and chronologically rounded out “WORRY.” before “You, In Weird Cities” off another album, “We Cool?” ultimately brought Rosenstock’s set to a close. As the band seemed to fade away with a somber instrumental, the crowd knew it wasn’t over.

Rosenstock — with his band behind him — and his fans unleashed whatever energy was left for one last time, and like that, another successful CUB Alt concert came to a close.