Students gathered together at the Curb Event Center Saturday night to explore the many faces of rock, from folk to feel-good to something a little bit heavier.
The evening kicked off with the Americana and folk sound of the The Red Headed Indian, featuring the ethereal crooning of Caroline Kingsbury. Kingsbury and her fellow performers seemed to have a lot of fun putting their all into the performance, dancing, bobbing and swaying with the music, especially as they transitioned into the second song of the act, “From Colorado.” The song’s up-again-down-again tempo perfectly showed off the range of the band, and once again demonstrated the incredible versatility of Kingsbury’s powerful voice.
Nodaway took the stage after Kingsbury and started off with a sultry intro that even elicited a wolf-whistle from the crowd. The band then dropped off into the fast-paced, dance-oriented rhythm it maintained through the second song. Lead singer and guitarist Chris Jobe brought a clean, deep sound to the electric anthems but also a unique expressiveness in his cool, calm connection to the crowd. The band’s final song, a smooth, semi-mournful tune which Jobe called the story of a past love, felt like a party anthem straight out of a movie, drawing on Jobe’s influences, The Strokes and The Arctic Monkeys.
Without a doubt the hardest rock act of the night, Ironglide started its set with a crowd at the barricade. Lead singer JD Sayler emerged from the audience at the opening of the first song, connecting immediately through his growling voice and classic rock feel. Bathed in fiery red light, Sayler, along with bassist Ben McAnelly and guitarist Michael Elliot, play to the crowd and for the crowd, dancing and leaning out over the edge of the stage. By the band’s last song, “Chosen Few,” the crowd was inflicted with a heavy rambler spirit, passion and stage presence. Some members of the audience stood, giving the band a standing ovation.
The final act and winner of the showcase, Staying for the Weekend, brought the crowd back down to earth with its vintage flair and light-hearted attitude. Lead singer Mitch Davis has an easygoing stage presence and it translates into his music. That seemed to be the mindset of the band itself, as it transitioned into a crowd-pleasing rendition of the Beatles’ classic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” for the second part of its act. Staying for the Weekend ended the night with a fun, chaotic energy that left people excited even after the show.
The 2015 CEMB Country Showcase will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21 in the Curb Event Center at 7 p.m.
This article was written by Riley Wallace.
PHOTOS: Andrew Hunt