The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Indie Rock Bands Wednesday and Hotline Tnt Get Groovy in Hamilton

Colgate University Live Music Collective brought in indie rock band Wednesday, who created a unique atmosphere at Palace Theater, located at 19 Utica St., on Friday, Jan. 26. The group, composed of vocalist Karly Hartzman, guitarist Jake Lenderman, lap steel player Xandy Chelmis, drummer Alan Miller and bassist Ethan Baechtold reminded the University community of the importance of rock and live music. The concert also came at a pivotal time, bookending the first week of classes. The energy and charisma the band radiated provided a much-needed recharge for the student body.

Senior Bethany Neufeld appreciated the energy that Wednesday brought to the people in attendance.

“I think it spoke to a very specific crowd, but the turnout was really good,” Neufeld said. “I think that’s the fullest I’ve ever seen the Palace, actually.”

Enjoyment was not limited to just die-hard Wednesday enthusiasts, but rather a wide variety of people, including newer and budding fans.

“I had never really listened to their music before, but I bought a record, and I’ve been listening to their music [since],” Neufeld said.

Wednesday’s lyrics reflected a sense of home and memories that the band members share. “Ran the chainsaw ’til it ran out of gas because you got stung by a yellow jacket and you dropped it” is Karly Hartzman’s favorite lyric from her discography. The Wednesday vocalist wrote this not as a metaphor, but rather a visual depiction of a laughable moment when steel player Xandy Chelmis’ chainsaw got swarmed by yellow jackets.

“[It was like] a chainsaw moving with just a bunch of yellow jackets, and Xandy came running down the hill, just like fully clothed straight into the pond because that was the only way he could escape them,” Baechtold said.

Chelmis and the other band members chimed in during this retelling of the story, laughing about the ridiculousness of the situation.

“[The yellow jackets] were waiting for me when I got back out of the pond,” Chelmis said.

This playful dynamic made it clear that a close knit relationship and shared experiences are a key part of the band’s success. The imagery in this lyric also helps reflect the nature-inspired grunge aesthetic that the band embraces, referred to as “creek rock” by Hartzman. This genre is humbly rooted in the band members’ upbringings in North Carolina. It’s also the product of inspiration from artists such as Mitski and The Sundays.

On stage, Hartzman was personable and read the student-dominated audience well by telling short stories between songs that reminisced on her own college days — namely, her struggles with romantic relationships and difficult classes. This hint of vulnerability allowed the audience to feel more emotionally involved and invested in her music and was a reassuring reminder that it is not uncommon to struggle during the college years. Hartzman also poked fun at a Colgate rival, Wesleyan University, and playfully encouraged Colgate to prove their superiority through moshing intensity. This friendly competition livened the spirits of the audience. Additionally, Hartzman encouraged the crowd to not be deterred from starting music later in life, as Wednesday was formed during her and her bandmate’s college days.

Before Wednesday performed, the band had an exceptional prelude thanks to the New York-based act Hotline TNT, which did a great job at prepping the crowd’s energy for Wednesday, as well as establishing themselves as a unique sound in the rock space.

Senior Lis Hartke noticed the band’s dynamic stage presence.

“It was really evident that all of the band members had their own groove that they were totally in while playing,” Hartke said.

Although Hotline TNT is also an indie rock band, their sound was distinct from Wednesday’s and had a different reception in the audience.

“[Hotline TNT’s] music had a more garage-rock sound and I honestly really liked how the four guys on guitar stood in a row at the front,” Hartke said. “It created a wall of sound that complimented what they were playing.”

Hotline TNT and Wednesday will continue to tour across the country in the following months. Hartzman coyly said that her favorite song is “one of the new ones,” hinting that new music will also be in store for fans. In the meantime, Colgate was lucky to have been one of their stops for both of these up-and-coming bands.

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