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UMSG concert series off to a rockin’ start

On Friday, Sept. 1 the first of the new monthly concert series put on by the University of Maine Student Government took place. The concert was outside the IMRC at 6 p.m. and featured three local bands: Gnocchi, Milk St. and Sizzle. 

The first band of the night, Gnocchi, is a rock band with an indie sound. They played a mix of covers, with songs like “White Room” by Cream and original tracks including “Talk” and “Only me.” The band is made up of Ryan Conway on vocals, along with Austin Black on guitar, Ben Flanagan on bass and Reggie Kollman on drums. 

“Gnocchi always brings the energy. They always make sure we have fun. It’s obvious they love what they do,” said a student in the crowd. 

Gnocchi fired up the audience, drawing in more students. After a slower song, the crowd of a couple dozen students switched from dancing on the quad to standing right in front of the stage. People jumped around and the energy was high. Towards the end of their set, Black gave a guitar solo that had the crowd hollering and cheering. 

“They never fail to put on a good show,” said another member of the crowd.

After them came Milk St., a trio who carries a more emo and punkoriented sound. The band is composed of Jonah Wakefield on guitar and vocals, Gabe Chambers on bass and Josh Whittermore on drums. They played all original songs, including “Scariest Part” and “Spaced.”

During the Milk St. set, a small group attempted to start a mosh pit by the stage. On their second attempt at this, Wakefield jumped down in with them. Milk St. also announced that they will be releasing their first studio album, titled “Spaced,” on Nov. 18. 

By this point of the night, the staff was giving away whole boxes of pizza to the attendees. One student stood on top of the hill by the stage, headbanging along to the music with a pizza box in hand. 

“I heard music and I walked over and I enjoyed it. It helps that I was given boxes of pizza,” said Rhys Lowri, a student watching the concert. 

Over the course of the night, the turnout consisted of about three dozen people crowding around the IMRC stage. Another couple dozen were spaced around the quad, although they came and went. By the final set, the casual onlookers had mostly left. 

Sizzle was the final band of the night. They describe themselves as a jam band and offer a jazzier, instrumentalfocused sound. While mostly playing original songs they added in a cover of “Hard to Handle” by the Black Crowes and ended their set with “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles.

Their first song began with a saxophone solo from member Jaylee Rice. While the band played, the lead vocalist, Emma Gibbons, danced around on the lip of the stage encouraging the audience to join in the movement. 

“I heard all the bands play earlier and I enjoyed what I heard,” said Isaac Leveille, who was also watching.

Owen Hebda, the vice president of student entertainment, hopes to have a couple hundred students at their next concerts.

“I just want a campus with a lot of events like this where you show up and have fun. Best way to get people to go to stuff is to make it loud and easily accessible. They walk in and enjoy it,” Hebda said.

Going forward with the concert series, the event will feature three bands each time, although the lineup will be rotating. Milk St. is expected to be a set member of the next lineup.


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