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Local and touring bands rock out at Elon’s Lighthouse

by Marlena Chertock, March 2, 2010

Magician participant, Julie Schnaeble, takes part in the magician performance. Photos by Brian Allenby.

The band played as the crowd nodded their heads and tapped their feet to the beat. Some stood near the bar while others crept closer to the stage, wanting the full front-row experience.

Almost every weekend, Elon’s student radio station, WSOE, brings in bands for shows at Lighthouse Tavern. The doors open at 9 p.m. and music usually begins around 10 p.m.
On Feb. 19, two local bands came to play at Lighthouse: Ryan Gustafson and The Proclivities and Michael Casey.

The Ryan Gustafson band is from Durham and The Proclivities are from Raleigh.

Freshman Cat Valero is the music promotions director at WSOE and is in charge of choosing bands for these shows.

Performer, Ryan Gustafson, performs with the band Max Indian at Lighthouse on Friday. Photos by Brian Allenby.

“First thing I look for is what’s in the interest of the people I work with,” Valero said. “Because I feel like there’s a mixture of North Carolinians and people from the New York tri-state area that might know certain ins and would have more experience with the local scene here, like upperclassmen.”

The next place Valero looks is her repertoire and on Myspace. Valero looks for bands in North Carolina and on tour who wouldn’t request much money, “because we don’t have a whole lot of money,” she said.

Fliers have been the main source of publication for WSOE Live shows. There is a Facebook group every time there is a show. Valero also puts information on the digital screens in the Moseley Center.

“And of course promoting it in the studio … I’m excited so I always mention it on my show,” Valero said.

There are three upcoming shows for the spring semester. March 5 will feature “a really awesome local rock, twangy band” called Shine River, Valero said.

A local band, Black and Blue, and the Elon all-male a cappella group Rip_Chordwill also be performing.

“The cool thing about Black and Blue is they are one of the two bands that was at my first WSOE show of the spring semester on Feb. 12 and they rocked the house,” Valero said. “(WSOE) staff really enjoyed them. And Chris Kilgore, the president of Rip_Chord, is the lead guitarist.”

Bands for April 16 are still being determined. Valero wants to partner with an organization on campus collecting donations or raising awareness for a cause.

“My goal for the April 16 show is to get a like-minded organization and work with them to get bands, to get different kinds of people into Lighthouse,” she said.

April 23 will be the final show for the semester. Valero is bringing in Elonzo, an American folk rock band from South Carolina, and Sidrak and Bokkus, an indierock band from Vermont. Sidrak and Bokkus is currently making a Northeast tour.

The band Proclivities, lead singer Matt Douglas, right, singer Chris Boerner, left, and drummer Matt McLaughan, back, perform at Lighthouse on Friday night with WOSE Live. Photos by Brian Allenby.

Valero said she hopes to increase the attendance at the shows.

Last week was rough. The turnout was not as high as past shows, she said.

“I was disappointed because I did put a significant amount of fliers up than I did before,” Valero said. “But the music overall was phenomenal. I was very impressed by the musicians and the talent and skill.”

She said the people there enjoyed themselves.

“Especially with the magician, that helped a lot,” she said. “Put a little humor in the night.”

Friends and faculty have also mentioned certain bands they would like to see at Elon. Anyone can suggest a band through Valero’s Facebook or e-mail.

“I am very eager to having any input from anybody, across the board in genres,” she said.