It’s this time of year again. After another full year, Llamapalooza is back for the final Saturday of Block 8 as a way to say goodbye to CC for the summer.
The much-anticipated Llamapalooza line-up was announced over the course of four days during the tail end of April. The three student-group winners of Battle of the Bands will start the day off at 2:30 and continue until 5:00 PM, when the first paid performing band will kick off the evening festivities, which ultimately culminate in Midnight Breakfast.
YOUJAZZ – 2:30 – 3:20
With Nick Stephens on trumpet, Evan Levy on Saxophone, Phoenix McLaughlin on guitar, Wes Brandt on keyboards/synths/vocals, David Becker on bass, Drew Kelly on drums, and Doron Mitchell and LeeAna Wolfman on vocals, this huge crew is guaranteed to be a “great fucking time,” said Brandt. Not limiting themselves to jazz, this funk-fusion group will be putting their own swing on Rage Against the Machine, Daft Punk, and LCD Soundsystem.
PATRICK HARDY AND DREW AND DREW – 3:20 – 4:10
Comprised of Patrick Hardy on guitar, Drew (Campbell) on bass, and Drew (Kelly) on drums, this rockabilly blues punk band will be sure to get you moving. In the words of the Patrick Hardy: “There will be so much rock and roll, all the tie-dyed, big-eyed, shirt-ditching, blonde girls will forget they’re hippies.” So, look forward to that.
THE RAISINS – 4:10 – 5:00
Made up of Daniel Sponseller on vocals and guitar, Ben Brown on guitar, Eli Sashihara on bass, Carson McLeod on alto sax, Nick Pinto on tenor sax, Wesley Brandt of Youjazz (covering for Rajah Bose), and Gabe Sashihara, incoming freshman, on drums (covering for Kyle Lutz), this primarily sophomore groove tank of auditory bliss will take you to outer space, and hopefully not back.
VASUDO – 5:00 – 6:30
Hailing from Connecticut, this five-piece band has been rocking the Northeast. Featuring a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, and two percussionists (one on a drumset and the other with an eclectic mix of percussion instruments), the band is sure to provide aural pleasure. The band both writes their own songs and covers a diverse range of musical acts from Otis Redding, to the Grateful Dead, to the Talking Heads.
THIS WILL DESTROY YOU – 6:30 – 8:00
A five-piece, post-rock band from Texas, This Will Destroy You gets weird with atmospheric instrumental pieces. Their latest album made it to spot number 25 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart (dedicated to new and developing musical recording artists), though this band is well-seasoned, with years of performing under their belt.
WILDCAT! WILDCAT! – 8:00 – 9:30
Hailing from L.A., this trio. has only been performing since 2012, but they have blown up big across the Internet. Classified on their website as Indie R&B, you can expect “lush melodies, falsetto vocals, arching harmonies,” says buzzbands.la. Capping off the final spot before our headliner, they’re going to be a group you don’t want to miss.
MAC MILLER – 9:30 – 11:00
This year’s headliner, Mac Miller, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Getting seriously involved in rapping at the age of 15 in Pittsburgh, Miller is now a well-known name in the mainstream hip-hop scene.
Miller has been a main player in getting the school and the Llamapalooza committee to endorse the REMember Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in honor of the late Reuben Mitrani, who passed away earlier in the year.
The REMember Foundation, established in Mitrani’s honor, has a mission “to make charitable donations and scholarships available to individuals and organizations compatible with the values of Reuben Eli Mitrani,” says its website, rememberfund.org.
This year, Llamapalooza is endorsing REMemberfest. “REMemberfest is a celebration of Reuben’s life and the people he touched. We want to emphasize the intention of doing good, while having fun,” said his mother, Donna Orbach. “We hope [REMemberfest] will grow with the student body. It’s all about being young and remember a true spirit within ourselves that Reuben embodied and lived”
“REMemberfest was Malcolm’s [Mac Miller’s] idea. Originally, he wanted to create a music festival in Reuben’s name,” said Orbach. “Now, he wants REMemberfest to gain energy so that it can continue to grow.”
With another REMemberfest in Morganstown, West Virginia over the summer, the momentum is growing. For the summer event, a group of CC students are already signed up to partake in a freeform camp day at the camp where Mitrani and Miller met.
Miller and Mitrani met at Emma Kaufman summer camp in Morgantown, West Virginia six years ago, but their friendship continued on throughout the years.
“Reuben always believed in Malcolm. Even since before high school, Reuben would come home from summer camp and say my friend will be huge someday… [Miller] would show his songs to Reuben and get his input on them,” continued Orbach, on the relationship between the two.
Mitrani, who was on the Llama committee since his freshman year, always wanted Mac Miller to come and play the end of the year festival, but due to budgetary constraints, it was never feasible. However, this year, Mac Miller offered up his time and is playing Llama for free.
“He’s not making a penny, just getting his expenses met in terms of airfare,” said Orbach. “His intentions were that any additional money that the Llama committee has should be donated to the REMember Foundation in Reuben’s name.”
Orbach considers his performance a gift from him to Reuben, but also a gift to CC—one which Mitrani really wanted to see happen.
Ming Lee Newcomb