Psychedelic, intimate, electric, authentic, interstellar. These five words are the best way to describe the experience of seeing Brian!, Empath and Guerilla Toss at The Haunt.
The show started with local Ithaca Underground band, Brian!, taking the stage. The band was comprised of artists playing the bassoon, guitar, drums and string bass. The majority of the vocals were performed by the bassist: They were a mix of spoken word, singing and vocal sounds that created an eerie, other-worldly feeling. The bassist read from a book and spoke the lyrics, which transformed the song into a piece of performance art.
The next band to perform was Empath. Based in Philadelphia, the artists brought a grunge, alternative style. Empath used a synthesizer and bird noises to create music that was a blend of punk rock and alternative singing that got the audience jumping. The band changed the pace at the right times to keep the audience engaged and having fun. It was thrilling to watch the band members in their flow of performance as I was swaying along to their music.
When Guerilla Toss came on, the lights went down and the crowd went wild. The six members put on a great show and the electricity was palpable. The band used a synthesizer for intense and purposeful sound effects. The audience was singing along to Guerilla Toss’s popular songs, especially “Betty Dreams of Green Men,” which gave off significant Joan Jett vibes. When I thought that people couldn’t get more excited and energetic, the lead singer started playing an electric violin, almost as if out of nowhere, which showcased the band’s talent and unpredictability. The performance was complemented with psychedelic visuals, colorful lights and a fog machine.
Overall, the combination of Brian!, Empath and Guerilla Toss, transitioned nicely to create a cohesive, unique experience. The night was one big intimate performance and all audience members were engaged and excited. I would recommend checking out these bands for a mix of alternative, electric and rock music.
Rachel Mattessich is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]