Alumni Show – Coffee House Review
by Christy Walters
On Wednesday, October 21, The Coffee House at Village Hall was abuzz with activity on a Thuesday night for the “Blue and Gold Week” Alumni Showcase, featuring Suavity’s Mouthpiece and The Feel-Good Revolution.
Students filtered in, cramming into the small space, opening up their laptops, and not so discreetly streaming the Pittsburgh-Pirates-wildcard game from E.S.P.N. so that they wouldn’t miss a minute of either event.
Suavity’s Mouthpiece performed first. Only two of their members could make it to the show, lead singer and electric guitarist, Justin Trafford, and background vocalist and acoustic guitarist, Dick Whiskey.
Suavity’s sound was an eclectic, acquired taste. While Whiskey’s vocals and guitar playing were phenomenal, and Trafford’s voice was tolerable, those items, accompanied by Trafford’s guitar playing, did not mesh well. Trafford was hard to understand, and his words could not be clearly heard over the disjointed sounds of the guitars.
Suavity’s set was not entirely unenjoyable. Whiskey took over the lead vocals halfway through the hour-long set, and performed a song called “Red,” off his new E.P., “Chemical Identity.” Trafford’s harmonies and electric guitar backing on this song were amazing, and this performance alone salvaged the disjointed feel of the set.
After a short intermission, the newly engaged Cody Kraski and Claire Secen, of The Feel-Good Revolution, stepped up to the microphones.
The Feel-Good Revolution’s folksy sound differed dramatically from Suavity’s electronic one, endearing the evening to people with different musical palates.
Kraski’s and Secen’s vocals and harmonies blended very well in “The Radio Song: and “Song for Sarah.” Both songs are from their new album, “Home,” released, in September, 2014. Secen was able to hit clear, melodic high notes in “Old Song.”
Kraski and Secen played many songs inspired by their times at Pitt-Greensburg, such as “Pumpkin Spice,” which pays homage to The Coffee House, and “Tall Trees,” a song about their last few months at the university.
Near the end of their set, they invited Suavity’s front man, Trafford, to come up and accompany a song called, “Paddle,” something they all wrote together, on a whim, after Kraski was playing around with the different instrument settings on The Coffee House’s keyboard.
Secen said that the song was about a little boy with an imaginary friend, but Kraski said it sounded more like the story of a pedophile, and he wrote two different versions of the piano line, both of which he played during the show.
The night ended with thunderous applause for both bands and left a sense of happiness in the air, just enough to cover the hard feelings from the pathetic Pirates’ loss.
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