Edelweiss | Photo by Emily Ivy Scott
Edelweiss, Blankbook and Cyberbully Mom Club rock the ballroom of a Drexel dorm
Dominique Galluscio is serious about her music gear. When she needed to borrow a can of condensed air from her Residential Director to fix her headphones, she realized it would also be a great opportunity to inquire about hosting a punk show in the ballroom of Drexel University’s Van Rensselaer Hall.
Galluscio and Priyanka Bhatia used the residential building to host a DIY show with the help of WKDU, featured Jersey-based alternative rock band Rachel, lo-fi spoken word artost Personality Disorders, Blankbook, Edelweiss, and University of the Arts’ Cyberbully Mom Club.
For freshmen Galluscio and Bhatia, they saw Van R as the perfect place to set up a show with its open floor-room and high ceilings.
“We go to a lot of shows in Philly,” said Galluscio, a freshman environmental science major at Drexel.
They wanted to see their musician friends play and described the show as an “almost selfish event,” Galluscio said. With the help of friends in Drexel bands, Bhatia, a business major at Drexel, and Galluscio were able to put on the Jan. 23 show, which was a test run for possible upcoming events in the residential hall.
The opening NJ-based band Rachel featured killer alternative jams with intricate chords and soulful vocals. The band has clearly garnered some attention in the Drexel music scene; vocalist Steven DeLucry said “This is our hit” before going into the track “Pool Shed,” which had some members of the crowd singing along.
Personality Disorders had that lo-fi, experimental bedroom sound but with the enthusing addition of spoken word. The NY based band put out a five-way split at the beginning of this month with Kill the Intellectuals, Panucci’s Pizza, Flatsound, and Emo Side Project.
Philly indie-emo band Blankbook played a set featuring new songs like “Weed Pieces,” which is a distortion-heavy track and the band’s first recording with their new guitarist. Other songs from the set will be featured on an upcoming split with Twin Pines.
Indie bedroom-pop four-piece Cyberbully Mom Club closed the show with an excited, dance-y set that included glow sticks being tossed to the ceiling of the Van R ballroom. The lo-fi band just got off a mini-tour with Pittsburgh’s Fun Home.
In the middle, poppy math-rock band Edelweiss’ set was nothing less than energy packed.
Tony Young, Niko Porlier, and Thomas Vitale have been playing music together since 2009 in their hometown of Stroudsburg, Pa. They became a band because of British indie bands like Bloc Party and the Arctic Monkeys, Porlier said.
Young began attending Drexel this fall as a freshman music industry major. Edelweiss was looking for a new drummer when a professor introduced Young to Lexi Campion, who is also a freshman music industry major.
“[The professor] kept coming up to me and asking if I still needed a drummer and kept saying how great she was,” Young said.
This is Campion’s third show with the band.
For the four indie-rockers who just graduated high school, they come from different music backgrounds and interests.
“I don’t listen to the same stuff as them. I grew up on Madonna and the Police,” Campion said.
Campion’s favorite band also is Fall Out Boy, which is light years away from Nirvana (Porlier’s favorite), Radiohead (Young’s) and System of A Down (Vitale’s).
Edelweiss played a lively set filled with experimental guitar riffs from Vitale and Young that were transforming. Vitale’s bassline compliments the brain-wracking chord progression in “Grand” from their 2013 EP, Honduras. Tracks like “Withering Heights” display the band’s undeniable abilities for writing music at such a young age.
“We just really are lucky to have a great chemistry when we come together,” Young said.
As Campion’s third show, she brought extreme power with each hit, even while playing barefoot, and seems to be a great fit in Edelweiss.
The four-piece math rock group is releasing a four-track EP on 7-inch with Mad Dragon Studios.
“I think we’re still so young that, ‘what is our sound?’ We’re still figuring that out,” Porlier said.
Edelweiss’ next show will be at the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester N.Y. on Feb. 7.