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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Students open for Jukebox the Ghost

Last Saturday, March 5, Gardner was bursting with familiar music. Grinnell’s own Katie In ’13, Kane Balser ’13 and Mandy Fasset ’12 began the show, and drew in many of the students, with Jukebox the Ghost following. The Philadelphia-based indie band also helped to draw a larger-than-usual crowd because of the band’s connection to Grinnell—vocalist and pianist Ben Thornewill is Alice Thornewill’s [’11] brother.

In’s performance started the night off with a comfortable, fun feeling. Kane Balser, ’13, played guitar and, in the last song, sang, while Mandy Fassett ’12 played violin.

“They’re both outstanding. They’re so good,” In said of Balser and Fassett.

The trio has not decided on a name, because they like just calling themselves informally “Kane, Mandy and Katie,” in whatever order they feel like, and because they don’t want to identify as a band with a name.

“Nic Wilson, who’s the Chair of Concerts Committee, asked me to open,” In said. “I sing at the Phoenix with Kane and Mandy on Wednesday nights, so I asked them to help me out. We’ve been playing together for a while and we have a collection of songs we play.”

Usually In, Balser and Fossett play a collection of each other’s songs and covers at the Phoenix, but on Saturday they primarily played In’s songs, because she had been asked to perform, along with two covers—“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone and “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. “I felt like I was under pressure to do my songs this time,” In said.

People were sitting on the floor and listening intently throughout most of their performance. In had brought out a lamp from Freesound to create a cozier mood.

“The atmosphere… was dark and quiet and nice,” In said. “I didn’t play acoustic, I was playing electric. Although some of my songs were louder and more involved, where I had a tambourine, it was a more mellow concert and also not a sleepy one.”

Still, before the actual performance it was an especially stressful show for In, although she’s been performing since she arrived at Grinnell. “It was a big deal since it was just me,” In said. “I had an opportunity to play my songs and make it what I wanted it to be. The experience was a little bit stressful having to be a student here and get all my work done and also prepare for a show and practice and figure out what songs I wanted to do. The week before I was frantically trying to make it feel more interesting.”

When it came time for In, Balser and Fassett to perform, however, everything went well. “I don’t get nervous during shows. Before the show, frantically making sure everything is put together and prepared is difficult, but I had a really good time Saturday night,” In said. “I felt really relieved after I was done.”

After In’s performance, the crowd jumped up with applause and started dancing as Jukebox the Ghost began. “People were jumping up and down and having a great time dancing. Jukebox is really upbeat,” said In. “That was a contrast between my opening and Jukebox.”

“They did this Beatles cover at the end,” said In. They were so popular that the crowd cheered them on for a two-song encore.

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