Pretty lights, talk boxes, broken circuits, and a barrier blasting from the past. This past weekend was quite the time. This past weekend we were met with two ubiquitous names as far as Java history goes. On Thursday, we welcomed Mister F back for what front man Scott Hannay reported to be the last performance for quite some time. The following Saturday we witnessed Aqueous for what must have been at or nearing their tenth appearance in the Barn. You may or may not have noticed the plethora of ecstatic Java alums at the show. This was many of their first returns, in quite some time, to the Barn, and they were as thrilled as ever to see such a roaring show this past Saturday.
Let’s talk about Mister F for a moment. In the past five years that Mister F has been visiting the Barn, we’ve seen a great change in style and quality. Not to say that they were bad by any means at all in the past. The band has simply found their sound throughout the years, mixing a variety of genres such as jam, electronic, hip-hop, and rock and roll. Mister F is one of the remaining bands that plays at the venue that serves as an icon of Java’s older line ups.
For those of us who have been at Java for a few years now, you have probably noticed a shift in style. You may have overheard people referring to acts as “old Java” or simply stating that Java was more of a jam band venue in the past. This is true, and it’s through no lack of appreciation. Java has undergone a slight shift to more alternative styled acts, such as Le Grotto and Vundabar earlier this semester, and (pay attention this is a spoiler) Caroline Rose and Hammydown visiting later this December. More recent booking agents have been trying to employ a variety of genres and styles, bearing in mind all tastes at SLU. From the perspective of your everso-humble columnist, this is a positive change.
Aqueous was another name that has been part of Java for what seems like an eternity. It appears as though the trend amongst most bands is to arrive to shows on the later side. Whether it be traffic, issues of the mechanical nature, or poor planning (#1 reason), it’s just something that has been noted. This was not the case with Aqueous. Arriving in the late afternoon, Aqueous got straight to work constructing their stage.
Aqueous travels with their own sound and light guy. While alleviating labor for our gentile sound technicians, they also enhanced the performance value of the show up to eleven. They had their own lighting equipment that flaunted lasers and rhythmic visual choreography. On top of this, they also had smoke machines, and a metallic back-drop setting for an atmospheric stage presence. It was really cool.
It was no wonder, with this immaculate demonstration of electrical triumph, that the circuit broke not once, but twice. The first time was no big deal, as it was during sound check and our faithful campus facilities fixed her up in a jiffy. The second time the circuit broke was in the middle of the show, much to this columnist’s dismay I might add. I suppose that it really just goes to show that Aqueous truly did bring justice to the age-old term “bringing down the house.”
This upcoming weekend we’ll be visited by the Albany natives Annie in the Water. Playing for the past decade, these boys have been jonesin’ for a Java show since they caught wind of our stanky home away from home. SLU’s own funk ensemble, aptly titled SLU Funk, will also be playing a Parents Weekend show the following Saturday. A week from this we’ll all be headed off (or staying here) for mid-semester break. This being said, there will sadly be no Java show. I know, keep your head up. I totally feel you. Look forward to Hayley Jane and the Primates the weekend back!