'Tour de Force' takes on Tavern
AUIAC and WVAU join forces for a 12-band, 10-hour music festival in the Tavern.
Tour de Force, an all-day Tavern concert and promotion, sailed on waves of unprecedented heights and suffered at the bay of staggering lows in terms of audience attendance and participation on Saturday.
Sponsored and set up by the AU Independent Arts Collective and WVAU, the campus radio station, the event featured more than 10 bands from all stretches of the East Coast. With the right marketing and pitch, such a show could have been a huge success, but it seems the notion of a day-long commitment does not bode well with many high schoolers or their parents, who attended the event.
At the peak of the festival, around 5:45 p.m., more than 200 kids filled the Tavern, many getting their first taste of a college campus at a "cool" rock show, checking out Boston big shots and Level 27 sponsored rockers Throne.
However, for most of the bands besides Throne, the show proved an endeavor, which is unfortunate considering the talent of the groups, including Protagonist of Boca Raton, Fla., Long Island, N.Y.'s Last Week, and Victory Records' Glasseater. All of the bands played their hearts out, but were met with shoe-gazing audiences and little more, with the exception of Glasseater's dancing fans.
Unlike last year's festival, which occurred in February, this year's show had some AU flair with a special performance from Armrest Testimonial, its first since the band "opened" for Dashboard Confessional outside of Bender. Led by Dan Longino and Matt Rajput, members of the illustrious "Hughes 5" crew, Testimonial poured some heart wrenchers onto the audience and Plastic Cuttlery made a special appearance.
As the day went long around 7:30 p.m., the successful show suddenly became nerve wracking for the hosts as a large portion of the crowd began to leave. This proved to be an unwise move as No Trigger of Oxford, Mass. provided a rip-roaring cover of Sponge's seminal single "Plowed" to the remaining couple dozen people.
The festival ended on a high note with Baltimore's The Gamma Rays and Miami's Glasseater. Touring in support of "Everything Is Beautiful When You Don't Look Down," Glasseater brought its new songs and sound to a surprisingly enthusiastic crowd of about 20..
When SUB hosted a free Andrew W.K. show in the Tavern less than a month ago, the turn-out was poor. But when Dashboard Confessional played Bender Arena in September, fans from all over the area swarmed campus and paid large sums of money to see an ultimately mediocre performance by some really mediocre bands. Finally, when AUIAC and WVAU hosted an all-day, essentially free show (there was a requested donation as AUIAC has to raise a required minimum amount of money each semester), hordes of pre-Frosh showed up for a moment and fled when the dinner whistle chimed.
In the end, the question must be asked, "What is the best way to go about hosting a show at AU"