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Public service announcement: Support local bands

| Wednesday, September 11, 2019

JOSEPH HAN | The Observer

This is a public service announcement. Support your local music scene.

Unpredictable weather, frazzled freshmen and endless weekend chaos are common signs of the start of the school year, but that’s just what you see on the surface.

Saturday night at a home near campus, the most important Notre Dame student movement kicked off the year: the student music scene.

In the backyard of a small South Bend home was a concert. Drums, guitars, bass, keyboard, guitar pedals, amps and mics were haphazardly, yet delicately, positioned on the small stage, also known as the porch. The energy and anticipation grew as the crowd gathered, and it became closer to showtime. The throng of people consisted of friends and acquaintances who came in support of the bands as well as a promise of a good time.

The atmosphere was transformed as senior Michael Donovan — Scene Editor extraordinaire, legendary WVFI station manager, expert at real-life Guitar Hero and aux cord wizard — fueled the musical congregation with tunes. When the yard hit capacity — though there is always room on the roof — it was time for the music. The headliners of the evening were The Shifties, Basement Boxers and The Almighty Loaf.

The Shifties — comprised of Donovan, senior Felix Rabito, junior Claire King, junior Ashley Finster and senior Thom Weiss (who was unfortunately out of town) — opened up the evening with fresh originals and unstoppable energy. It was spontaneous and intimate, exactly how a house show should be. As the band sat on the wooden platform with instruments in hand, they produced an unforgettable sound filled with passion and truth, things this world craves. Don’t forget the name: The Shifties.

Up next, Basement Boxers. The well-known student band — made up of junior Daniel Griffin, Finster, junior Brendan Raimann, King, junior Tom Garvey and junior Sophia Henn — hit the stage after The Shifties. They are going to be big, believe me. Their pure blend of modern and classic rock with present-day indie-pop creates a fresh sound the music industry is currently lacking; they are going to fill that void. Griffin’s contagious stage presence, along with each member’s unique mannerisms, radiated throughout the crowd as people danced and sang along. Their set contained a mixture of sparkling originals and picture-perfect covers. They may be full of the DIY spirit, but you’ll see them open up for Rainbow Kitten Surprise one day, you just wait.

To close out the show, the undeniably rowdy punk band The Almighty Loaf graced the stage. The Loafs are senior David Pedler, junior Griffin Yates, senior Connor Bach and senior Matt Musetich. The first note radiated through the yard; crowd surfing and moshing commenced. The smell and sweat of teenage angst hung heavy over part, but there was undeniable unity between individuals as the boys played on stage. The Loaf is a pure fusion of Black Flag’s “Rise Above,” “No I Don’t Wanna” by Sham 69 and Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” — who knew that was possible? Milo literally went to college.

The underground music scene at Notre Dame is a small one but quickly growing. It’s something that could be considered underground, but if you look hard enough you will find it. Through word of mouth, the power of social media and homemade flyers, the next show will soon be on the horizon.

Support your local music scene.

Support the Notre Dame music scene.

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About Willoughby Thom

i am the associate scene editor. if you didn't know already, my favorite band is Oingo Boingo.

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