By Brandon Agalaba
Indie rock bands Vundabar and Rozwell Kid headlined the first CUB Alt concert of the spring 2018 semester in the Brower Student Center on Feb. 6, featuring New Jersey-based band Ragged Lines as the opener.
Vundabar, a Boston indie rock band, was the first of the headlining acts to perform. Vundabar was formed in 2012 by singer and guitarist Brandon Hagan, bassist Zack Abramo and drummer Drew McDonald. The band released their first album, titled “Antics,” in 2013, and their most recent album “Gawk” in 2015.
Vundabar’s set was exciting and unpredictable. The band played wild, capricious songs that featured guitar solos and unexpected pauses. Abramo and McDonald had excellent musical chemistry, with McDonald creating spontaneous and energetic drum beats to match Abramo’s intense bass riffs.
One of the songs that Vundabar played was “Fast Car.” The band members made jokes amongst themselves and with the crowd as audience members formed a lively mosh pit. The lead vocalist damaged a tree that was at the concert, and he joked about lawsuits in front of the audience. Additionally, Linkin Park, 311 and Pearl Jam were brought up during the concert.
McDonald listens to bands like Modest Mouse and The Fall, and the other members of Vundabar are into ’80s and ’90s punk bands such as Circle Jerks and Bad Brains. The lead vocalist of Rozwell Kid grew up listening to Weird Al, Green Day, Weezer and The Shins.
Rozwell Kid ended the concert with a set of original, upbeat pop-punk songs. The West Virginia-based band was formed in 2011 by singer and rhythm guitarist Jordan Hudkins, bassist Devin Donnelly, lead guitarist Adam Meisterhans and drummer Sean Hallock, who also provided backing vocals during the show.
The band mainly played material off their latest album, “Precious Art,” released in 2017. With an up-tempo sound falling somewhere between early Green Day and Weezer, the band played songs including “UHF On DVD,” Total Mess,” “Futon,” “Boomerang” and “Wendy’s Trash Can.” Rozwell Kid’s performance at the College was their first show of 2018.
Ragged Lines opened the show, energizing the audience with upbeat, melodic rock music that alternated between soft guitar lines and crunchy, distorted riffs. Harmonies backed the vocals, and the band played all of their songs available on Spotify, as well as two new songs entitled “Bud Light Summer” and “Keep Talkin’.”
Carter Henry, Ragged Lines’ main vocalist, is into older bands from the ’60s and ’70s. Henry also draws inspiration from The Strokes, Sam Cooke and soul music like Motown. Matt Viani, Ragged Lines’ drummer, enjoys Manchester Orchestra, and backup singer Ally Wepner listens to an eclectic mix of genres, including hip-hop and R&B.
Students in the audience were impressed by the concert. Carolyn Mandracchia, a junior fine arts major and a graphic artist for CUB, is happy to kick off a semester full of CUB Alt shows.
“Everyone had a great time,” Mandracchia said. “Having stuff like this changes the atmosphere of the school.”