By Garrett Cecere
The lights grew dim, a violet glow illuminated the stage and the sound began to reverberate across every surface of the room.
Students who came to last week’s CUB Alt Show, held on March 26 in the Brower Student Center Room 225E, eagerly watched three rock performances full of energy, passion and even some humor.
The audience fervently watched headlining artist Sam Ray, who had just been on a tour with his band, American Pleasure Club.
The band, originally from Baltimore, had performed in cities throughout the East Coast and Midwest, some of which included Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Nashville and Detroit.
For the show, Ray chose songs that he felt would fit well with his solo performance and electric guitar. He picked pieces that were written to be played alone, but also chose songs that were performed with the band.
“…Some of (the songs) we play live as a full band are fun, but it’s not, like, how I had a song in mind when I wrote or recorded it,” he said. “So sometimes, it’s showing, like, a different version of something than anyone’s ever heard.”
Bad Luck, a rock band from Long Island, played numerous songs, which ranged from the title track of the album “Cold Bones” to new releases like “Drug Phase” and “Mean Dudes.”
Out of all the songs Bad Luck played, lead singer Dominick Fox said he especially enjoyed performing “Love Song,” which he said is the band’s most popular hit on Spotify.
The show was not without occasional funny moments. After performing many songs with expletives, Fox asked if profanity was permitted.
“Are we allowed to curse?” he asked the audience and CUB members. “We should be. You guys are in college … fuck,” he said, which garnered laughter from the audience.
The next performer, Dustin Hayes, performed solo with an acoustic guitar. Hayes is a member of the band Walter, Etc., formerly known as Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra.
Hayes also snuck in some humor between sets, as he compared the College to his former school.
“At least you have bands come through,” he said. “Where I went to school … in Oregon, there was, like, one anarchist coffee shop in the basement that got, like, shut down … no bands, no nothing.”
During his college years, Hayes wrote a song called “Howl” while he was at the “Anarchist coffee shop,” which he based on Allen Ginsberg’s poem of the same name and performed at the show.
“You know in your, like, freshman year of college, you think you’re … fuckin’, like, so intellectual, so smart?” he said. “I thought (‘Howl’) was … the smartest thing I had ever done.”
Hayes especially enjoyed playing a song he wrote about a past relationship called, “I Bought You a Blanket in Mexico,” which he had never performed before.
“…it’s kind of fun to play ’cause it’s just so new to me,” he said.
Ray, who had concluded the night, said that one of the songs he enjoyed performing the most was “Dead Swans,” which is typically played with the rest of the band.
“(‘Dead Swans’) is the one when I say that we play as … a full band version, usually, but I got to do it the way I always wanted to.”
Ray also played an emotional song that he wrote with his friend, Ryan, who died after it was written. The song, “Abby’s Song,” was named for Ryan’s former girlfriend because she had sung it.
“(This was) the last song I wrote with Ryan,” Ray said.
After Ray played his last song and the final note faded into silence, the audience applauded.
“It was really cool how intimate it was,” said Josh Tobia, a sophomore electrical engineering major.
Ultimately, Ray hoped that his solo performance would resonate well with the audience.
“I met a couple people before who knew my music and that’s cool,” he said. “So I guess some of them know it and maybe some don’t, and I hope in both those cases that it comes across really well this way.”