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The Bend at the Turn (of the Century)

| Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Claire Kopischke

As the new year approaches and a new decade looms on the horizon, Scene looks at the recent events that best capture the feelings of the 2010s.

Radical Fools, Almighty Loaves, all of them punks 

By Mike Donovan, Scene Editor

Free of plimsolls and pretense, a few from the Notre Dame and South Bend scene have been playing as punks. Radical Fool — a project fronted by Notre Dame junior Audrey Lindemann — evokes DC’s Priests as it pits Lindemann’s soaring, classically inflected vocal performances (and evocative lyrics) against the brazen rage of an angular instrumental attack. Likewise, The Almighty Loaf — comprised of Notre Dame seniors Matt Mutesich (vocals, guitar), Griffin Yates (guitar), David Pedler (vocals, bass), James Cotter (drums) and Brian Gatter (buttery sax) — revel in the uncertainty of their sound, each performance a post-punk montage merging the sublime textures of spoken word and saxophone with the righteous anger of a nuclear-powered drums, bass and guitar combo. Neither Fool nor Loaf seem all that interested in pleasing the masses. They’re more concerned with the subversive qualities of their sonic statements — always delivered at ear-splitting volumes, loud enough to be heard over the neighbors’ endless Two Friends marathon.

Felix at Legends & Underground

By Ryan Israel, Scene Writer

On Friday, as the decade and semester wound to a close, seniors Felix Rabito, Josh Morgenlander and Thom Weiss performed at Notre Dame’s Legends Nightclub. The show acted as legitimation of the Notre Dame music scene that has been having a phenomenal year. It allowed a chance for the students’ band to end the semester with a flourish. Leading up to Legends, numerous house shows took place where the three played alongside each other and for their peers. In a crowded basement, they rocked out. 

Although the industrial coldness of the Legends Nightclub took away from the gritty, homegrown aesthetic of the band, the fans, most of whom are friends with at least one of the members, remained ecstatic the entire night. The Basement Boxers opened with a rousing set before Fr. Pete McCormick led everyone in a pre-set prayer. When the trio emerged, cheers greeted them; in the middle of their set, they announced their new name: Saint Dismas.

At Notre Dame, the student music scene has toed the line between underground and aboveground. By playing at Legends, a venue which has been criminally underused this semester, Saint Dismas crossed into the aboveground for a night. But while some events and some bands get more recognition from outsiders than others, for those members of the scene, whether they’re in a band or just a loyal fan, the outside recognition isn’t important. It’s the people that are important, and at the turn of the decade, the people are having fun.

The decline of Club Fever and rise of Vegetable Buddies

By Charlie Kenney, Associate Scene Editor

Five years ago, on the intersection of South Michigan Street and Helman Court, one could find hundreds, if not thousands, of questionable ID-wielding freshman and sophomores crammed into a dark, cold, alcohol-scented alleyway on any given Thursday night. Club Fever awaited them. If they could pay the fee, the gatekeeper allowed them in, and those poor souls would then enter an equally unforgiving environment. A cavernous, smoke-filled room with four separate bars and ample space for one to sin as they wished. The space echoed the activity which took place inside of it. 

As “Michiana’s Hottest Nightclub” has closed its doors, however, the younger students of Notre Dame have sought near and far for a worthy replacement. Smiths Downtown, the Arabesk Palace and Studio Rumba 305 have all tried their hand. Yet, at the moment, it seems that perhaps the least suitable bar in South Bend for freshman debauchery has won their favor: Vegetable Buddies — or, as those who frequent it say, ‘Veggies.’ The famous concert venue, which has seen the likes of Steppenwolf grace its stage, now welcomes spilled drinks, loud conversation and regrets of freshmen and sophomores every Thursday night. 

Will Vegetable Buddies ride the cash cow that is ND/SMC/HC freshmen as long as it can? Will Michiana once again have a ‘hot’ nightclub? It seems only time will tell. 

Howard Park 

By Dessi Gomez, Scene Writer

Just in time for Christmas, Howard Park has officially reopened in downtown South Bend. The park allowed visitors back on Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, just edging into our highlights of The Bend for 2019.

The renovation of the city’s first-ever park (est. 1899) took 14 months and cost $18.8 million. Centered around a sizable playground, the park now holds 16,000 square meters of ice forming an ice skating trail and a pond. The trail will be walkable when warmth returns to South Bend. 

The transformation will continue in the summer with fire pits, green space and concert or festival areas. The South Bend Chocolate Café has opened an express location within the park. The Howard Park Public House will also serve food and drinks upon its opening in the spring.

Regular public skating hours will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. In addition to being open on Christmas Eve, holiday hours can be found at visithowardpark.com.

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About Charlie Kenney

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