GW hosts new bands

The Lisner Auditorium stage belonged to the performers of the “You Saw it First” fall concert Friday night. Four touring bands, July for Kings, Carbondale, Kill Hannah and Kazzer, all signed to major recording labels, played along with GW band Last Week.

Promotion agency International Creative Management uses the “You Saw it First” tour to build it’s music department. The goal of the tour is “(to) generate some fan base,” tour manager Patrick Potter said..

“College is the largest network of demographic these bands are looking for, those in the 18-25 age group,” Potter said.

Performers interacted with an audience of about 200 people and created a lively atmosphere.

“When the lights go up, it’s pure joy – great sounds, perfect rhythms, exciting and enthusiastic. But when they stow away their gear and move on, the nightmare begins,” Potter said.

Potter described the challenges of the road, including the mixing of personalities within each group.

“Twenty young adults that have star mentality and little to back it up,” he said.

Potter described learning to deal with these problems is “star development.”

Epic recording artist Kazzer found the differences between performers to be part of the learning experience of the tour.

“There have been ups and downs. A lot of problem solving, and that’s good to learn. It’s all personalities, you’ve got to deal with people, be a team leader,” he said. “Everyone’s just really hungry to make it.”

One of the frustrations for artists on tour has been attendance. Many band members said they have played before single-digit crowds.

“With ten kids there, we can shake all their hands. They appreciate it,” Lee Nadel of Carbondale said. “Our view is like, thank you. We’re really proud.”

“T,” of July for Kings, who has signed with MCA, said a small audience has certain advantages.

“A smaller crowd is more casual. We can go nuts, have fun, screw around. The only bummer is that colleges don’t promote as well as we’d like them to,” “T” said.

Though the performances are entertaining, problems arise before and after shows.

About three hours before Friday’s concert, a sound producer was threatening to walk out if he was not paid before the show started. As he threatened to put his gear back on the truck and leave, Potter sat in the front row quietly, trying not to create even more problems with a scene. However, by the 8 p.m. start time, the show began and all sound equipment was in place and working.

Despite problems, which most ticket holders never see, the show goes on. The eclectic group of performers appealed to music fans from the “college rock” of July for Kings and Carbondale to the indie stylings of Kill Hannah and the hip hop-inspired sounds of Kazzer.

Artists appeared on stage from different bands in backup roles or danced through the aisles while other artists performed. Kill Hannah performed their whole set with most of the illumination from fluorescent lights fastened to their guitars. Kazzer moved stage pieces and began break dancing during his final song. A Carbondale guitarist was walking around stage taking pictures with a disposable camera.

“The whole thing is a great idea,” junior Tim Calise said. “That we can come out and see great bands trying to start up.”

Students enjoyed the performances of the newly signed bands.

“It’s a really good idea that GW’s having this,” sophomore Anna Ulrich said.

Potter described GW band Last Week as being “where all these guys were years ago.”

The band has high hopes, considering many of the bands, like July for Kings, began as student groups.

“We want to play any show we can,” said Matt Reich, a GW sophomore and member of Last Week, as the group packed up to rush off to their second of five performances this weekend.

The show was Program Board Concert Chair Josh Bhatti’s idea.

“(These are) affordable shows for students to go check out,” Bhatti said. “(They can) see good bands in an intimate setting.”

The concert, which was put on by the Program Board and sponsored by the Student Association, is the second of three in the “Fall Concert Series.” The first was JLive in September and the third is scheduled for Nov. 15, with acts for that date yet to be determined. This is the first year the Program Board has held a concert series and three dates are already being planned for the spring.

When the final act was done, the four groups came together on stage for final pictures. Cameras appeared from almost everywhere, with artists trying to capture the final moments of a seven-week tour.

“A difficult tour, but 100 percent effective,” Potter said.

The concert marked the end of the tour for these bands. After the performances, band members hugged and said goodbye on Lisner’s stage.

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