Thought Police Plays Set at Smiling Chameleon


Listening to live music in Lewisburg is much more fun when you’re in a cool pub-eating guacamole. It just is. Luckily, students Andrew Kilman ’15 and Ryan Sindelar ’15 thought of the perfect way to make this happen. On Mar. 6, the duo from their original four-person band Thought Police (other members include Sam Carey ’15 and Jake Perlmutter ’15) satisfied our cravings for both live music and delicious snacks with their performance at The Smiling Chameleon Draft House downtown.

The Smiling Chameleon, infamous for its guacamole with chips (and for their diverse lineup of beers for those 21 and over) set the tone for Kilman and Sindelar’s casual and mellow show. The wood-paneled walls, mood lighting, authentic bar, and long tables provided the perfect atmosphere for Thought Police’s fans. Students listened to the duo’s performance while enjoying snacks and mingling. Brandon Neale ’15 said, “One of the takeaways from last night, for me, is that Smiling Chameleon provides a great venue; it had great ambience and an intimate setting. The venue complimented the performance, which showcased a perfect set list. It was nice to have Ryan and Drew alternate singing.”

Kilman and Sindelar performed a variety of songs, including covers of popular alternative songs; a few renditions of John Mayer songs (one of the boys’ favorite artists); as well as some original songs. The duo played one of their originals, “Blackout Bed,” to the delight of the crowd. Both Kilman and Sindelar showcases their guitar skills, and Sindelar even demonstrated his knack for drumming as he played the bongo during a few songs. Their entire two-hour set seemed to ultimately win the audience’s approval.

“It was really fun listening to Ryan and Drew last night as they performed a wide array of music, ranging from T-Pain’s ‘Buy U A Drink’ to ‘Hotel California.’ Their cover of Citizen Cope’s ‘Sideways’ is a crowd pleaser and is one of my favorites. However, their outfit and styling choices left something to be desired,” audience member Kathleen O’Brien ‘15 said.

“Great music, great beer, great people, and Pennsylvania's best guac...what's not to love? Those boys can jam!,” audience member Jimmy Sorensen ’15 said.

Band member Ryan Sindelar had some thoughts to share as well: "Kilman and I are really influenced by the same type of music - John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, old blues, reggae, any of that type of stuff. It usually starts with him and me, just hanging out, and I'll say 'can you play this?' and name a song. Chances are he loves it and he'll start playing, so we'll work on a harmony part or a drum part or whatever and just go for it. We just play the songs we really like to listen to. We split up the singing pretty evenly though he's much better and more polished in guitar and singing than I am. He tells me I'm good, but I know he's just being humble. More than anything, we just play together because we're almost always on the same page musically and it seems like we don't have to try that hard. I bring more of the rhythm-type stuff to the table, but he arranges everything else from the harmonies to guitar parts and that type of stuff. It helps that I live in the house [Sigma Chi fraternity house] with him so when I'm stressed out I just say "hey we need to play some music" and it never fails. He's helped me with music more than anyone else between confidence and technical stuff that I wouldn't know otherwise. For the originals, it was stuff that he and Jake Perlmutter wrote together, I think freshman year. They have a good thing going with writing so I just jump on with the drum parts and try not to screw it up. Overall, we just do it because it's fun, and it's something we love doing. And when people tell us they like it it's just the icing on top. I hate cherries."

Check out Thought Police’s YouTube page, and “like” them on Facebook for updates on upcoming shows and new music.

Bucknell NewsJen Lassen