Pumped up for Bacchanal: CUSH to open for Snoop Dogg & Das Racist

By Olivia Goldman

Congratulations to CUSH (Columbia University Society of Hip-Hop) for winning Battle 4 Bacchanal!

Accompanied by Taylor Simone, Columbia University’s resident first-year mistress of soul and jazz, and the talented and quirky Lucky Chops Brass, CUSH swept the Battle 4 Bacchanal due to tremendous energy and fan support. Although the night started out a little slow, CUSH definitely got people grooving, including provoking the chant “We won’t stop at all, ‘till we make it to the top at Bacchanal!”  Regardless, when CUSH came on stage, it became evident by the suddenly uniform and exaggerated hand-waving and swaying of the crowd that a decent fraction of the audience had come out to vote specifically for CUSH. While this may have been disappointing for competing bands and their fans, it makes sense that the best-represented group should win. The large energy-demands of an event like Bacchanal need to be met by not only the artists, but the audience as well. (Just one request—especially in presence of brass and chanting, make sure the microphones are loud enough at Bacchanal so we can hear what they’re saying.) CUSH and the Lucky Chops Brass showed that they can not only deliver that energy, but take down the house with a brilliant mix of skills and swagger—a hybrid of style definitely representative of Columbia (or at least our perception of ourselves). After all, we gotta look cool in front of Snoop Dogg. I mean, really.

In short, get PUMPED.

The event featured nine bands from Columbia University, selectively chosen after audition through CU Records. The bands picked the order out of a hat, and after each performance the audience was given a code to text to a particular number in order to vote for their favorite performer. Brief notes on the other performers:

Danny Murcia & Band—Opened the show with some solid pop rock tunes. Surprisingly, two male members of Danny Murcia’s a cappella group, Notes & Keys, accompanied him on vocals for some tight harmonies and eye-widening falsetto.

The Warrior Monks—Sadly, Simon Herzog was supposed to perform with them last Friday but never showed. These boys delivered their raps on a stage dry of instrumentals or live musicians. Props.
Blaxel—Blaxel kept the spirit of Rock & Roll alive with a lot of spunk and attitude, as usual. Ben Chuchinsky got some new guitar effects, which were very cool.
PBR—Newly formed, but the band held its own with some sublime-inspired guitar parts at points and a touching moment with a song dedicated to a deceased friend.
Life Size Maps —Columbia’s “Up-and-Coming” also gave a very solid performance that noticeably got people moving with their ever-infectious tunes, even featuring a newly written song.

Ajo—The talented Ajo gave one of the most original performances of the night. She’s also competing in College Battle of the Bands, so go listen to her song “Ring Ring,” rate, and support. Go CU!
Night Eyes—Featured on the American version of Skins, Night Eyes was the only DJ of the night. The ill beats and the chance for some dancing was much appreciated.
Jake Snider —Past recipient of the “wild card” in College Battle of the Bands, and once again competing, Jake Snider was poppy, sweet, musically talented and managed to transform the front row of the audience entirely female. Go figure. Oh yes girls, he’s cute.

Olivia is a first-year at Barnard and arts editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

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