If you passed by the Old Main Pit last Thursday, you probably heard loud music coming from the makeshift underground venue. The students were entertained as 6 rock bands gave a free show in the Huntsvegas Music Festival sponsored by One Music Square music store. Speakers and instrument cases lined the inside walls of the set, effects lights bordered the steps, and merchandise tables stood in the background. A soundboard on a folding table was placed in the far corner. About seventy Sam Houston students littered the steps, walls, and grassy areas available.
By normal venue standards, this area seemed small for a show. There was a lower level for the bands to play in, but it seemed as the rising steps were an obstacle for crowed interaction. The crowd’s view looked down on the bands, the grass was filled with ants and the steps were uncomfortable, but despite the awkwardness of the setup, everyone seemed to find a place to enjoy. There was a buzz of conversation in the air as everyone waited for the first band to set up.
Jimamo took the stage as students began to meander in. The band played, a tambourines jumped about to the beat, the crowed smiled at his antics. This pure unadulterated Nerd Rock band sung songs about giraffes, robots and being a geek. They had a few pros: a talented bassist, a good sound and a dedication to be different, but the content of their songs will most likely keep them from getting far in the music scene.
Por Victoria was up next belting ballads of worship and praise. The quintet took the mood down a notch to a mellow feel. It was aided by colorful effects lights splashing the crowd and the sun slowly going down. They boldly gave homage and praise to God in between and during their songs.
The Last Great Assault took the stage swinging their guitars and jumping about, with progressive chords and slightly falsetto vocals. Neither of them standing over 5’7″, the three guitarist brutalized the small box they were held in.Though there were microphone technical difficulties, the four- piece managed to push through and deliver a worthy set.
Undercrowd was not the underdog of the night. We were next graced by a five sting slap bass and the fluid-like motions of the electrics fingers and wrist. Collide Staind, Crossfade and the musical workings of the old P.O.D. and you will have a taste of what this group can do. Joel Hawkins had a wide range of vocal control that any fan of rock would enjoy. This band shouldn’t be doing free shows at universities but touring with the likes of the Buzzfest crew.
Shortbus Superhero left us a little short changed. This group began with confidence stances and a brutal intro but didn’t live up was expected of them. They do get points for being the only band to actually interact with the crowd. Bass guitarist, Daniel Pfannstiel (who is also responsible for organizing the festival), played his bass amongst the crowd, in a mini-mosh pit and standing on the highest wall above his crew. Still, it was difficult to get past the vocals. He could manage a few screams, backed by throaty growls from Pfannstiel, but his voice lacked the things that made me want to sing their songs back to them. However, it all came together in a trio of screams during their song “On My Own” and they brought what we were craving for the whole time.
Glass intrepid took a prolonged warm-up like normal headlines, but eventually got into the groove of things. A crowd of their fans took seats on the first steps that dropped into the pit for a more intimate view. With Bryan Scott constantly smiling at the photographers, the bands delivered a few of their hits like “Only One “and “Good Enough.” With their rock/alternative sound, they were veterans on presence and performance. Throughout the whole set, the crowd was up clapping and singing the lyrics back. Clad in black and eyeliner this group poured out lyrics of love, devotion and heartache; things the majority of students can relate too. They finished with the single “Whatever it Takes”; the song that got them a slot in Buzz Fest two years ago. It was backed by a few vocals from Travis Weaver (drummer of Last Great Assault) and an array of echoes from wound up crowd.