The collaboration between UCD DJ, UCD Music society, Arts and Humanities and Social Science society, Belfield FM and UCD TV birthed the best off-campus refreshers night with plenty of fresh talent to spare
No, really. It was. My friends and I arrived thirty minutes past midnight and as we walked up the dark steps into the main room and the smoke curled around our ankles, I realized arriving fashionably late had been a mistake. Rock band DEPOINT, Heavy/Alternative/Post-Punk 4-piece PETRICHOR and Rock singer and guitarist Jaime Orr are up and coming acts that already know how to own the stage and capture the audience’s attention. There’s no doubt that their performances are to thank for the atmosphere we found when we arrived.
We came in right as rock band RADAR reached the end of its set and the room was awash with purple and vibrating with energy. Immediately, the lulling and lilting cadence of the song, tempered by Ross Mallen’s gravelly vocals , drew me - along with the rest of the crowd - in. RADAR’s balanced song composition gives you a well-rounded experience that lets the whole band shine. Drummer Adam Lewis and bassist Dylan Furlong teases out the chorus so that when the beat finally drops, guitarist Alex Barry guides the crowd through the high and back down again. The band’s sonorities are reminiscent of English Rock band Nothing But Thieves eponymous 2015 album, and channels the same barely restrained darkness found in their chart topper single “Trip Switch”.
Next up was the Dublin-based Indie-rock band TONALITY, who started off strong and who’s energy only continued to grow. By their third song “Waste My Time On You”, it was clear that they had us all in the palm of their hands. The swaying became dancing, the dancing into headbanging and the headbanging into an actual moshpit. Throughout a well-coordinated and balanced set, we got to witness the range of skills of every band member: drummer Tom Wang, lead guitar Sam Redmond, vocalist and rhythm guitar Dara Macken and last but certainly not least bassist “ERROR_404” , whose name remains a mystery. TONALITY really saved the best for last, with bassist 404 putting on his signature mask and soaking in the crowds chanting his name as the projectors flashed white-hot. The combination of undeniable musical talent and just the right amount of theatrics crowned the achievement that was their fourth live performance at the Soundhouse.
The final Indie rock band playing that night was Dirty Kicks, a Dublin based band that looked like it was created in the nineties. With a name which could be a nod to “The Undertones'' 1978s hit “Teenage Kicks” and a sound reminiscent of American Surf Rock band Surf Curse, DIRTY KICKS look like the kind of people who go to bed with eyeliner and wake up the next day and make it a part of their look. What’s worse, they pull it off in a way you never could. They just look cool. And once they start playing it becomes clear that they are. After a very strong opening with their original songs, the DIRTY KICKS shook it up with covers of beloved anthems like “Sex on Fire'' by Kings of Leon, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses and “Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Assisted with vocals by their talented friend Dolly, DIRTY KICKS did not disappoint in giving an energetic and all around chaotic performance that had us begging for more. As I processed that guitarist Aaron Kenny had just swan dived into the crowd, there was little time to consider how much of an important bonding experience this was for us as students, especially coming out of the pandemic. But in hindsight, I can say that it was bonding, was cathartic and all around glorious.
As the night drew to a close, and reality started to creep back into everyone’s minds, DJ Angelo Robledo offered us the one last piece of the night with an eighties and nineties tribute that had all of you and your parent’s guilty pleasures. By seamlessly blending together eternal hits without overmixing them, he proved that embracing nostalgia is always the right move for a night out. You’ve seen the Clubhouse karaoke nights, you know I’m right.
The biggest takeaway from UCD DJ collective and the Music Society’s collaboration at the Soundhouse. Is that it works really well and that It ought to happen again. The event was sold out days before it took place. With affordable prices, the promotion of new talent and all-around better vibes than some clubs, UCD society night outs are set to be a sure deal that more of us should invest in.
But all isn’t lost, the semester has barely even started, so you’ll have more than enough time to see for yourself. You missed out once, that’s fine. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again.