Bands Jam for Sudan
The night of St. Patrick’s Day brought the second annual “Jam for Sudan” to the ’Sco, hosted by Students Taking Action Now: Darfur. After paying the $3 admission, students could dance to the music of three student music ensembles.
OSteel kicked off the jam with its pans set up on the dance floor, enthusiastically pounding out Caribbean beats with the precision that comes only from dedicated practice. The audience was somewhat sparse during the performance, probably due to their early opening time.
Next on the bill was the student rock trio Lazerwolf. Once the dance floor had cleared, the audience began to fill in considerably. The band began with their song “New to This Town,” and continued with a string of other originals, including “Gather Your Armies,” a song that people can easily sing along to — and many did.
Interspersed in Lazerwolf’s set list were two covers: A-Ha’s “Take on Me,” which was a huge hit for an audience that wanted to participate, and Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” which the band rearranged with a brilliantly written instrumental introduction and a new groove to reinvigorate the ’80s rock classic.
Lazerwolf’s chord-based pop songs were perhaps better suited for listening than dancing, but the crowd clearly wanted to dance more. At one point, the lead singer and keyboardist, Conservatory sophomore Tom Fosnocht, seemed hesitant to play a slower song, but proceeded to anyway. Once the drumbeat came in, the crowd was fine.
Oberlin’s reaction to Lazerwolf’s music is always unpredictable. The campus seems to gravitate toward indie rock and electronic music, so straightforward pop songs are almost unfamiliar. But at the Jam, the audience played right along.
The third and final act was the Sauce, a big hit on campus known for their slick arrangements and very danceable songs. Even more people had trickled in by this time — the Oberlin crowd seems to like late shows.
Lead singer double degree sophomore Alex Birnie started out with his monologue — “I love spaghetti and meatballs...” Then, the band went into a string of songs, many of which were probably familiar to the audience. Their tunes went forward with the strength of Birnie’s vocals, the blaring horns and long jams featuring Conservatory sophomore Jamey Arent’s dead-on guitar solos. Though some of the tunes lacked originality, the band was undeniably tight and seemed to serve its purpose quite well.
Unlike last year’s Jam for Sudan, there were no T-shirts for sale; however, the event was still financially successful.
“We made a pretty good amount of money for only having three hours,” said STAND secretary and sophomore Kehan DeSousa.