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A Night of Locally Produced Talent with ‘Home for the Holidays’ Show

by Sheridan Cyr

Decaying in Decades, a Central Connecticut based band composed of Joe Thomas, Elliot Cohen, Matt Green, Nick Thomas and Ryan Hall, worked with Central Activities Network (CAN) to create “Home for the Holidays,” an unforgettable night of musical performances in Alumni Hall Wednesday night.

Green explained the inspiration for creating this show came from a desire to promote local bands and expose students to the different generes of music that exist.

CAN provided the pizza, wings and beverages while the bands provided the entertainment. Matt Swieton was up first, his songs used only his guitar and drums. Swieton took full advantage of the open stage as he rocked out electrifying, intense riffs. He earned some laughter from the crowd as he explained, “My music is a lot like pancakes – the first one you can just throw out.” With each song he offered a short and interesting background story. For example, “Kuru,” which is about a type of cannibalism practiced in New Guinea where loved ones bury their dead, retrieve them two days later, eat their brains then contract an infectious protein.

Aurelius was next. Marcus Krysiak, front-man of the band, formed Aurelius in 2008 and has since seen many members come and go as he searches for the perfect sound. This marked the debut of Aurelius with Angie Scott, Jesse Swieton and Jeremy Payne. Demonstrating, a similar sound as Yellowcard and Matchbox Twenty, their performance was impressive enough, but to find out that Scott had just learned bass guitar in time for the show and Payne had just entered the band two weeks prior made them that much more impressive.

Space Camp stirred up the night with their unique performances. The band is composed of Jon Whitin, Cameron Lovett and Sam Usifer. Each very musically inclined and equipped with different skills, they collaborate to create “art punk.” They make use of computerized digital sounds and play with everything they’ve got. Space Camp is a high-energy, truly one-of-a-kind band.

Mandala approached the stage with visibly heavy hearts. Abe Azab sat closely to vocalist Morgan Fasanelli and regretfully informed the crowd that just recently, three of their band members had quit. They explained, “We got three new members, but they weren’t quite ready to play out.” Nonetheless, Mandala put on a beautiful acoustic show. Fasanelli has a powerhouse voice that sent chills through the room, and Azab showed off years of passion and practice on the guitar.

Static Charmer, along with a Michael Jackson cardboard cutout, took their place next. The five-piece band made up of Matt Balogh, T.J. Redding, Dan Bony, Matt Wilkes and Tyler Doyle produced a catchy, kind of old-school alternative-rock sound. Their lyrics are ones to admire. Static Charmer played several songs off of their recent EP, “Well, Clearly…” along with a Taylor Swift and Twenty One Pilots cover. Though a portion of the audience had filtered out by that point of the night, they still rocked out to their full potential and had at least half the room dancing.

Decaying in Decades took a break from managing the evening to close the show and eagerly made the stage their home. The heavy metal band formed in early August, but viewers would never be able to tell. They are more than comfortable playing, well-organized, have visible chemistry and their songs are fine-tuned as if they’ve been playing for years. With a sound that could be heard from outside the perimeter of the Student Center, the band finished off a fantastically successful evening of locally produced talent.