“Open Melody” is a Success
Last Friday night and most of Saturday, the Cross-Cultural Center played host to Open Melody, an independent musical event put on by ACROBATICS EVERYDAY, an on-campus music event organization.
The event took place in both the Dr. White Conference Room on the bottom floor of the building, as well as the top Ring Room that can be seen from Ring Road. The performing artists rotated between the two rooms, so while one was playing the next could be setting up in the other as to create a steady flow of music for the whole night.
Friday night began with the performances of two female artists by the names of Alak and Mountshout, both of which performed solo. Both musicians used backing drum tracks and played electric guitars to accompany their vocals. Most of the audience sat down to watch them perform, and overall the atmosphere seemed relatively relaxed to start the night.
Most of the artists for the rest of the night were relatively dismissible, with the performances of Pigeons and XBXRX (however opposite that they were) being nothing too special.
The highlight of the night was definitely a group called Upsilon Acrux, which featured dual drummers and two guitarists with gigantic pedal boards for a wide variety of effects, creating fast and technical soundscapes that displayed their talent and creative prowess. The dual drummers were incredible, seeming to have some sort of psychic connection with one another, not missing a single beat that I could detect.
The final acts of the night, Arrington de Dionyso and ZS, both had similar feels with their music being abstract and formless in their delivery. Their main draw was their uniqueness, but it was hard to get into, considering that there was no real rhyme or reason to their performances. It was interesting nonetheless.
Saturday night, conversely, had a much more danceable feel and had much more energy than the previous night. Soft Circle was the first band to really get the crowd going, as the New York-based duet’s loud bass tracks and energetic performance was able to do just that.
One of the gems of the night was definitely the performance of The Diskettes, with Saturday being the first time they had gone on-stage in over three years. The trio featured a male guitarist/vocalist, a female vocalist and a drummer that played on a bass drum covered by a small blanket to deaden the sound.
The acoustic act’s real draw was their clever lyrical content and vocals, which played perfectly off of each other. Their set was relatively short but still great nonetheless, as the small jokes in between songs created a friendly and comfortable atmosphere that complemented their music very well.
The next band, High Places, went back to the dance music that made the night and was able to get the crowd moving again. Despite their vocalist losing her voice recently before their set, the music was enough to get them by and people were still able to get into their music anyway.
Perhaps the most interesting performance of Saturday night was produced at the hands of rock group Nobunny. To begin with, their lead singer performed in nothing other than a leather jacket, boxer briefs and a rabbit mask that covered most of his face. Their music was very reminiscent of southern rock with a modern feel that gave their performance a unique edge.
Where Nobunny succeeded most was with the crowd. People danced to their songs furiously for the entirety of Nobunny’s set, at one point knocking over speakers (which were quickly picked up and moved out of harm’s way). Despite their strange appearance and delivery, the audience showed that fast rock music still had a place in their hearts, despite the trend of loud dance music that pervaded through most of Saturday night.
Los Angeles-based Captain Ahab was the last artist to perform in the Ring Room. He performed with a screen behind him, with various images being projected on the screen as the music played. Captain Ahab appeared to be only one person, with the music simply being played while the one man sang along to his prepared tracks with various effects on his vocals.
With not nearly as many people bothering to watch, the crowd wasn’t as into Captain Ahab as they were for the rest of the bands Saturday night, and it was a rather disappointing act on the whole.
The Open Melody music festival was an interesting experience to say the least. The musical selection was varied (not always good though, unfortunately) and the audience showed that they enjoyed many of the artists both nights. The event was a success, compared to past attempts made by Acrobatics Everyday organizers at putting together a music festival of this scale. For those who enjoy this type of music scene, these events are something to look into to experience music right here at UC Irvine.