The first installment of this semester’s Browns Commons Coffeehouse Series was an overwhelming success. The show on Thursday, February 2, featured the band The Sea The Sea who also kicked off the series in the fall. An exclusive interview with the band is available on the Maroon-News website.
The event, held at 110 Broad Street, saw some changes over the break, including new lighting and improved seating. Lead singer and founding member of the band, Mira Stanley, noticed the changes as well.
“The weather may have gotten worse, but I really love the changes that you guys have made, especially these fairy lights,” Stacey said, describing the hanging string lights overhead and spanning the area above the stage.
The event space in the Browns Commons was not the only thing that changed recently. In the months following the Upstate New York band’s last visit to Colgate, the original duo added two new members: Steve Struss on percussion and Cara Gorman on additional vocals.
The band has also produced a new album which will be officially released this summer, but they have decided to drop one single from the album every month leading up to the release, including this month’s single titled “Everybody” which they performed.
The Sea The Sea has also seen some success over the course of the last year, reaching 10 million streams of their song, “Love We are We Love,” on Spotify – which was also on the set list.
First-year Annalise Simons began the night by welcoming the crowd in attendance and those listening to the live radio broadcast on WRCU. She then explained that the idea of the Coffeehouse series was to elevate the live music scene in the area and foster a sense of community through the events in the intimate setting the Browns Commons offers.
Throughout the course of the evening the indie/folk/rock band kept the audience entertained by shifting the vibe from very mellow tracks that had the audience slowly swaying in their chairs to faster paced jams that called more for head-bobbing.
The band generated a simple and strong sound which had a feeling similar to that of Fleetwood Mac, which is only fitting for a Coffeehouse setting seeing as the latter band is a mainstay on coffeehouse playlists across the country.
A few highlights of the night include when lead and original member, Chuck Costa, explained that the band did not want to just cover any song, but rather find some deep cut that not many people have heard of and then make it their own. They did just that with their cover of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep it with Mine.” They utilized Stanley’s boomingly beautiful voice with Costa’s raspy mellow vocals to create something as unique as the original in its own way. Costa showed his humor before the song by asking the crowd if anyone didn’t like Dylan. Before anyone had the opportunity to answer, he said “I once had someone boo from the audience when I asked them that – he was obviously confused because it’s illegal to dislike Dylan.” His wit was met with chuckles from the crowd.
Stanley displayed her musicality as she did it all, from leading in vocals, to helping with percussion, playing the keyboard and even pulling out her acoustic guitar for some of the songs. Another highlight came when she explained that the band found their name from a Greek phrase meaning “to shout for joy.” The band had the intimate crowd interact with them, breaking the coffee house vibe as everyone in the room gave their own shout of joy as the band played.
The band’s performance was not the only highlight of the night. As was the norm in the fall, FoJo Beans Coffee Roasters provided cups of their coffee for just a dollar. Flour & Salt bakery also provided delicious baked treats at the same price. The FoJo Beans founders and owners, known affectionately by their first names, Dan and Dan, stepped up their game from the original installments, offering a beautiful display of their coffee for sale to the crowd.
Thursday evening was absolutely a success for the Browns Commons Coffeehouse series in its first show of the semester. The Sea The Sea and everyone involved kicked the series off with a bang, and hopefully the momentum will stay with the Coffeehouse for the other shows of the semester, including the next one on March 1 featuring Amythyst Kiah.
Contact Noah Cartrwright at [email protected]gate.edu.