Last Friday, the tables and booths of the Spoke were filled with a rapt audience of friends and fans for the Sonic Arts Society’s (SAS) second annual showcase.
Western’s CHRW Radio helped set up the equipment on and around the stage, and at around 6:20 p.m., SAS member and host for the night, Emma Phillips, took the stage and introduced the first act.
The Sonic Arts Society is “a USC club connecting musicians on campus regardless of expertise, instrument or genre,” says SAS president Trish Sawhney, a fifth-year music student. That mission statement was reflected in the showcase from the creative atmosphere and diverse performers in both style and setup.
The duo of Derek Holzscherer and Ricky McDougall kicked the night off with a cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Sympathy.” A combo of vocals and acoustic guitar, they played great pop covers by the likes of Ed Sheeran and OneRepublic, delighting the audience.
They were followed by the first band of the event, the B-Club, a multi-instrumentalist, genre-spanning group. The B-Club proved versatile as they covered everything from “All Night” by Chance the Rapper to “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.
The next band, the Sunset Boyz, had their debut as a four piece, having previously only performed with three. Opening with “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers and closing with their original song, “Kenny,” reminiscent of older rock 'n' roll not often found in today’s music landscape. Band member John Muirhead, a third-year music student, said that through adding a new member, “There was that element of sharing something new.”
The solo performers followed the bands, starting with Megan Levine on keyboard and vocals. Her soulful voice signalled a quieter act, yet one that was no less powerful. She was followed by Christina De Chellis, whose vocals were backed by pre-recorded instrumentations. Her covers spanned generations and genres, including “Self-Control” by Frank Ocean and “All My Lovin’” by the Beatles.
The last two acts of the night were the bands Fat Chance and Nameless Friends. The former was a four-piece that had a groove and surf rock feel to many of their songs while the latter was a a four-piece evocative of garage rock and a bit of funk, with many extended jams in the middle of their song.
“We haven’t really had a lot of chances to showcase the students here,” said Sawhney, “but tonight is just a really great opportunity for these musicians to play a substantial set with their friends.” These artists’ talent was on full display, truly showing the breadth of musicianship in Western’s community.