Well, that’s another one for you. This past weekend was a double-header, featuring Great Blue on Thursday and Monogold and Root Shock on Saturday. This weekend was one of the more eclectic we have hosted at Java. Fortunately, the fanbase at Java is adaptable when it comes to foreign grooves. It was heartwarming to see the bands remark on the carefree and loving crowd. Each band playing this weekend was making their debut appearance, and both were shocked by the excitement and carousal of the student body. Way to go team!
Let’s drop a few facts down on the line. #1: Great Blue is from Wilton, CT. #2: So is your roommate’s friend. #3: Great Blue just released their third album. #4: Great Blue shreds. The power trio had a unique playing style, where frontman Peter Anspach (not wearing a Hawaiian shirt) and Ethan Michael (wearing a Hawaiian shirt) switched instruments throughout the show. The technique allowed us to hear a variety of different styles for the two sections of the band. The band flaunted influence of jam, rock and roll, blues, and hip-hop, even tossing in an Outkast cover. They fed off the audience’s energy, even throwing playful jabs at fellow student organizations.
The name Great Blue may sound familiar to avid consumers of this particular student publication. KSLU put out a review of their aforementioned album the week prior to their show. Noa Graham had the band visit KSLU this past Sunday for an interview- be on the lookout for it online. In the short while this Connecticut band has been on the scene, they’ve already started making a name for themselves. They’ve toured across Brooklyn, Boston, Denver, Savannah, Hartford, and Burlington. The band has played festivals such as Pig Jam, Onion River, and Jerry Jam. The band confided in this undercover journalist the night of the show that they have big plans this summer, playing at a larger number of big festivals.
Saturday night had an interesting blend of styles. On one hand, we had Monogold. Monogold planned a nice little tour Upstate, based around their trip to the Java Barn. You may recall a Facebook post published by the Java Barn this past summer asking the public which bands they would like to see play. Monogold swept the post, with countless amounts of students demanding the Brooklynites travel northward. As it would turn out, Monogold has a family connection to SLU. The band’s drummer, Jared Apuzzo, actually happens to be the Uncle of Nick Filannino ’20.
The band started playing at 10:30 p.m., with boisterous yet somehow strangely gentle songs. Claiming this was the longest set time they’ve had to play (roughly 90 minutes), the band dug deep and played songs from years past. As their set went on, the energy only built. By the time they had reached their newest album, “Baby Food,” the entire room was shaking with their bass-heavy, alternative sound.
The second band performing that evening was Root Shock from Syracuse, NY. The frontwoman, Jessica Brown, possessed one of the most brilliant voices I’ve yet to see at the Java Barn, putting her alongside Kat Wright and Arlie Kincheloe (known as Sister Sparrow). The band played trance-like reggae to a dub beat, intertwining influences of jam and funk. The rhythm was enchanting. It’s atmospheric quality (adequately textured by theremin use) put the audience in a trance-like dance. Although the end of their set was spoiled by a wintry rain-shower, their set proved to be a worthwhile experience.
Coming up next week, we’ll be visited by Java favorites Strange Machines on Saturday. Beyond that we can look forward to Afterfunk on the 30 and Caroline Rose, Hammydown, and Bella’s Bartok in December.
Sona si Latine loqueris!