Union Board was not kidding when they said their big event would be a night of entertainment. The acts ran for a few hours, which was the major complaint voiced about the event.
“The only things I wish could have been better was that it was really long, but there was nothing we could do about that except drop people and they were all amazing, and I was disappointed at the turn-out,” said junior Alex Clark.
The event finally came together this Monday with comedy acts Tastiskank and Hard ‘n’ Phirm and bands Cavashawn and Florez with Johnny Walker as emcee.
Union Board had gone through several ideas, The Village People and Ben Folds spread through campus. Ultimately the Village People were not viable as the Orpheum did not have the lighting to support their show and Ben Folds could not come on any of the available dates.
“We went through a couple different big names and a bunch of different bands,” said senior Meryl Leventon.
The tagline for the event was “That’s what she said” and had inappropriately funny jokes running through it.
Tastiskank came on wearing bright sequined dresses with shiny metallic shoes, Mardi Gras style beads and tiaras on their heads. They looked like they were trying to dress up as eight-year-old girls at their princess birthday party. Their jokes were anything but grade school, however, and were both hilariously raunchy and surprisingly astute. They were just one big “that’s what she said” joke.
“[Tastiskank] seemed like actual topics that women would talk about,” said freshman Sundee Perkins.
“My favorite act was Tastiskank,” said Clark, “I thought they were hilarious and raunchy but not offensive which I thought would appeal to a lot of Knox students.”
Tastiskank sang odes to prescription drugs, dirty boys and their conversations with Mr. Right Now about sex.
“Tastiskank was hilarious. I think they talked about issues that real women do talk about,” said sophomore Ashton Heath. “Perhaps not in the most virginal of ways but I thought they were real and they talked about real issues. They were also talented singers.”
They talked about their relationship with each other, singing, “I wouldn’t trade you for a billy-goat/ We go together like weed and sunshine/ One helps the other to grow.”
They also included a song about the orgasm stylings of different people including Mr. Hollywood, aka Mr. Right Now and Mr. So Far So Good as well as their own.
“Her mom was in the audience,” said Clark. “Her mom was really there learning about her orgasm stylings.”
Walker came back on stage and gave a perfect description of Tastiskank.
“I feel like I’ve just been molested by kittens,” said Walker.
He had jokes about the way people were crying over U of I’s mascot comparing having Indian mascots to having a mascot in Nazi Germany called “The Jumping Jews.”
He also wandered around Galesburg and found plenty of inspiration from seeing our city. He mentioned how he was amazed at how there was a bar named Crappy’s.
“He pulled in things that he just got driving around Galesburg,” said Leventon.
“Johnny Walker was incredible,” said Heath. “I thought he was a very very talented comedian.”
The bands also had a lot to offer. Cavashawn sang songs like “Out of My Mind” and “Just Because” which had more of an independent sound.
“His voice is amazing and they’re really tight, technically,” said Heath.
“Cavashawn had really interesting lyrics,” said Perkins.
Cavashawn originated in Cincinnati but have since moved to Chicago in the past year after graduating.
The band has existed in some form since they were playing in the high school band Premium. Members have changed as time has gone by and the current incarnation came into being six months ago. As a band they are a little newer than some of the other acts that played on Monday.
“We wanted to have the CD out before we started doing shows,” said lead singer Scott Salmon.
Florez’s lyrics were really original. Especially the line “Women are crazy like puppies with rabies” in the song “Women are Crazy.”
“Florez was one of the best guitar players I think I’ve ever seen live,” said Heath. “When you switch pop to blues to Spanish guitar and then you start playing it behind your back, you are just like wow that’s good.”
Florez also played the song “Natalie” which was featured on Scrubs a couple years ago. One of the members, Erik Huffman had also been on Survivor China. They have been playing together since college in 1999.
“Since we’ve graduated in 2003 it’s been a full-time gig,” said lead singer Alex Florez, “We’re probably going to do close to 40-50 colleges between now and the end of the year.”
“I loved Florez mainly because they could change their musical style. They started out on rock and then they went to blues and jazz,” said Perkins. “I just thought he was a really talented player.”
The last act of the night was Hard ‘n Phirm which had come to Knox last year for the night of comedy with Pablo Francisco. Normally when they are doing shows by themselves they each do an independent standup act as well as their two-man acts. They met with mixed reviews. Several students expressed that they were glad Hard ‘n Phirm came back, especially compared with Francisco.
“Their history jokes I thought were inappropriate and uncalled for,” said Heath.
“I was not a fan of Hard ‘n Phirm, they played the same thing last year,” said senior Elizabeth Wolfson.
Others did not mind the repetition of jokes.
One of the most obvious repeats was the Abraham Lincoln song which they have only played twice, both times at Knox.
One example was the song about success where they sing that everyone can do anything… “unless you’re a girl” which was the last line of the song.
“Their stuff is just funny no matter what,” said Clark. “People listen to the same songs over and over again, so why can’t they listen to the same comedic songs over and over.”
Overall the show seemed to leave more people satisfied than last year with Pablo Francisco.
“Overall I thought it was really well put together and I enjoyed it,” said Wolfson.
“Even if people didn’t like all the acts, we had nerdy humor, raunchy humor and hot bands,” said Clark. “We were trying to go for stuff that everyone would find something to like.”
“I feel like the bands and everyone was really well received,” said Leventon. “People are still talking about them.”
Coordinator of Student Life Jen Snider was a big part of making sure the event was a success. Snider has had experience from the previous schools she worked at with putting together big events.
“Jen Snider, our advisor, has been incredible,” said Leventon. “Her experience really helped to carry over and that’s part of why it ran so smoothly.”
She also helped get the bands to campus.
“Jen has some great connections with bands just from her past experiences,” said Leventon.
Union Board is currently toying with the idea of having several smaller acts or events instead of putting all of their money towards one big act.
“As cool as it would have been to get a big act,” said Leventon, “something that was really great was the fact that we brought in five different acts. I felt like everyone could find something that they liked.”