By Toni Abiru || Contributing Writer
On Friday Oct. 23, WFNM in conjunction with the Sustainability House hosted the second Ben’s Bands concert of the Fall semester. The Ben’s Bands event serves as a platform for creative musical groups and for people to come together and showcase their talents. It is not limited by genre, instruments, or performance style. This year it showcased bands from F&M, the Red Lion borough, and the city of Philadelphia.
“Ben’s Bands was created in an attempt to create a concert scene on F&M’s campus. A lot of colleges are big supporters of local music and are often essential in establishing music scenes, so we wanted to be a part of this trend and bring new music to campus,” said Erin Hallenbeck, WFNM events coordinator.
General manager of WFNM radio, Su Spina, has fond memories of past shows, she says “my favorite show was probably our very first one back in November of 2014. The number of people there and the energy was amazing for our first go at the event. Maitland and Darla had amazing sets, and the audience loved them.”
Chief John Vanderpuye, the head of Capo 6, one of the bands being showcased, says, “I commend the efforts of WFNM who put together occasions like this so often, there are always very good.” As for his performance, he said, “I am excited but there is also a bit of pressure because we have usually been associated with jam sessions and open mics, performing here is definitely a step up.”
Along with Capo 6, the other bands performing were Younger Me, a band integrating rock ‘n’ roll with electro-pop and Blood Sound, a new wave punk band.
Instead of being held in Ben’s Underground, the show took place in the basement of the Sustainability House. The walls were covered with vinyl versions of several compositions by greats such as James Brown. At the back was the space for the performers to present and for the audience to applaud. Decorated around the house were green, blue and pink fairy lights. There were also options for food as well as several merchandise items for sale from the WFNM society.
With regard to the change in venue, Hallenbeck revealed that “we were looking to create more of a basement show feel, something typical of underground music scenes, so we felt the basement of the Sustainability House would be perfect for this…it will hopefully create a more intimate environment for students and musicians to interact.”
The show began with the campus-located group, Capo 6. They proceeded to amaze the audience with special renditions of “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa, and Charlie Puth and “Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars. Following this performance was Younger Me, the band from Red Lion borough. Their unique alternative indie pop rock sound was really appreciated by the audience. The eclectic combinations of their instruments was very dynamic and refreshing. To end the set of performances was Blood Sound which displayed their hypnotic dark pop wave sound and enabled the audience to express themselves in whichever way they wanted. In between the sets were several periods for the audience to mix with or congratulate each of the bands.
Regarding the future of the show, Hallenbeck said, “We just want to keep improving and booking as often as possible. We want to continue mixing up genres and artists for the best turn out possible. November 20th, our next event, will be featuring The Original Crooks and Nannies (pop rock) and W.C. Lindsay (electropop/hip-hop).”
The next Ben’s Bands event will take place November 20th.
First-year Toni Abiru is a contributing writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.