The University of Rhode Island Musician’s Guild hosted the “Worst X-Mas Ever” in the Memorial Union Friday night, featuring four acts and many ugly Christmas sweaters.
Atrium 1 of the Union was clad with lighting effects, festive decorations, and concert-goers excited to hear the acts. Opening up the show was Mail Culture, a URI-based act. Mail Culture’s Ryan Collins performed alone on stage, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar. The crowd of fans and friends alike were extremely supportive of Collins, on multiple occasions providing cheers and shouts of encouragement mid-song. Mail Culture’s “feel-inducing jams” provided a relaxing opening to the event. Over the summer, Mail Culture released a seven-song “mini-album” entitled “Talking in Circles,” which is available for download on their Bandcamp site.
Next to take the stage was Massachusetts band NOX. Featuring only three members, NOX’s jazzy, indie sound was perfectly balanced out with a guitar, bass and drums. Masterfully blending energy, melody and musical tenderness, the band played a relatively quick set, keeping concert-goers entertained and dancing the whole time. Singer and guitarist Maria Earabino, bassist Jeremiah Bermel and drummer Tom Meyer complemented each other well, pulling off multiple rhythms breaks, changes and odd transitions. In November, NOX released a five-song EP called “Loaf,” which can be found on their Bandcamp page.
Following NOX was Rhode Island/Massachusetts-based band Wax On, which features two URI students. Bringing together a blend of experimental rock and ska punk, Wax On’s songs had the crowd dancing and cheering to the upbeat rhythms and strums. Veering away from more traditional ska punk/dub music, Wax On’s heavy use of pedals and effects allowed them to branch into more experimental and ambient territory as well. Just days off of the release of their seven-song album “Revolution is a Conscious Mind”, Wax On brought energy to a crowd of familiar faces and friends alike. Guitarist and singer Luke Pelletier is also a member of the Guild and one of the organizers of the event.
The final band of the night was Massachusetts act Snowhaus, who are self-described as “Goofballs who will not stop until you have become as goofy as we.” The band’s slightly nonsensical lyrics, combined with their upbeat indie sound create a familiar and welcomed vibe. With only one release available online, the band’s album “Nobscot” perfectly captures their fun, twinkly, emo-influenced sound. Their songs featured many fun breaks, ample sing-along parts and catchy choruses that brought the event to an excellent close.
The Musician’s Guild has hosted several shows like this throughout the semester, each featuring different local and area bands. All proceeds raised by the Musician’s Guild at the “Worst X-Mas Ever” event will be donated to charity. Music from each of the acts can be found on their respective Bandcamp pages.