For the Popular Music Bands concert Oct. 12, four student-run bands took the stage at the South City Campus to perform rock covers of popular songs, leaving their audience awestruck.
Banana Gators, Dam Dance Polls, Stanky Eels and Generic Band Name each performed in the multipurpose room, alternating with sets of four self-chosen songs. Salt Lake Community College’s School of Arts, Communication and Media put the event together, with key organizers including Dr. Lynn Brown, adjunct professor of music, as well as Andres Reyes, adjunct guitar instructor.
The bands that perform at these concerts, held twice a semester, are comprised of students taking SLCC’s popular music bands course. Reyes said students are matched based on a survey that asks what instrument they play and what genres they’re interested in. Once grouped, students rehearse for 90 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday.
“I’ve played music for eight years or so,” said 18-year-old Evan Brewer, electric guitarist for Generic Band Name and SLCC freshman. “But this is the first time I’ve played with a live band – with other musicians. I felt super happy with the way it went, and I loved every minute of it.”
Evan Brewer dedicated his chosen song, “Sometime Around Midnight” by the Airborne Toxic Event, to his parents, who have inspired him to play music since he was little. Before they kicked off the song, Brewer took to the mic and said the song was a favorite of his mother’s.
“I feel like I had more of a purpose when I got to perform [in front of people I knew tonight],” Brewer said.
The first band to take the stage, Banana Gators, wowed the audience with vocals from singer Eden Walker on covers like “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, among others. Stanky Eels’ singer also impressed with a jazz cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” Stanky Eels additionally featured a saxophonist whose solo on “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer earned raucous applause.
Generic Band Name followed with a moody set. Singer Roberto Cortes wore his heart on his sleeve for “Karma Police” by Radiohead, and another student, Hannah Williams, energized the crowd by singing a hit from the Pixies while playing bass.
Dam Dance Polls closed out the evening, most notably with their rendition of “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine, in which singer Adam Peterson invited the crowd to join him in a rowdy yet friendly mosh pit near the front of the stage.
Besides performing at the two concerts, students in the popular music bands course are also able to record their music in TV studio and radio studio settings.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students who didn’t have a chance to participate in performing music in high school,” Reyes said.
Over 100 people made up Thursday’s audience, comprised of friends, family, teachers and fellow students. Admission is always free. The next Popular Music Bands concert is scheduled to take place in December, just before the winter break.
Below is an accompanying video piece created by student Mavaney Burnham.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct date of the event.