Handguns Punk-rock Show Review

A punk-rock show presented by WNYO on April 14 allowed Oswego State students the opportunity to experience a form of music that is not often offered on campus.

Although the station has presented concerts before, they rarely had artists that could be considered punk-rock. That changed on Sunday when students heard a set from local band Atticus Finch, an acoustic set from Of Fortune and Fame, and finally an extended set from headliner “Handguns,” each providing their own unique sound and style to the concert.

The show, which was held in the Hewitt Union Ballroom, began with the acoustic set from Of Fortune and Fame. The band made note that they do not usually perform acoustically, but had no other choice due to one of their guitarists quitting. This did not prevent them from providing a good and entertaining performance. Lead singer Nick Burger provided strong vocals for the songs, and the punk-rock feel was not hampered. The group made up for the unusual nature of their set by debuting several new songs for the Oswego audience. The set did have some low moments, as the group had to stop to tune their guitars at one point. Despite some flaws, the group managed to give a strong opening for the night. The songs were enjoyable, and the members brought a high level of energy to the crowd.

Following was a set from Atticus Finch, a local band comprised of Oswego State students, and natives of Herkimer, N.Y. The group had a lot of fun with their set. The passion they put into the performance made it one of the highlights of the night. The crowd was behind them as they began moshing and singing along. Lead singer Patrick Malowski commented upon the performance.

Q: What is your previous experience performing live, and how does it compare?

PM: We have been together for five years, but it means a lot to perform at Oswego where I live. It’s our first time performing in Oswego.

Q: How were you contacted to open for Handguns?

PM: I work at WNYO and I’m close to Steve Radford and our general manager Andrew Nicholson. When they were organizing the event, they asked me if we would be willing to perform, and I said definitely.

Q: Was there any audition process?

PM: There was no audition. They had heard of us before. We have a bit of a following, and a history to show. A good reputation means a lot.

Q: How do you think you can improve future performances based on this experience?

PM: I thought this went well. It was a new crowd, and there may not have been many who know us. We want to have high energy, high intensity. We are happy with the way we played, and glad we got a good reaction.

Q: How do you feel comparatively to the colleagues you performed with?

PM: We have respect for our peers. It is a different level for them. It’s their profession. For us it is more of a hobby. They are close to our age so we related well, and had a good time together. We were the hometown band, so it was our job to try and make the headlining band feel at home.

Q: Do you see your band continuing professionally?

PM: We most likely won’t go much further. Our members are on different roads, but we hope they will coincide for as long as possible. Atticus Finch is a part of each of us. More than a band, it’s a friendship. A quote from one of our songs that means a lot to us is “more than partners, brothers in arms.” I honestly believe music is the best way to connect people.

Q: What is next for your band?

PM: We are ready for the summer. It’s graduation party season, our favorite time of year.

The performance proved to be a fan favorite. With a mix of good covers and a great lineup of original music, Atticus Finch provided a high intensity show that captured the essence of the punk-rock genre.

The night ended with the performance of headliner Handguns. The group got a huge reaction. The crowd was immediately into the performance and began moshing. The group put a great amount of energy into their songs and had a strong sound. Their song composition was strong, but it was difficult at times to understand what they were saying. Each group suffered a lack of visibility for those who weren’t in front, due to being at ground level. The group had the crowd on their side however, as they were called back for an encore song. The group got the crowd involved by having fans sing into their microphone, and starting a circle pit. Handguns proved to be the best performers of the evening, even if they did not have the best songs.

WNYO had a great turnout for the event. During the performance they provided free items, such as Frisbees and beach balls. It says a lot for the station that they were willing to bring together groups of a genre that is often underappreciated. Oswego is a community that has a diverse group of people, and WNYO is an organization that is meant to appeal to a broad audience, so it is good to see they are not content with providing content that will simply appease most fans, but are striving to make all their listeners happy. Rock DJ Aaron LeMay talked about the process of bringing this event together.

Q: When did WNYO begin planning this event?

A: We started tossing around ideas at the end of last semester. We had a meeting in December to begin brainstorming for it.

Q: Was a punk-rock show their first choice, or were there other options?

A: The Indie Deries sticks to its own genre. We wanted a concert with a loud rock theme, so we chose punk-rock, and stuck with it.

Q: What were the difficulties you faced organizing the show?

A: I think the hardest part was finding a band that was available to play. Our main difficulty was finding a band that was going to be in the area, and willing to play the day we wanted them to. At first, our loud rock director Steve Radford contacted Forever Came Calling and they seemed like a pretty sure bet until their tour changed, and they couldn’t play the date we wanted. He also got in touch with Turnover and Hostage Calm and they had a similar story, so Handguns was kind of a last-minute thing, so when they agreed to perform the day we wanted at a good price it was a relief for us. We were pretty excited, because they are an established band that is playing at Warped Tour this summer.

Q: How did WNYO decide on opening acts?

A: For Of Fortune and Fame, Steve was already a friend of the band, so they were easy to get a hold of, and agreed to play right away. We wanted one more band that was more local. Most of us were already aware of Atticus Finch, so they seemed like a good choice, and they ended up having a really good set.

Q: What was WNYOs response to the success of this show?

A: I haven’t heard the response from other people at the station yet. The response from the other rock DJs and our manager was good. The concert exceeded our expectations. We got more people than we thought we would and ended up having a good time.

Q: Would WNYO consider having another punk-rock show in the future?

A: Definitely. We don’t have any ideas for another show yet, but we know we want to have another punk-rock show next semester.

Q: What is next for WNYO and its rock department?

A: The whole goal of the concert was to raise awareness of the station on campus, and get more people to join and become DJs. From what I have heard so far, we got a good response from the crowd, and people are interested in joining the station, so in that respect we succeeded. For the future we will do the same. We will promote the station and have fun in the process.