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Local band Lifestyles brings positive message to UCF

By Al Hernandez
On February 5, 2012

As Scoop's crowd was just starting to arrive on Thursday night, Knight Library's Dungeon Lounge was already packed. Orlando's own four-piece band Lifestyle took the stage at 10:30pm in front of an anxious crowd, and the music began. With heavy bass and loud cymbal crashes, the Dungeon rattled with rock, hip hop, and more importantly, excitement.

"Their sound was powerful and unique," UCF freshman and mechanical engineering major Rubin York said. "I would definitely go see them again."

As viewers looked on and took in the music, it was hard not to draw comparisons to bands such as Rage Against the Machine, the Beastie Boys, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"We never wanted a particular sound, it just happened," lead guitarist and back up vocalist Stephen Perkins explained. "Call us whatever you want, but it's all about the message. The music is good, but that's not why we do this."

There did seem to be a central theme in the bar, other than drinking and dancing, of course.

"It was never about the music or the style, but what the music said," lead singer Josh Corson explained. "We just want to make people aware of the world around them. We want to inspire people to make informed decisions, no matter what the decision is. Don't just go with the flow."

The band backed this up by playing songs with political references and themes. At one point, between all of his jumping, dancing, and singing, Corson ripped off his shirt and grabbed a nearby American flag. He held it up and exclaimed "We can make change, you can make change. This is our time, our country!"

Drummer Scott Zimmerman and bassist Ben Livingston round out the band and are the only two members that attend the UCF. They are both members of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha. Zimmerman is a senior studying mechanical engineering and Livingston is also a senior studying marketing.

The band officially formed in summer of 2011. Corson, a Full Sail student, said he met Perkins, a Valencia student by chance.

"Stephen played with us and knew Josh," Livingston said. "He kept trying to get Josh to come jam with us, and finally, after like a month, he agreed. Our previous band, Black Pearl, wasn't going anywhere, so we scrapped it and started over."

Livingston explained it as the moment when everything turned around.

"That was when the real music started to be created," Livingston said. "The music typically just comes from jam sessions. Stephen starts and we all just follow."

Corson said he does not write much music, but he usually handles the lyrics.

"I write about 95% of the lyrics, but everybody in the band helps out," Corson said.

The crowd's energy fed Corson as he leaped around the stage, engaging the audience. Despite a few electrical problems, the bar had a buzz that could not be shaken, even well after the music ended. The band members hung out and posed for photos for a while after the show.

Lifestyle is quickly building a strong following in the Orlando area and is planning to tour the entire state of Florida later in the year. This was only their second official show. Their next is scheduled with another Orlando-based band, the Crazy Carls in Melbourne, Fla. on March 16th, and band manager, Steven Saffan, said he plans to book a few more local shows before then.

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