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Belmont bands take over 12th & Porter

On Thursday, the doors of 12th & Porter opened at 8:30 p.m. to the musical world of Belmont bands Pressure Kids, Mocha, Koa and Dynamo.

Pressure Kids, an indie-rock and alternative band, opened the night with an energetic performance. Lead singer Nick Johnston ran through the crowd, creating excitement all around.

Mocha took the stage next and brought a soulful vibe to the venue. Mocha’s “Hard One to Let Go,” resonated with many crowd members. Lead singer Sakari Greenwell shared her encouragement by seeing people, “groove and grind,” to music at the show. Drummer Raymond Standiford voiced his appreciation for shows at 12th & Porter.

“We all come together playing a style we love. It’s awesome to bring that passion to the crowd, because we are so passionate about our style,” Standiford said.

Mocha also revealed that the band plans to drop more music in the fall.

The largest audience appeared for Belmont’s Battle of the Band winners, Koa. The energy in the room became contagious with audience members crowd-surfing, lead saxophonist playing two saxophones at once and the crowd dancing to the new EP, “False Calls.”

Finally, Dynamo ended the event with a jazz jam.

While fewer students attended, Belmont student Rebecca Garland emphasized how much they missed out and admitted that Koa’s fan base comprised a large part of the audience for most of the evening.

“Those people who left early missed out on a jazzy rainbow of awesomeness,” said Garland.

Despite its growing fan-base, Koa’s lead vocalist, Chase Bader, explained the band played for only a little over a year together. In fact, Koa released its first EP in February and will finish its album in upcoming weeks.

Saxophonist Alex Matthews gave input about the album.

“It’s an exciting record because it’s the first big chunk of music that we’ve put out,” Matthews said. “I think the finished product is going to show how much we’ve grown in our beginning. Not only has the band grown in producing music, but Koa has also expanded its listeners through touring.”

Lead guitarist Conor Kelly elaborated on the different audiences who viewed Koa on tour.

“We showed up at a place in the Carolinas that was not our typical Koa audience. It was a biker bar with a pig roast and weapons everywhere. The coolest thing was they asked us to come back and play again the next night,” said Kelly.

The band members expressed their gratefulness for positive feedback and said that it definitely went beyond the band’s expectations.

“When we started, I had no anticipation that I’d be playing with six other guys on stage. It wasn’t something that I didn’t want; I just had no clue it could happen,” said Bader

The band planned to hold concerts in Miami and Birmingham, Ala. As for the Nashville scene, the group announced its regular showings starting this weekend at Soulshine Pizza Factory.

This article was written by staff writer Brooklyn Penn

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