Vundabar rocks the Jittery’s stage

Photo courtesy of unrecorded.mu | Vundabar performed at Jittery’s on Sept. 15.

Photo courtesy of unrecorded.mu | Vundabar performed at Jittery’s on Sept. 15.

Laura Green ‘18
Arts Editor

The first Jittery’s of the year started off with a bang and ended with a ringing in my ears. Vundabar, a Boston-based rock band with catchy beats and an off-beat sense of humor, performed on the CC TV Lounge stage on Sept. 15. The crowd was full and spirited.

Every Jittery’s begins with a student opener, showcasing the talent of our campus. Grainne Buchanan ’17 was a great choice to start the year. Like many student openers, it was just Buchanan, her sweet voice and an acoustic guitar on stage. However, she possesses a rare stage presence. Buchanan’s ease on stage seemed natural, but was surely helped by the many years she has already been performing in front of crowds.

All eyes were on her as she joked about sophomore year: “If you’re a first year, enjoy it while you can” she said. She also discussed her ever present breakup subject matter: “This is a song about when you’re staying in someone else’s house and you wake up really early and it’s awkward. And then it’s about a breakup.” Her relatability gives her such endearing likability.

As Buchanan rightfully said, “And now for a slight change of tone!” When Vundabar came on stage, with Mac Demarco-like baseball caps and ripped t-shirts, they turned up the volume. Immediately, everyone’s feet were stomping and heads were banging.

Vundabar has two full albums, “Gawk” and “Antics,” both of which stick to their garage rock feel. The lead singer Brandon Hagen’s voice adds a sense of post-punk eccentricity to the music. His falsetto and sudden vocalizations keep the songs particularly engaging. The occasional “ooh ooh la la la la” plays with vintage pop sounds while the beat retains its rock spirit.

The band has toured around New England ever since its conception, with a short and exciting stint in Europe. Vundabar are the guys from your high school who were always in one band or another. They’re cool, they’re a little dorky, but they fit perfectly in the indie rock world. Now, their hard work and passion has paid off, with a growing fan base and near-constant tours around the country.

The band, who say they’re “life hackers first and composers second,” offered up some helpful tips throughout the night, showing off their multi-talented skill set. My favorite song they performed was “Oulala” from their most recent album “Gawk.” It has an irresistible catchiness along with the band’s signature quirkiness. It effortlessly flows from loud, high energy beats to more muted tones. I find myself bouncing along to the beat without even realizing it.

Although Vundabar ended its set early and declined the small but passionate chant for an encore, the band still left the crowd buzzing enthusiastically. It’s not often that rock can be defined as “feel good,” but that’s exactly how I’d describe Vundabar. They have a sincerity to their music that makes me want to keep listening. Their songs go well together without blending together into one indistinguishable mass; each song is distinct. I have found a great new addition to my Fall playlist. Wunderbar!

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