Several local bands played in the Memorial Union atrium this week, which allowed for a friendly intimate gathering of avid listeners. Photo by James Singer.

An audience gathered in the Memorial Union on Friday, Oct. 4 to enjoy the performances of four bands from across three states with mosh pits, crowd surfing and enthusiasm.

The University of Rhode Island’s Musicians Guild hosted their first event of the semester in Atrium One of the Memorial Union. The concert they hosted lasted three and a half hours.

The first set came from a local Rhode Island band, “Delko,” described by the guild as “groovy indie rock.” They set a very casual and friendly vibe, stressing audience participation, addressing them as “fellow musicians.” Most songs started with calm soothing vocals and ended with strong percussion with a great build up to get the crowd going with mosh pits, dancing and head banging. 

The smaller space of the atrium allowed for a very intimate environment. At one point, someone in the crowd yelled “everyone, tuck your shirts in,” and all the guys immediately began tucking their shirts in, playing into the stereotype of what guys into indie music look like at concerts. Between sets, while the next band would set up and sound check, people would sit on the floor in little circles and chat or go out to the hallways or outside to get some fresh air with friends. The bands also became audience members once their set was finished.

Junior Caitlin Kelly, who found out about the event through Facebook, really enjoyed the event’s “energy” from both the bands onstage and the crowd.

“It was so much fun,” Kelly said. “Those bands typically aren’t bands that I would listen to, but I thought all of them had a really solid performance. They were all very passionate.”

Next up was “Wax On” from Massachusetts, whose music was described as “indie rock with a punk edge,” and received the most enthusiastic response from the crowd. The group, which features some URI alumni and have performed on campus multiple times, includes a trumpet player who received many cheers when the band introduced themselves.

Lead singer and guitarist Luke Petellier, graduate of the class of 2017, was a member of the Musicians Guild as a student and describes the band as “very good friends” with the guild.

“Our philosophy collectively is that folks leave the comfort of their couch, their space, their pajamas, their music they want to listen to to come be somewhere and it’s important to us to give them a reason to want to be there,” Petellier said.

They fulfilled their philosophy so well that once their set was over, the audience chanted “one more” and after getting the go-ahead from the guild, played an encore.

“Snowhaus,” self-described as a “party punk” band from Western Massachusetts, was a late, but a welcome addition to the performance roster. Their music was very high energy with some slower moments and they interacted with the audience often. Before a song they sang with the lyrics “1-2-3-4, I declare a thumb war,” they had people in the crowd pair off and conduct their own thumb wars. They called out one pair and dedicated the song to the loser of the two. They also demonstrated a dance to one of their songs and got the crowd to follow along.

The alternative rock band, “Silverteeth,” travelled to URI from New York City to perform the final set. Their guitarist started by shouting out the guild and sharing that he, himself, like Petellier was a URI student and member of the guild, even serving as president. As the night wound down, the vocal audience kept the energy high, lifting each other in the air, moshing and line dancing to the amusement of the band.

“It was a very excellent show from the new generation of Musicians Guild,” senior Jesse Yelin said. “[The energy] was on-point and full of love as usual.”