For those not involved in the Theater program on campus, the chance to be on the stage does not come often. On Apr. 12, all of the non-thespians were given exactly that chance, but not to act, to listen. In an attempt to bring music to Castleton, Tech Services hosted a Total Backstage Access event featuring bands from many different backgrounds. TBA has been a tradition at Castleton for many years, and while the crowds never seem to be overflowing, the bands have proven to be crowd pleasers.
After its first performance in 2002, TBA became “a passion” of the department. With past bands such as Dough and Twiddle, TBA, originally called “Backstage Concert”, has strived for greatness.
“The idea was that we wanted to do a big rock concert, but we had no money,” said Chad Voghell, Technical Director. “So we asked bands that were comprised of students or faculty or staff, if they would be willing to play for free. It has been surprisingly easy over the past six years finding bands for this concert.”
The show is put together by students who have interests in putting on a concert for the community and due to all of their volunteer hours, which add up to about 220 hours, the crew were able to do the entire show for the cost of food, $135.
After sending out a campus-wide email last December asking for bands, the response was overwhelming. The next step was to decide who made the cut.
“The students listened to demos and myspace profiles and selected the bands that would play this year’s concert,” said Voghell.
The first band scheduled wasn’t even a band. Dempsy, Bill featured one man, Billy Comstock, on bass grooving enthusiastically to pre-recorded music on his computer.
Using children’s laughter and funk bass lines, Dempsy, Bill gave the small audience something to dance to. After his set, a different style approached the stage, and they didn’t just rock the stage – they destroyed it.
Souldead delivered thrashing metal riffs and loud, grunting vocals that corrupted the ears of listeners. While most of the audience shuffled off after the first band, those who remained were glued to the floor.
The band played many originals and covered a few songs by Pantera and Rage Against the Machine. After finishing their set, the band left to return their equipment to the van, where the Greg Giles, the drummer, had a little comment about Castleton.
“I graduated from this fine institution,” he said, adding that he’d majored in Accounting.
The band joked that he was the most broke of all of them, to which Giles said it’s easier having “no money to account for.”
The third band of the evening played a two hour set and got the audience dancing the entire time.
Faceplant featured a Beach Boys sound and while playing an original called “DWI” lead singer Jonathan Czar exclaimed the title showed their age, since it’s not called that anymore.
Afterwards, the band played a cover of Radiohead’s “High and Dry” which proved to be a crowd pleaser. The trio played their set at their best and although the audience was scarce, they treated it like a sold out show.
Playing well into the night, TBA delivered a set of vastly different musicians, and while the crowd came and went, the success of the show was measured by the bands’ enthusiasm towards the crowd.
Other bands featured that evening, were student led bands.
Juliano, featuring Julian DeFelice and his fellow CSC students; Blame Owen, with Mark Logiudice on drums; and MOJO, with Morgan Bernhard on lead vocals.
This year’s show was dedicated to Katharine Pierce, who did a lot of work on this concert, but was unable to attend.