Unsigned Club gives performers a chance to showcase their talents
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 17:09
The Cape Florida Ballroom turned into a music venue for the night when UCF’s Unsigned Club held its second annual Music Expo on Monday from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. The expo featured free live music from UCF musicians and included genres such as electronica and different styles of rock.
Students filled the seats and lined the back wall throughout nine performers’ sets. Each band played a 20-minute set and showed just how diverse UCF’s taste in music really is.
He the Gentleman, a one-man tribute band for She the Slut, started off the night with a few acoustic folk/punk songs with just him and his guitar. XoVos, an electronica music artist, followed with several remixed songs backed up with a light show.
XoVos, whose real name is Caleb Vlahos, got his start with electronica through majoring in computer engineering. He said he didn’t know how to read or write music, but learned how to manipulate music through his years of learning how to program.
“This is actually only my second time performing,” Vlahos said. “I met [the president of Unsigned Club] last year and they needed more performers to fill time slots so I signed up.”
The night rocked on with several different types of rock bands, such as the president of Unsigned Club’s own band, Alpha to Omega, which plays primarily progressive rock. Chris Behringer, a senior double majoring in biotechnology and micro & molecular biology, actually met his bandmates through the club and they have been playing together for almost a year.
“We all come from different backgrounds in terms of music,” Behringer said. “So we get together and just try to make our style.”
Many of the bands played covers of songs from different artists, as well as original songs. Montana, whose lead vocalists described their sound as “dirty loud garage rock," played exclusively original songs written collaboratively by the band members.
“All our music is really just trying to express our emotions,” said Max Idas, a junior marketing major, lead vocalists and founder of the band. “We have a lot of dynamics, like, we’ll go from really loud to really soft to convey, like, mood swings.”
The crowd of students stayed fairly consistent until the end of the expo, and many stayed afterward to talk to the performers.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for people who aren’t music majors to be able to showcase their band and play,” said Yuan Chang, a freshman graphic design major. “It takes people from different musical tastes, getting together and meeting new people.”
Behringer said the turnout was overwhelming compared to the first expo, and hopes it will continue to expand.
“Not only do we cater to individual musicians, singer/songwriters, any kind of band, we cater to any kind of music: folk, rock, punk, electronica, anything. We will take anything, music is music,” Behringer said.
Quinn Landes, a psychology major at UCF and the current vice president of Unsigned, started the club for musicians at UCF who didn’t have opportunities to play or network with other musicians to form bands. It gives students the chance to express themselves musically without having to major in music, as well as meet other students with different musical styles.
“I feel it’s crucial to really get out there and get into things you’re interested in, because you’ll meet your best friends that way,” said Chris Loy, a senior in legal studies and the guitar player for Montana.
The club meets every other week for informal jam sessions and provides free equipment for everyone to use. Any UCF musician is welcome to connect and play with other members. Currently, there are 15 to 20 performers involved with Unsigned Club, and Behringer says that number continues to grow.
Behringer says the club isn’t just focused on performers anymore and that they want anyone interested in the music industry.
“We want to get people who want to do event management so we can put on shows like this more often; we want people who want to do lights and sound and we want people who want to do promotion, scouting, things like that,” Behringer said. “We want to get all the aspects of the music industry into this club.”
Students can get involved with the Unsigned Club by becoming a member of its Facebook group or by joining its mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.