Organized by seniors Curt LeClair and Becky Lovell, the KnightSpot concert on Sunday night featured local act Walri and national pyschedelic acts Netherfriends and Still Flyin'.
Walri, the opening band, is based out of Rochester, N.Y. The four bandmates - keyboardist Chris Coon, drummer Dave Goebel, lead singer and guitarist Amos Rosenstein and bassist Geoff Saunders - formed the quirky band in a genre they like to call "love rock."
Attending the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, these band members are all musically trained and play local shows at places like The Lovin' Cup in Rochester (Nov. 13) as well as shows in the greater New York area, as well as New England.
The eclectic sound of Walri is reminiscent of The Beach Boys with a heavier twinge of psychedelic rock. This is seen in a new track "Cotton Candy," which Rosenstein calls "a song about greed." A stronger electric guitar balances heavy-handed drums to create a '50s and '60s feel more reminiscent of The Beatles than in other tracks.
Walri also comes closer to "love rock" in the song "The Easy Joy" that is played acoustically on their album, Paper Crane. The band's description of their music - "an ever-changing thing, never making sense" - is multi-faceted and confusing entertainment.
Netherfriends, a Chicago-based band, is made up of Shawn Rosenblatt (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Angie Kang (synthesizer) and Paul Newmann (drums). Just as a trio is unusual in a four-man band world, Netherfriends is also unusual in its instruments. Using regular drums in many songs like "Nunya (Beeswax)," Newmann also adds pots and pans specially bent to specific pitches in his drum kit, while Rosenblatt often drums on a metal pipe.
Rosenblatt possesses Bon Iver member Justin Vernon-like voice and the group a Coldplay-like sound. On the other hand, during "Friends with Lofts," lyrics like "My friends got lofts in the city / they threw all the cool parties super hip shows," are accompanied by a trumpet, which deconstructs the guitar and piano - very unlike Coldplay.
Still Flyin' performed with less than a dozen members on Sunday, although the band is known to have as many as 20. The psychedelic rock group plays informally with dancing and an "anything goes" attitude. The band's philosophy, "hammjamm," is basically defined as "when a good time gets better."
They incorporate their philosophy into their songs, such as "Good Thing it's a Ghost Town Around Here," with lyrics like, "I just kept knocking back glass after glass with no regard at all and I was hamming and hamming so freely / It's just something that really completes me."
Still Flyin' is touring for their debut album Never Gonna Touch the Ground, which is available now on iTunes.