We Are the Union saves poor opening to KnightSpot show

Despite a small crowd, energetic rock bands This Is a Stick Up and We Are the Union played the KnightSpot Saturday night as if it was a full-sized arena.

Canandaigua-based hardcore punk group This Is a Stick Up was the first band to take the stage. Members include "Zach D." on bass, Robbie Allen on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Heffron on trumpet and vocals and Tyler Thompson on drums.

The only noteworthy aspect of the band's performance was its unusual use of trumpet mixed in with the classic alternative band instruments. Otherwise, This is a Stick Up failed to draw enthusiasm from the crowd, and Allen's jerky movements and indecipherable singing alarmed rather than entertained most listeners.

"They weren't really my type of music," freshman Alex Rossi said of the group. "I'm hoping to see some other bands at the KnightSpot soon."

Pop-punk Long Island and Detroit based band We Are the Union took the stage next, and the audience was relieved to find more understandable lyrics, as well as a more melodic set.

The band is comprised of Reed Wolcott on guitar and vocals, Brandon Benson on bass and vocals, Matt Belanger on trombone, Jim Margle on drums, John Ryan on saxophone and Ricky Weber on guitar. According We Are the Union's MySpace Web page, their influences include Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Less Than Jake, Millencolin and Strung Out.

We Are the Union performed at Geneseo earlier this semester during an impromptu outdoor concert on the College Union patio.

Aside from the group's original music style, the chemistry between the band members was very apparent. This atmosphere contributed to the inviting feeling of their entire show. We Are the Union was even confident enough to interact with the audience, holding out the microphone to some fans to encourage them to sing along with the group.

When Wolcott began singing "some days I feel invincible …" the whole crowd went wild, forming a makeshift mosh pit in the KnightSpot.

We Are the Union's typical genre of music is alternative with flavors of pop-punk and ska thrown in. Their sound is further enhanced by the group's use of a variety of instruments, such as the saxophone and the trombone which creates a richer sound.

Mac's Place Coordinator senior Curt LeClair is the mastermind behind bringing smaller concerts and emerging artists to Geneseo. He heard about We Are the Union through current students. LeClair typically selects the bands to play based on price range and personal interest.