Nine Stories Up gets a step up from GW

To say that Nine Stories Up is a GW-oriented band would be putting it lightly. Most members of the rock quintet, which performed Tuesday at GW Unplugged in the Hippodrome, have known each other since they were freshman in Thurston Hall, practicing in their ninth-floor bathroom.

Lately, Nine Stories Up has been busting out. After playing many GW-sponsored events, the band has performed regularly at The Grog and Tankard in Georgetown, where last month the band pulled in about 100 people for a show.

The band plays two gigs this week, which makes the students’ schedules hectic during the final week of classes. At the unplugged show at the Hippodrome Tuesday night, Nine Stories Up played at acoustic set, with bongos, which sounded somewhere in between Guster and The Black Crowes. About 50 people showed up to see them.

Our fans are so much fun, said vocalist Jason Steinhauer, who also plays guitar, of the about 50 core fans who follow the band. They make us play better just by their constant enthusiasm and energy.

The band will perform at The Grog and Tankard on Wisconsin Ave. in Georgetown Friday. According to Steinhauer, this means practicing for 2-3 hours a night for five nights this week, their usual regimen when they have an upcoming gig.

The band, whose influences range from Bruce Springsteen to RadioHead, got its start playing at campus events. Members first played at last year’s Octoberfest, sponsored by WRGW. From there, the band went on to play at Spring Fling and then again at this year’s Fall Fest, with such acts as The Bloodhound Gang and Cypress Hill.

We’ve been fortunate to get gigs through GW, Steinhauer said. The Program Board has been good to us, not just in getting us on stage, but doing publicity to ensure people show up.

The band consists of Steinhauer on vocals and guitar; junior Sean Griffith on vocals, keyboard and harmonica; junior Haady Taslim on vocals, guitar and bass; junior Elliot Golden on bass and trombone; and sophomore Brian Dolber on drums. The band’s name is a reference to the where the four juniors in the band first met living on the ninth floor of Thurston.

Getting gigs is hard for us because we have no manager and no demo tape, Steinhauer said. We hope to get a demo tape this summer and come back strong in fall 2001.

The band is temporarily disbanding because members are going abroad next semester. As GW band Waterstreet graduates some of its members next semester, Nine Stories Up will be making it back just in time to save what little rock scene GW has.

Nine Stories Up plays at The Grog and Tankard, 2408 Wisconsin Ave., Friday night.

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