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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Radkey, Comic Sans rock socks off Gardner

Gardner+-+Xiaoxuan+Yang
Gardner – Xiaoxuan Yang

James Marlow

marlowja@grinnell.edu

Gardner Lounge was host to two energetic rock performances from Comic Sans and Radkey last Friday, Feb. 19. Comic Sans kicked off the night with their warm synthesis of emo, shoegaze and Midwest garage rock, befitting the night’s unseasonably balmy weather. Readily becoming a campus favorite, Comic Sans features Jenkin Benson ’17 (vocals and guitar), Vincent Benlloch ’18 (guitar), Jacob Getzoff ’18 (drums), Luke Jarzyna ’18 (vocals and bass) and Zack Stewart ’17 (keyboard). Comic Sans offered an impassioned mix of original material like “A Few Things About 2011” and “How to be a Dog” alongside deftly crafted covers. Their set also saw the band expand into new territory, featuring Jarzyna’s vocal debut for the band’s cover of Blink-182’s “The Rock Show.” Punchy and confident, Jarzyna’s vocals nicely augmented Benson’s knack for emo-inflected lamentation. As usual, Comic Sans’ performance was met with rapturous reception by an audience content to witness this band’s increasingly refined stage presence.

Gardner - Xiaoxuan Yang
Radkey’s Dee Radke lead the trio of punk brothers on vocals and guitar. Photo by Xiaoxuan Yang.

Radkey, a garage punk trio hailing from St. Joseph, Miss., offered the audience a precise yet rambunctious performance. Consisting of brothers Dee (vocals and guitar), Isaac (bass) and Solomon Radke (drums), Radkey’s hard-edged and anthemic sound could easily fill a stadium, despite the band’s relatively minimalist setup. Characterized by bold and sweeping melodies that evoke bands such as FIDLAR and the Black Keys, their songs enthralled the crowd, notwithstanding a conspicuous lack of moshing. The trio held a commanding stage presence, with requisite head banging and genuflected guitar solos. One of the highlights of their set was their performance of “Love Spills” from the 2015 album “Dark Black Makeup.” With its bombastic lead riff and driving drum pattern, the crowd immediately responded with elated jumps and headbanging. Clearly on the upswing with an infectious synthesis of precision and frenzy, Radkey is certainly a band to keep following.

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