House Party Weekend ‘14

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As a first-year, I heard rumors and stories about House Party Weekend, however, I didn’t know what to expect out of one of the greatest traditions Bucknell apparently had to offer. After reading fellow journalist Connor Small’s article which can be found here, the ‘music junkie’ in me was stoked to finally witness some live music, as it’s relatively difficult to go to shows since Lewisburg isn’t exactly close to well… anything. As the weekend progressed and I wandered from backyard to backyard soaking in the music, my appreciation for Bucknell’s music scene as a whole definitely grew. My first stop on Friday landed me in the backyard of Kappa Sig just in time for the performance from Truck Bed Band. As guitarist, Tom Ball, warded off girls that were fawning over his scandalous cop getup, the band took the stage in order to kick off the festivities for the weekend.  In case you didn’t get the chance to see them, or quite frankly don’t remember, they performed a set composed of rock classics that revitalized the crowd as they began to dance and sing. As far as other student organized bands, I was also able to see TKE’s Log Cabin play through the entirety of their set list; however, I wasn’t able to see Sig Ep’s band SPEatles play, which was rather disappointing. Previously, I felt as though the live music scene was under appreciated at Bucknell; however, everyone’s involvement in and excitement toward the performances definitely made it seem otherwise. A majority of students, whether they knew the words or not, joined in as the bands provided some much needed live music to accompany the socializing and partying.

On Saturday, the student-run bands took a rest as the bands hired by various fraternities and organizations stole the spotlight.  Early Saturday morning as I made my way to Sig Ep, I was greeted by the old-school workings of Groove Train, a band based out of Scranton that was probably overwhelmed by their audience, seeing as they normally play for weddings. Everyone, despite it being 11 in the morning, was ready to jam and dance as the band took the stage. The dancing often resulted in slipping and falling in the mud, but it was enjoyable until the pain set in the morning after.

Later that day, my favorite performance of the weekend unfolded at a party sponsored by various fraternities. Despite the band’s unique name, Ostrich Hat, they put on quite the performance consisting of an eclectic set list. This performance really resonated with me because they played some of my favorite pop punk tunes from the late 90’s and early 2000’s, in addition to some solid alternative workings. Since the lead singer was arguably more concerned with drinking and picking up chicks, he essentially handed the microphone to me and gave me the opportunity to sing a majority, if not all, of my one my favorite Sublime songs, “What I got”. Overall, the performance had the same feel as the classic basement concert I would attend back home, which felt nostalgic yet exciting.

As mentioned earlier, I have never had the privilege to experience House Party Weekend before it was cancelled.  As a result, I can’t accurately compare this year’s musical performances to those of years past.  In order to gain some perspective on the matter, I reached out to various upper classmen including the lead sing of the Truck Bed Band, Justin Honigstein. When asked to compare this year’s performances compared to others, he remarked “This year, in relation to previous years, felt a bit lower key and our band also felt less prepared. There was much less music and entertainment in general this year I thought. Also, as a senior I felt like I did not know half of the audience because there were a ridiculous amount of freshmen.”

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From the sounds of it, House Party Weekend 2014 was enjoyable but not comparable to years past.  Despite this, I definitely think it was and will remain a sufficient outlet for the live music at Bucknell. Throughout the weekend, the music supplied the much-needed environment for people to unwind, socialize, and simply enjoy each other’s presence. In a generation and culture dominated by electronic music, the appreciation for live performances by bands seems to be waning.  However, the student body at Bucknell definitely demonstrated their appreciation and passion for live music this weekend as everyone crowded around the makeshift stages in order to dance and sing as a unified student body.

Speaking on behalf of someone who has plenty of Bucknell experience ahead of him, I hope that in the years to come, the university begins to develop and supply more outlets for the live music scene. Although House Party Weekend was nothing short of memorable, it’s only one weekend. In order to really promote and sustain Bucknell’s live music scene, we, as a student body, need more venues to demonstrate our talents. In the last few months, I have witnessed and discovered a plethora of hidden talent on campus that needs to be showcased for the entirety of Bucknell to see. So if there’s one thing you take from House Party Weekend besides great memories, I hope it’s to seek out more opportunities involving live music.