WQAQ’s spring concert rocks QU’s Alumni Hall

Mike McKenna

This past Saturday a rock spectacle was arranged for music enthusiasts of all ages, proving that WQAQ 98.1 FM is “the soundtrack of Quinnipiac.” A large group of musicians gathered to deliver waves of entertainment to an enthusiastic crowd. Their main objective: to rock!

On April 3, Quinnipiac’s student-run radio station WQAQ sponsored the 2004 Spring Concert. The show took place in Alumni Hall and proceeds from admission fees went to WQAQ, so that they may continue to bring the Quinnipiac community the best daily news and entertainment we crave.

The show featured music by Onelinedrawing, Murder by Death, Bear vs. Shark, and Quinnipiac’s very own student band Camera Shy Paparazzi.

At the show’s open, the lights flickered as Camera Shy Paparazzi took the stage. As first place winners of this year’s “Battle of the Bands” competition, Camera Shy was able to open for the three featured bands.

Despite a couple of the band members being ill, the upperclassmen trio managed to get the crowd moving with their unique brand of “happy-go-lucky” pop/rock sound. The band played a decent set list, spanning most of their musical repertoire including favorites like “Schizo” and “Judy,” a track off of the band’s latest album which QU senior, bassist Colin Toomey claims is their new “hit.”

As Camera Shy left the stage, the mood of the concert drastically changed. Bear vs. Shark took the stage with a vengeance. The emo/hardcore group from Michigan came out to do two things: raise pulses and simply deafen the crowd.

Lead vocalist Marc Paffi flailed around on stage, nearly entering a state of convulsion while screaming violently into his microphone. There was a small fan-base gathered close to the front of the stage, but if their “At the Drive In-like” hardcore isn’t your scene, then you may have wanted to take a seat for this one – somewhere in the back.

After the thrashing sound of Bear vs. Shark had left the audience’s ears, darkness seemed to settle over Alumni Hall as the crowd was greeted by the members of Murder by Death. Front man Adam Turla best described the band’s set list as being songs about, “The Devil (…) zombies (…) and whiskey.”

An interesting twist to the band’s gloom and grandeur was the somber contribution of cellist Sarah Balliet. One of the most essential tracks of the evening was “Three Men Hanging,” a song which tells a story fitting of its name.

Pianist Vincent Edwards added a type of electricity to the performance which complimented the underlying sense of mystery and horror which the band subtly worked over the crowd.

Next to take the stage was Jonah Matranga of Onelinedrawing – with a framed picture of R2D2, a synthesizer dubbed with percussion loops and his heart planted firmly on his sleeve. Matranga, formerly of the band “Far,” performed an all acoustic set with the occasional help of his friend Liam on electric guitar.

Between his songs, which ranged from originals to passionate renditions of Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move,” Matranga involved the crowd in very intimate and humorous discussions about his own personal life and the world in general.

The most notable of these speeches was about the issue of gay marriage. After taking a liberal stance on the issue, promoting freedom of choice and denouncing the discrimination facilitated by unwarranted media attention, a disgusted Matranga said, “To care so much about this, Ashcroft must be pretty hard up for nookie.”

The highlights of Onelinedrawing’s performance were a humorous and genuine song written about a good friend’s birthday and a heartfelt tribute to the late John Lennon with a cover of the Beatles’ “In My Life” accompanied by a brief interlude of “When I’m 64.” The idea was said to have stemmed from a discussion with Camera Shy Paparazzi, and band which Matranga described as simply being, “Nice.”

For die hard fans of Onelinedrawing, the set would have been considered a treat. For others, the performance may have seemed a bit drawn out and boring at times.

No matter what type of music you are into, there was a little something for everyone to enjoy at WQAQ’s Spring Concert. All of the bands performed with heart and soul, making for a memorable experience.