Saturday Night Fever

Jaime Coyne

Walking into the Barge Canal Coffee Company on January 26 for the Saturday Nite Music Series felt like stepping back in time, into a high school concert. The band for that night, The Source, consisted of a high school freshman and three high school juniors from Hamilton, and it seems that the entire community showed up to support them. Parents, siblings and friends crowded into the small space until many people had to resort to squeezing into the only open space, hidden around the corner and out of sight, near the door.

The Source is made up of guitarist Alex Thompson, drummer Nathan Jacobs, bassist Chris Vandetti and lead vocalist and guitarist Peter Leone. Their sound seemed to be influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mellow sounds like those of Jack Johnson and a little reggae. A slightly psychedelic vibe was also introduced occasionally by the use of an instrument attached to the microphone. The room literally vibrated with their songs, which was reflected in their young excitement and the general enjoyment they seemed to get out of performing.

They played some great cover songs, such as “Rodeo Clowns” by Jack Johnson and “Hero” by Enrique Iglasias. The band also performed some original songs: “The Darkness,” which Alex wrote and sang, “Summertime,” a song created from a poem Vandetti wrote and Thompson wrote the music for an experimental piece in which Chris played lead and the rest of the group followed along.

The Source definitely has some issues to work out. Many of their songs had rough beginnings and endings, they forgot their lyrics several times and Leone’s pronunciation was often incomprehensible. They also were unprepared, not seeming to have a set list of songs to play and eventually running out of songs early. But there was obvious talent on that stage, and with experience their shows will undoubtedly improve.

Their energy was amazing; with the exception of the drummer, who looked bored all night, they jumped up and down, nodded along with their music and tried to get the audience involved through singing along or waving. They were playful with the audience and each other. At one point, Vandetti asked the crowd which bass he should play, and Thompson made fun of Leone for talking too much. They even requested that the lights be dimmed to match the mood of a particular song. In an unforgettable moment, they called a friend onto the stage to sing “Hero” with Leone. They put enough emotion in it that they could have truly been serenading each other.

The talent of these four high school students is undeniable. One can only imagine what time and maturity will bring to their music – probably something only described by words like “complete amazement.”