Wednesday was my first Stanford Concert Network (SCN) show, and it was an unforgettable evening. Although the show strayed from publicity, not providing wine and cheese to attendees, there was merchandise for sale (I got a tote bag and some records) and plenty of beats and melodies. to advance the night. The audience was electric and alive, resonating with the energy rising from the stage. It was great to go to The Row to listen to music: a fusion of punk, rock, indie and pop.
The headlining band “Small Crush”, an indie rock band from Oakland, stood out to me as the real show. The performance featured singer-songwriter Logan Hammon, drummer Allen Moreno, guitarist Jackson Felton and bassist Dino Bevilacqua. Their performance was the most captivating, and it built on the excellent energy of the night. Hammon and Moreno’s exuberance stole the show – Hammon, whose guitar was decorated with stickers, sang gracefully, and Moreno smiled throughout the set list, ecstatic and in the zone as he pounded the drums and mumbling.
Their set list consisted mostly of songs from their 2019 debut album “Small Crush.” The audience danced, shaking their heads and feet moving from side to side; you could feel the vibrations coming from the shaking ground. At one point, at a slower pace, everyone in Kairos pulled out their phones and gathered into a group of agitated flashlights. The band ended with an epic drum solo from Moreno, who threw his drumsticks aside once he was done. It wasn’t the finale though – the audience begged for an encore. The band relented, ending with a cover of The Strokes’ “Someday” – a song they hadn’t played in a while but still managed to have fun with.
‘Small Crush’ was paired with two other impressive bands, ‘The Umbrellas’ and ‘Surprise Privilege’. “The Umbrellas” are an indie pop band from San Francisco reminiscent of “The Beatles,” both in their music and vintage fashion choices. The band gave a wonderfully warm performance with its four members – Morgan Stanley (vocals and guitar), Matt Ferrara (vocals and guitar), Keith Frerichs (drums) and Nick Oka (bass). There was an intimacy between the crowd and the band which was enhanced both by the small venue and the soft ambiance of the music. It didn’t hurt that they were so charming and funny.
“I hope your studies are going well,” Stanley joked at one point, beaming in front of the crowd.
“To abandon!” exclaimed Ferrara. The Kairos crowd roared with excitement. “Just kidding – I have an art degree.”
Another funny moment happened right after. “How many of you are going to write your thesis on ‘The Umbrellas? “,” Stanley added. The crowd gave another round of cheers. “If you do, you’ll get a full scholarship,” she stopped to sip her drink, “at Umbrella Academy: it’s a good show.” They then immediately moved on to their next song.
My favorite songs from “The Umbrellas” set list included “Never Available,” a pop melancholy perfect for slow campus bike rides or a road trip to the beach, and “She Buys Herself Flowers,” an upbeat jam that had the audience swaying. These two songs were created on their first album, “Umbrellas“, published last year. And to end it all with a well-deserved encore, the group sang two unreleased songs, fresh for the excited ears of Kairos.
opener”surprise privilegealso added to the fun of the night by waking up the crowd early in the night. The band – Joey Silberman on guitar and vocals, Alan Hernandez on bass and vocals, and Cody Azumi on drums – is a Latvian Post-Surf and Pre-EDM Punk Rock band based in San Francisco. Through their heavy metal and screaming music, the band stirred the pot to create a mosh pit. They played 12 songs, each under three minutes long, featuring tracks from their albums”white girl music” and “surprise privilege.”
The band was delightfully pessimistic between each song. True to their brand of hilarious simplicity, the performers were laid back and nonchalantly self-deprecating. (On their band camp(they even joke that they “aspire to be real musicians one day.”) The group really shined in their soaring song “I Hate Surprise Privilege,” where Silberman and Azumi seemed to vocally click. Their encore stood out for its eccentricity, with the guitarist standing on a platform spitting an entertaining inconsistency into the mic.
As the night drew to a close, Kairos clearing away, it was clear that “Small Crush,” along with “Surprise Privilege” and “The Umbrellas,” were giving the students a well-deserved jolt to get through Week 5 and the rest of the mid- journey.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective opinions, reflections, and critiques.