By Kelly Stephens
The College was graced with the presence of three alternative music acts — The Sonder Bombs, Tigers Jaw and Vundabar — hosted by the College Union Board (CUB) ALT and WTSR in the student center on April 22.
The excitement before any concert is palpable, and this one was no different as students waited in line for the concert to begin. Some students were unfamiliar with the bands performing but were willing to give all three a try for a love of music.
Gracie Cipparulo, a sophomore psychology major, was one of those students.
“I’ve never heard of the opening band [The Sonder Bombs], but I have heard of the other two bands that are playing,” Cipparulo said.
Cipparulo admitted that in her sophomore year of high school, she had a “very big Midwest emo phase,” and learned of Tigers Jaw during that time. As for the band Vundabar, a song of theirs, called “Alien Blues,” gained fame on Tiktok, leading Cipparulo to listen to more of their music.
Cipparulo said she loves the CUB concerts, and since this is the first semester where events on campus were somewhat normal, she found it amazing to finally witness bands that she has heard of.
Natalie Botello, a sophomore criminology major, agreed with Cipparulo’s sentiments. She also looked forward to going in and getting introduced to more music that she hadn’t heard before, as well as being excited to see what CUB has in store for audience members.
“They do an amazing job for each of their concerts, and everything is so professionally set up and well done so I’m excited for what they’re going to do next semester because this one was already fantastic,” Botello said. “I’m sad that they’re gonna be ending, but it’s one of these things I’m never going to forget.”
Cipparulo said she makes it a point to try and go to as many CUB concerts, regardless of who is performing.
“I always go to these things, even if I don’t know who the people [performing] are because it’s always fun regardless,” she said. “I love getting into smaller, more local artists.”
The concert started with an opening act from the band, The Sonder Bombs, which can only be described as electrifying and a great start to an even greater concert.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the band has made its way to the College, championing songs like “Crying is Cool” that talk about the importance of vulnerability as the lead singer states that “crying is one of my favorite hobbies.”
Even though their set was short, with seven songs in total, The Sonder Bombs proved to be an amazing starting point for the concert that the crowd loved.
Junior early childhood special education and English major Elizabeth Chipura especially loved the lead singer’s electric ukulele and pointed out that the Sonder Bombs have sparked a new interest in her.
“I think it’s unlocking some new interest like I just looked them up on Spotify and added them,” Chipura said. “So, I’m excited to explore some of the other songs they have.”
For many students, it was also a very bittersweet night. As the spring semester comes to a close, this was one of the last concerts that CUB had to offer.
Junior communication studies major Bella Trucco, who worked as the event planner that booked and coordinated the headliner Vundabar, empathized with this sentiment.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Trucco said. “Even though it’s not the complete last show, it’s the last one that I’m heavily involved in, and it’s like kind of sending off my junior year. This is one of my last CUB events that I’m planning for this school year, so it’s a little bittersweet in that way.”
Based in Scranton, PA, the band Tigers Jaw had a softer, more acoustic sound, inviting the crowd to sit on the floor at the beginning of their set.
With the April 22 concert marking the group’s third time playing for the College, two members of the band were in their element and comfortable with the crowd. Positing that this concert has been one of their first acoustic shows in a very long time, also pushed back due to the pandemic, Tigers Jaw played songs like “Teen Rocket” and “I Won't Care How You Remember Me.”
Jackson Tencza, an elementary education and history double major, managed to catch the tail end of Tigers Jaw’s setlist and said he really enjoyed their music.
“I liked that it was like softer music because I know Vundabar is a bit harder rock,” Tencza said. “Also, it was a really good opening act right before Vundabar.”
Last but most certainly not least, the band Vundabar lead with an air of casual, cool confidence from their electric guitarist, bassist and drummer.
From jokes with the crowd in between each song led through sheer magnetism and charisma, Vundabar led the crowd through a twelve-song set.
Through the concert, multiple concertgoers such as Tencza have praised CUB’s ability to bounce back from the pandemic and are excited about the direction CUB has taken to bring students together after being isolated for so long due to the pandemic.
Students have enjoyed the way in which CUB Alt has allowed alternative music to have a strong presence on campus that can be enjoyed by everyone.
“I think that events like these can help unify communities on campus who enjoy alternative music, who like music in general or who like going to free concerts,” Trucco said. “I think, in that way, CUB Alt has a unifying presence on campus.”