Last Thursday night, rather than allowing the cold to confine them to their respective abodes, a group of around 25 people made it to a dark, dank and musty basement off Monmouth Boulevard to surround themselves with the warmth of good music and a friendly atmosphere. What kind of concert can attract so many people to an off-campus event on such a cold evening? Why, nothing other than a Do It Yourself Galesburg show. Thursday night’s line-up included four punk rock bands: Iowan bands Pelvis and Lover’s Speed, the Quad Cities’ Toluca Lake and, finally, Galesburg’s own Pillow Fight wrapping up the evening.
The event was listed to begin at 7 p.m, though the audience members didn’t really start to trickle in until 7:30 p.m. Once they were there, though, the area transformed from a poorly lit, dingy college-house basement to a cozy gathering space where the veteran DIY Galesburg attendees mingled freely and welcomed the newcomers.
Soon Pelvis situated themselves in the back part of the basement and the concert began. They started loud and fast, left the listener no time to think before they found themselves dancing, head bumping, or for some, even feebly attempting to mosh. About three songs into their set, the bassist utilized his microphone to bring a new layer to their sound by harmonizing with the raspy-voiced lead singer. As quickly as their set began, it ended.
After 10 minutes or so of mingling, Lover’s Speed took the stage and was ready to rock. They brought a sharper, more spontaneous energy to the stage. Their banter was more plentiful than Pelvis’ but they rocked just as hard. They had a sophisticated sound that never breached the barrier of being pretentious. Lover’s Speed seemed to pride themselves on their ability to seamlessly change tempos on a dime. One second they’d be racing along, drums going wild, guitars riffing like mad, and the next second they’d have all slowed down to a legato, never once missing a beat.
By its halfway point, the show had left an indelible impression on its audience.
“This show [has been] a lot of fun. Like, it was a smaller crowd [than last time] but it had the energy still,” said sophomore Abi Barton, a one time veteran DIY Galesburg attendee. That it did, and the last two acts kept it up.
Following Lover’s Speed’s zealous set, Toluca Lake took the stage with a vengeance. The lead singer decided to do away with the mic stand and allow herself a little more room for her passionate and exaggerated motions. Toluca Lake was the first to tactfully incorporate screaming into their set. It gave the songs a boost in energy but was not so overbearing as to turn off any of the newcomers accustomed to more tranquil genres.
Finally came the Pillow Fight, featuring Knox senior Hadley Gephart and sophomore Kyle Hall. Playing together in Galesburg for the first time since November, they gave a timid but altogether enjoyable set. With songs rarely lasting longer than 90 seconds, one hardly began before it was over. This didn’t seem to bother the crowd much, which had acquired an actual pillow and was, of course, having a fight with it and enjoying themselves thoroughly.
DIY Galesburg produced a wholly successful show last Thursday, and there is no reason to believe they won’t deliver the next time around. So rather than staying inside and lamenting over the temperature outside, come out to the next DIY Galesburg show and listen to some good music and meet some good people. Everyone is welcome.