“UCAB! UCAB! UCAB!”
As I’m sure everyone can agree, the Usdan Center Activities Board has really been killing it lately with their late-night, alternative-to-partying events, but the band Chants, whose signature musical style is, well, chanting, is most definitely one of their biggest fans. The band, which consists of Will Feinstein ’13 on vocals, Ethan Young ’13 on drums, Spencer Burnham ’14 on bass, and Adrien DeFontaine ’13 on guitar, opened UCAB’s concert in Beckham this Saturday night with a whirlwind 15-minute set at the stroke of midnight. They were followed by Kevin Garrett, an acoustic guitarist from Pittsburg.
It was only Chants’ second performance—their first was a first-place winning show at Awesomefest last semester—but that didn’t have any bearing on the band’s ability to yell repetitive phrases and really get the crowd going.
“We only play sets shorter than 20 minutes,” said drummer Young, who wore a yellow Kill-Bill-esque jumpsuit. In fact, set length is one of the main reasons the band chose to play the UCAB concert this weekend—the other reason being an appreciation for UCAB itself.
“We actually do really like UCAB and what they’re doing,” DeFontaine said. “They had laser tag and the roller skating thing and that was awesome.”
“Chants is fully behind UCAB,” proclaimed Young.
As for the show itself, reverberations of Chants’ powerful chanting could be heard echoing across Andrus Field. Once actually inside Beckham Hall, one could see the small but enthusiastic crowd wildly moshing in front of the stage and devotedly participating in the chants. The crowd even included Justin Pottle ’13, one of The Argus’s fearless leaders.
“Never seen Dexter and I don’t plan to!” yelled the crowd during one number aptly titled “Dexter.”
“Guitar guitar guitar guitar!” was the enthusiastic roar of both Feinstein and the audience during a guitar solo by DeFontaine.
One of the highlights of the show was a little number called “Polidicks,” which the band wrote in reaction to the Occupy Movement.
“Yes we can like it’s 2K Ten! We didn’t need to occupy shit back then! Free Wall Street, free Wall Street, free Wall Street,” screamed Feinstein.
“We’re all about sincerity,” Young quipped when asked about the motivations behind this song.
But that wasn’t all. During that song, two members of the adoring crowd were rolling on the floor, mock-fighting. It turns out that these were two auxiliary members of Chants who always fight during this song because it sets up the next lyric: “This is what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like,” and so on.
The concert continued with “No Girls Allowed,” which, surprisingly, involved all of the boys in the crowd shouting that phrase at all of the girls. However, there was a twist—Feinstein divided the crowd in two by gender and had them yell at each other either “No boys allowed” for the female sympathizers, or “No girls allowed” for the masculine portion. Chants then stirred the pot even more by splitting up the crowd by people who prefer their moms and people who prefer their dads. Interestingly, the mom side had considerably more people.
A concert-goer, Jana Heaton ’14, said, of this song, “[It was] reminiscent of a kindergarten 80s style rave.”
Although their set did last slightly over 15 minutes (it was 12:17 a.m. when they left the stage), the final song came all too soon.
“We are Chants! We are Chants! We are Chants!” is how the song began, but then there was a turn (a classic move in the Chants-style), where the band pointed at one member of the crowd and yelled, “You’re not Chants! You’re not Chants! You’re not Chants!” Taking their cue from Feinstein, the rest of the crowd also turned on one person who most definitely was not Chants. Still, not even that single member of the audience stopped their enthusiastic cheering.
We may not actually be Chants, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate them. Fifteen minutes of Chants at midnight was a rousing success, and they kicked off UCAB’s concert in Beckham with a heart-stopping, fast-paced set that still left you time to get to late-night before it closed.
As for a last word? Burnham, who performed wearing the top half of an Elmo costume and a sparkly dollar sign necklace, said, “We love our moms.”