An unforgettable performance at Tabernacle

     Seldom do I think that there is somewhere on this earth more accepting than a crowd at a music event. Seldom do I think that there could possibly be something out there that could so effortlessly transform an entire group of people into pure euphoria. Seldom do I think that there is something else out there that could bring so many people together in a more beautiful way. Seldom is not synonymous with never, no matter how close it may come.

     However, after Thursday, Feb. 21 and seeing Rainbow Kitten Surprise and opening act, ‘Mt. Joy’, live at Tabernacle, in Atlanta, I doubt I’ll ever entertain the idea again. Truth be told, there is nothing that could possibly compare to the show they provided for us, and if you have ever had your doubts, I highly suggest grabbing the last of the tickets to their tour.

     ‘Mt. Joy’ is a small indie rock/pop band made up of five members: Matt Quinn, Sam Cooper, Sotiris Eliopoulos, Jackie Miclau and Michael Byrnes that began in Los Angeles.

     They released their first album, titled “Mt. Joy,” in March of 2018, which featured hits like “Jenny Jenkins,” “Sheep” and “Silver Lining.” The band features some of the most talented individuals I have ever seen perform live. Five minutes into their show I was questioning why the city of Atlanta wasn’t busting down the stained-glass windows to be where I was. The prolonged introductions to songs and focusing in on each band member, made the experience that much sweeter and more intimate. Their show gave us a chance to get to know each one of them in a way that can’t be done by simply listening to the album.

     Rainbow Kitten Surprise took the stage after Mt. Joy to perform a grand total of 18 songs. They played a mixture of the three current albums they have out on most music platforms, focusing primarily on their most recent album, “How To: Friend, Love, Freefall.” This album was released in April of 2018 and featured hits like “Hide,” “How To: Freefall” and “When It Lands.”

     The chemistry between the band members was undeniable during the performance, and their ability to transfer that same chemistry to the crowd was astonishing to witness. Their theatrical movements and acts on stage brought the story behind the poetic lyrics to life and there wasn’t a time during the set when we weren’t dancing along to every detail.

     I have seen over 50 performances, but I have never had an experience quite like this one. I still struggle with how to put it into words, but make sure to check out these bands on iTunes, Spotify, and their social media platforms to see for yourself!


Students were able to ‘rock out’ at ABAC

     Heart racing and adrenaline pumping are just a couple of the words that can be used to describe how ABAC students felt on Feb. 20 as they ventured up the rock wall in the meadows. The event lasted from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and was open to all students.

     Music played loudly as students lined up and patiently waited for their turn to climb the rock wall that was not only a small adventure but also a great stress reliever for those traveling between classes. There was an expected turnout of nearly 250 students, as there usually is for smaller events hosted by Campus Activities Board (CAB). For their larger events, the turnout is normally around 550.

     Evelyn Jaimes was one of these students. After climbing down the rock wall, she said, “It looked cool and it was a lot of fun.” Like many others, she felt that it was very high and definitely recommends those that have never been on a rock wall try it out.

     Another student, Ellison Hatfield, also participated in climbing the rock wall. She said that it was “exciting and terrifying” but she would definitely do it again if given the opportunity. The event was so much fun that it has prompted some students, Hatfield included, to want ABAC to install a permanent rock wall.

     ABAC’s CAB was responsible for putting on the event. Ronald Pugh said that they decided on the rock wall because there have been multiple complaints about there not being many fun activities on campus for students to enjoy since the budget cuts.

     They want to increase fun events for students so they will want to continue coming to ABAC. Their goal is to increase student involvement and create an atmosphere where students are excited to participate in events held on campus.

     The CAB hosts a number of events every semester. One of their most popular from last year was the foam party in which they hosted alongside the Student Alumni Council. Students also have this event to look forward to this year as it will be held during Homecoming Week.


Julian Lage: ‘Love Hurts’

     Three-time Grammy-nominated guitarist Julian Lage once again shows us the potential of the electric guitar with his new album, “Love Hurts.”  Lage is a pioneer of the electric guitar. In a world where any sound imaginable can be produced instantly by pedals and digital effects, Lage has a different approach. A guitar and an amplifier. Simple, honest, raw.

     This is Lage’s third trio album, the first of which to feature bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King. “For me, this recording completes a trilogy of approaches to the trio,” says Lage. “They’re all similar but illuminate different fascinations.”

     The album opens with Pankow’s, “In Heaven.” A suspenseful guitar and bass intro, create a beautiful dissonance. Then all at once, the gain gets turned up. The three musicians lay down a heavy, soulful groove as Lage plays a bluesy riff that evolves into one of his mesmerizing solos.

     Lage has such a distinctive sound. He has built this signature tone around his Fender Telecasters, but he opted for a Gretch Penguin, owned by close friend Jeff Tweedy for “Love Hurts.” Still, this album doesn’t sound any less himself.  It doesn’t matter the gear he uses, there is an approach he has that is instantly recognizable. The tone exists in his fingers.

     The trio works as one organism throughout the album. King and Roeder create a pocket that Lage never loses. That being said, the album is a sonic rollercoaster. Throughout the closer track, Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” Lage’s guitar fluctuates between a soft whisper to a roar. This track is jazz meets garage rock.

     Lage takes on a different side of one of his originals, “Lullaby,” from his first solo album, “World’s Fair.” The recording from his first album is a solo acoustic piece. It is slow and elegant. It’s what the title says, a lullaby. This new take gives new life to the song. It is enchanting and rhythmically complex. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.

     My personal favorite track on the album is the jazz standard, “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.”  It’s a track that has been recorded dozens of times, but Lage offers something new to the table. The tempo is brought up from what it is traditionally played at. The way the trio bounces off each other is so fluid and smooth. Lage’s take is light and fun. It’s happy music.

     This album is a must listen. It’s the full spectrum, dark and moody to loose and colorful. Love may hurt but nothing about this album does.


Happy and Healthy: Allergy Season

     Seasonal allergies, known as hay fever, have been on the rise this spring semester. If you have been outside, I am sure you have seen the wave of pollen that has consumed South Georgia. Pollen has taken over our sidewalks, cars and now it is taking over our immune systems.

     What exactly are allergies and what effect does it have on our body? When your body is exposed to an allergen or trigger, like pollen, it sees this as a foreign substance and releases chemicals into your bloodstream. The release of these chemicals results in allergy symptoms.

     Although it may be easy to identify triggers, it is harder to avoid them. Common allergens for people include mold, grass, dust and the infamous pollen. It is merely impossible to completely avoid these triggers.

     If you haven’t had them by now, the symptoms of allergies are bothersome. After exposure, symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and sinus pressure. People who have asthma may experience shortness of breath and wheezing when the pollen count is high.

     The best way to overcome symptoms of hay fever is to take precautions. There are over-the-counter medications that may help your allergy symptoms, but as we are all on a college budget, we know money is tight. ABAC’s C-Store carries Zyrtec, Claritin D, nasal spray and a variety of allergy medications. If you find your symptoms worsening, visit ABAC’s Health Center located in the Health Sciences building.

     Money is a determining factor as to whether or not we have the accessibility to medications or health care.  There are other cheap and cost-effective precautions that we can take when it comes to allergy symptoms. For instance, when planning to go outside, wear protective sunglasses to avoid pollen getting into your eyes.

     Also, it helps to apply petroleum jelly to the outside of your nostrils to trap pollen. After being outside, be sure to wash your clothes to remove any excess pollen and prevent it from lingering.

     Allergies are not preventable by any means. The best thing that you can do is to make sure your symptoms do not worsen. You know yourself best, and you know what season your allergies will be at their worst. Take the necessary precautions and be sure to get ahold of your symptoms before they get ahold of you.


ABAC spreads love with Valentine’s Day Carnival

     ABAC gave its students a chance to have some fun with their Valentine’s Day Carnival on Feb. 14. The Residential Hall Association provided drinks and pizza for all students.

     Some of ABAC’s clubs and organizations had the chance to set up tables with games and prizes. Students who arrived for the festivities were given the chance to win a gift card to their favorite restaurant.

     Every time a student participated at a table, they got a stamp. To be eligible for the gift card, you had to get a stamp from all eight tables.

     A couple of organizations that were set up included the Gaming Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance and 4-H. The Gaming Club had you choose a number and asked you a question about games, depending on what number you chose.

     The Gay-Straight Alliance allowed you to shoot a small pellet gun at targets labeled one, two, three and four. Whichever target you hit was how many pieces of candy you were allowed to get. The 4-H  table had their own target set up and allowed students to throw a football through the target for a prize.

     The Valentine’s Day carnival was a success and students enjoyed themselves. RHA’s next event, the Spring Fling, will be held later this semester.

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