Last weekend, CC hosted an intimate performance with Steep Ravine at the theater in Armstrong Hall. Steep Ravine is a bluegrass band from the San Francisco Bay area and was a headliner at Blue and Shoes this past May. They are currently on tour in support of their new album, “Trampin’ On.”
The band played two sets for two straight hours for an incredibly engaged crowd. While I am not personally a regular fan of bluegrass music, I was thoroughly impressed by the show. It was an incredibly intimate concert for both the band and the crowd. The members of Steep Ravine played acoustically around one mic with Simon Linsteadt on vocals and guitar, Jan Purat on violin, Andy O’Brien on violin, and Alex Bice on stand-up bass. They were supported with a crowd who pushed themselves up to the stage and stomped and danced all set long; members of the crowd even joined them on stage.
In support of Steep Ravine was CC’s beloved student band, the Raisins, who joined the bill late notice after another campus band, Youjazz, were unable to perform; both were performers at this year’s Llamapalooza music festival in May. The Raisins received quite the turnout from their fellow students. The band went on to play their usual set of 70s rock covers and original songs. Students seemed to love every minute of it.
The crowd may have loved it a bit too much, though. As with Steep Ravine, the crowd joined The Raisins on stage, but this time it was the entirety of the rowdy group dancing with the band. For the most part the band welcomed the wild crowd. “It was a little bit disorienting because I couldn’t see my other bandmates,” said drummer Gabe Sashihara.
The rowdiness turned out to be too much for campus security to maintain, and the Raisins’ equipment was cut off from the main speakers. Luckily, the Raisins have had experience with being cut off and were able to quickly plug into their own amps. The band went on to play another two more songs much to the disapproval of security personnel and the tech crew. Saxophonist Carson McLeod had to play without amplification and keyboard player Rajah Bose had to go on entertaining the crowd sans instrument. The shut-off didn’t stop the crowd either; they kept showing the Raisins love until campus safety kicked students out.
Guitarist Ben Brown said it best: “Two things went into the craziness that happened: one, our music philosophy of just when we’re playing constantly being attentive to everyone else and so whatever can happen, can happen. And we like to have a good time, all the time.”
Music releases this week: Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” and Jhene Aiko’s “Sail Out.”
Nick Dye, Music Writer