Adrian Boteanu / Sun Staff Photographer

The Districts play The Haunt in March.

March 27, 2017

The Districts: Energetic and Invigorating at The Haunt

Print More

When I started listening to The Districts a few summers ago, I quickly fell for the band’s fresh and personable sound.  It was the lead singer’s powerful voice and the band’s unique sound that kept me a fan for years.

Stepping into the venue Saturday night, I was filled with suspense and excitement.  The band filled the smaller venue with their vibrancy and rich sound.  By the end of the night, the band had transcended my expectations.

The atmosphere was upbeat and nostalgic.  As the band members went on the stage at around 10:30 to set up for the performance, the venue played a gospel hymn to welcome them. I had never been to a rock concert in which gospel music introduced the artists; nevertheless, this only added to the excitement and created an atmospheric sense of spirituality.  Soon after, the band opened with one of their top songs: “4th and Roebling.”  With the first strum of the guitar, the audience was wide awake.

The lyrics “sunshine stretching like valley river beds” opened the set and the District’s rich sound cascaded throughout the Haunt.  Rob Grote, lead singer, pressed his mouth to the mic and offered his emphatic vocals to the crowd.  The lyrics “living lives in two places wear my soul too thin” set the standard of energy for the night:  electric.

Grote had a distinct sound that recalled the sounds of the late 60s and early 70s.  In addition to Grote, the band includes Connor Jacobus on bass, Pat Cassidy on guitar and Braden Lawrence on the drums.  The members formed the band while attending high school in Lititz, Pennsylvania.  They released “A Flourish and a Spoil” in 2015 which contains their hits Young Blood and 4th and Roebling.

What made the performance so compelling was the energy.  Not only was each song just as powerful as the one before, but the band members embodied such effervescence that the crowd left with a feeling of euphoria.  Moreover, Grote took control of the stage with such ease as each instrumental solo was explosive and powerful.  He would move his body to the rhythm, shaking his body forward and back while strumming with an intense energy.  There was such an electricity that made the set so gripping.

The Districts performed old songs and offered the audience some new pieces as well.  Grote stated that they have been doing a lot of writing and are hoping to release a new album soon.  The energy that night was kinetic and the sound was invigorating.  Every song was presented shamelessly and with an outburst of passion.  Nevertheless, I was overtaken by The Districts that night and listening to them through my headphones will not be the same.  However, I look forward to reminiscing about the good vibes and the intoxicating sounds I experienced that night.


Isabella York is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]