People go to live shows for different reasons. Some go for the music, some go for the dancing, and some go to meet new people. Whatever the reasons may be, acquiring knowledge and information on local issues is usually not one of them. One Western club hopes to change that.
Music for Change Club is bringing the Thermals, Candysound, the Learning Team and Brainstorm to Western for a benefit concert supporting the opposition of the Cherry Point coal terminal on Friday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Presale tickets are $10 for students and $12 general admission. Tickets at the door are $12 for students and $15 general admission.
Music for Change has been uniting Western students with local nonprofits through live all-ages music for two years. They meet every Thursday at 5 p.m. in Bond Hall 108. Although the club only has a core group of 12 members, they coordinated and publicized the benefit concert completely internally.
“We’re just a club on campus and we’re just students,” Music for Change President Shadi Garman said. “We’re not getting paid. We’re not getting really fancy stuff that other [organizations] might receive. We are just students who love music.”
Working with organizations such as the AS Environmental Center, Whatcom Action Coalition, and Western’s Students for Energy Efficiency club, Music for Change created the event as a way to inform students about the Cherry Point terminal and to provide means for them to get involved directly.
“We thought that instead of having a lecture... [we’ll] bring them together for this concert,” Garman said. “I think that’s one of the best ways to really make a change or at least be educated about it.”
At the heart of this event is a lineup that is bursting with all the low-fi, punk, rock and folk audio delights that any indie-diehard could drool over.
The Thermals, a three-piece indie punk rock band from Portland, will headline the event. Since the early 2000s, the Thermals have crafted high-energy sound filled with distorted, raw guitar and the immediately recognizable, in-your-face vocals courtesy of guitarist Hutch Harris.
“They’re from Portland, so it’s not too far away but at the same time. They’re not on tour right now and they’re not in some cycle that we just popped in; they’re coming just for us,” Garman said. “The Thermals are like the dream that came true.”
Bellingham band, the Learning Team, will open for the Thermals. This show will serve as the release party for their newest EP, “Daypack.” The erupting chorus of “Iced Coffee,” the only song released from “Daypack,” will have students jumping and dancing, only to fall back into the sway of the beautifully twangy banjo and guitar-driven verses that are folky enough to make you want to put a wheat straw in your mouth, pop off your shoes, find the closest lawn and lay down in it.
“We’re pretty proud of [the new EP],” said Emile Panerio, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for the Learning Team. “We incorporated a lot more eclectic sound and collective sound rather than a basic folk sound, which is kind of how our first EP portrayed us. We’re excited because it’s a transitional EP into how we want our music to sound.”
Another local band on the bill is Candysound. Even with the absence of guitarist and vocalist Teo Crider’s hushed, soft lyrics, each musical theme of guitar, bass and drums are so fleshed out and distinct from each other that the mere interaction of the three separate parts seems to coalesce into a musical unit that is vocal in itself. Candysound’s performance will be a suitable appetizer for anyone with an indie-rock sweet tooth.
Brainstorm, the multi-instrumental duo from Portland, will open for the show. The drummer sings. The guitarist sings. They both play keyboard. The drummer plays keys and drums and sings. The best part is that Brainstorm frequently changes this instrumentation mid-song making for truly awesome tracks that ebb and flow in a way that makes it hard to believe the music you are hearing is coming from two people.
“We’re making music really accessible to everyone,” Garman said. “You don’t have to be really cool and know the band or know the venue or anything. It’s on campus, it’s all ages, and it’s for everybody.”